Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

The best dark chocolate cookies! Made with two types of cocoa powder for incredible chocolate flavor! Recipe on

Here’s how it’s going down on this Monday:




and more chocolate.

Dreamy dark chocolate cookies with soft, brownie-like centers and crisp edges. Made with two types of cocoa powder for BEST chocolate flavor! Recipe on

Chocolate is showing its not-so-basic face 4 times in today’s cookies. Well, maybe only 3 but I do encourage you use two different types of cocoa powder so that’d make it 4. Not sure if that’s cheating, but I’m pretty sure it’s always good form when salted dark chocolate cookies are involved.

I made these for my friend’s birthday this weekend. She adores chocolate in any intense way you can get it and maybe I even bought a tiny 6-inch double dark chocolate cake for her because I ran out of time and couldn’t make one from scratch. Now THAT definitely is cheating, but the frosting tasted like straight-up fudge so we’re all good. For the cookies though, Kristen loves these salted caramel dark chocolate cookies so I started from there.

First, let me rewind to that cocoa powder business.

Cocoa powders for salted dark chocolate cookies on

This is actually my favorite chocolate cookie base. Remember when we chatted about that? I’ve used it more times than I can count and there’s a few different variations I’ve made right here on my blog. The chocolate flavor comes from natural cocoa powder. When mixed with both granulated sugar and brown sugar (soft cookies!), butter, and other ordinary cookie ingredients– the cookies taste like brownies. The edges get a little crisp while the centers are soft and tender, absolutely exploding with intense chocolate flavor. To amp things up, I used both natural cocoa powder and Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder today. Have you ever seen that stuff on shelves? It’s really good. It’s deep, dark, and bold. This is actually a cocoa powder that’s a blend of natural cocoa and dutched cocoa. Not to get all nerdy on you or anything, but there’s a huge difference between natural cocoa and dutched cocoa and you can break a recipe if you go around swapping. You can read all the nerdy stuff right over here if you’re interested.

But the special dark cocoa made by Hershey contains both natural and dutched. This makes it a little tricky to use in baking recipes, but I’ve actually had a lot of success swapping it in recipes like cookies and brownies. But today, I’m using half natural and half special dark in this chocolate cookie recipe. (So I guess you could say 3/4 natural and 1/4 dutched since special dark is already a blend!) I realize how confusing all of this is. Too much for Monday morning? Here, have a cookie.

Dreamy dark chocolate cookies with soft, brownie-like centers and crisp edges. Made with two types of cocoa powder for BEST chocolate flavor! Recipe on

I really like the heightened flavor the special dark brought these chocolate cookies. Like I said, I’ve made them hundreds of times with just natural cocoa powder but the slight addition of the dark stuff really transformed them into something even better. I had no idea it was even possible to make this chocolate cookie dough even richer! The chocolate flavor is deeper, darker, and much more brownie-y. That’s the official term. Brownie-y.

The cookie dough is quite sticky, so make sure you’re chilling the cookie dough for at least 3 hours. In fact, I always make this particular cookie dough 1 day in advance to ensure it’s perfectly solid and sturdy. Your hands will get messy when you’re rolling the cookie dough, but that’s the only price you’ve gotta pay!

How to make salted dark chocolate cookies on

Since Kristen is a bonafide chocoholic, I added both chocolate chunks and chocolate chips. This is the 3rd and 4th time chocolate is used. You don’t have to be that crazy and can easily just use chocolate chips. I simply chopped up some pure chocolate– I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking bar– and added the chunks to the cookie dough, along with a handful of chocolate chips. The pure chocolate chunks melt down since they do not contain any stabilizers (unlike chocolate chips) and create pools of chocolate inside and outside of the cookies. Pools of melted chocolate is right where we want to be this morning, right?

At this point, I know you love salty sweet as much as I do. I sprinkled the cookie dough balls with a little sea salt before going into the oven. I finished them of with a little more sea salt before serving. The sea salt brings out the chocolate flavor… as if the cookies needed any help… as well as softening the sweetness.

Dreamy dark chocolate cookies with soft, brownie-like centers and crisp edges. Made with two types of cocoa powder for BEST chocolate flavor! Recipe on

So…. quadruple chocolate cookies. Let’s do this, Monday.


Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Dreamy salted dark chocolate cookies with soft, brownie-like centers and crisp edges. Made with two types of cocoa powder for BEST chocolate flavor!


  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/3 cup (26g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1/3 cup (26g) Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks and/or chips, plus a few more for topping*
  • sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powders, baking soda and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the milk, then the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight.
  4. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes– if the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  6. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 2 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. Place on the baking sheets and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. During this time, you can press a few more chocolate chips/chunks into the top of the warm cookies– this is just for looks. You can also sprinkle with a little more sea salt as well. The cookies will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Cocoa Powder: If you can’t get your hands on Hershey’s special dark cocoa, you can use 2/3 cup of natural unsweetened cocoa powder instead. Do not use purely dutched cocoa in this recipe because you need the acid in natural cocoa. However, I’ve gotten some questions from non-USA readers who cannot get their hands on natural cocoa powder. Easy fix! Just bake these chocolate cookies instead. You can used dutched cocoa! And add sea salt on top.
  3. Chocolate Chips & Chunks: I used a mix of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. You can use all chocolate chips, all chocolate chunks, or a mix of both.
  4. Check out my top 5 cookie tips before beginning. It includes how to prevent cookies from over-spreading and why room temperature makes a difference.

Keywords: salted chocolate cookies

Another dark chocolate favorite:

Dark chocolate rum truffles on

The best dark chocolate cookies! Made with two types of cocoa powder for incredible chocolate flavor! Recipe on


  1. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:


  2. Leif Jensen says:

    Hi Sally.
    All the way from denmark a huge thanks for all your great recipies,
    in this you use both cups and grams in the recipie ekcept with the cocoa there you just name cups ? in denmark we dont use cups so im unsertain with the cup system, hopefully you get time to add the gram to the recipie also for cocoa. thanks Leif.

    1. So sorry about that! I skipped right over them. Updated for you now. Thanks for catching it!

  3. These are so yummy! I made them last week and they were soft and not super sweet. I added peanut butter flavored chips instead chocolate because I adore that combo. Just pure dark chocolate peanut buttery goodness! I am making them again today as a matter of fact. Thanks once again Sally!

    1. Peanut butter chips are SUCH a good idea.

  4. These were fabulous, and I think that they are my new chocolate cookie favorite!

  5. Tried these tonight-mmm. They’re like a deep, dark, melting chocolate massage for your taste buds. I only had Special Dark cocoa, so I used about 1/2 cup and adjusted to only 1 tablespoon of milk so the dough wouldn’t be too wet. I made smaller, tablespoon-sized cookies; baked them for 8 minutes with 5 minutes cooling on sheet. LOVED them! 

    1. I’m happy you loved them so much! I love how you described them 🙂

  6. So, my fiancée asked me to make him cookies today that incorporated his favorite chocolate bar, which is Hershey’s Cookies and Cream. I thought that this recipe would be the perfect match, and boy was I right!! I replaced the 1 cup of chocolate chips with the Hershey bar that I cut up, and then I added a couple handfuls of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, and wow!!! They were the best cookies I have ever made, and I have been baking a long time!! The dark chocolate in this recipe pairs so well with the Cookies and Cream, which provided this amazing crunch to the cookie as well. I didn’t sprinkle them with Sea Salt, but I’m sure they would be good like that too. I took them to work and EVERYONE couldn’t stop raving about them. It’s definitely a combination you have to try!!!!!!!!!! P.S. I have made these cookies as written many times and they are amazing as they are too, but the Hershey Cookies and Cream bar makes them out of this world! =-)

    1. Oh my gosh Sarah your cookie creation sounds insanely GOOD. My mouth is watering. I love cookies and cream bars!!

  7. These were freaking fantastic and now reading the Cookies & Cream version above just makes me crave them all over again! Thanks for another wonderful recipe. My husband calls you the cookie lady because your cookie recipes are hands down the best.

    1. Haha he’s not the first person to call me the cookie lady! 🙂

  8. Hi Sally! Would you recommend using melted butter for these? I’m a girl who likes her cookies chewy but have yet to find a chocolate batter which yields cookies chewy enough.

  9. I added 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to add the taste. It was really a lip smacking one. I have also tried your Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts., Its really tasty…I make it often as my son Ryan loves it.

    Yesterday I made Chocolate Brownie…It was also nice. I will share here the link if you want to try it:

  10. If I don’t have Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder could I just put in 2/3 cup of normal unsweetened?  

  11. This cookie recipe is excellent. I used 1 cup of Guittard mint chips, chilled the batter overnight, and baked the next morning. When they came out of the oven, I pressed a few extra chips on top. I omitted the sea salt sprinkling, too. Result: dark chocolate, minty heaven!

  12. These look really good

  13. Sally, I’ve read your blog enough to absorb the principles of baking enough to whip up a delicious batch of chocolate cookies in no time without a recipe, like my “emergency cookies” I baked last night. Like little oatmeal brownies. They just disappeared. Can’t thank you enough.

  14. These look SO good! I love the combination of dark chocolate and sea salt- YUM!

    1. They are! You will LOVE them!

  15. Made this today! I love brownies and dark chocolate so this took care of both cravings! Next time I’ll add peanut butter chips and I’ll be in bliss ;-). Another excellent cookie recipe Sally…thank you!

    1. This cookie recipe is just screaming for peanut butter chips 🙂

  16. Just made these and they are fantastic!!  The sea salt pushes them over the edge into glorious chocolate delirium.  Question… what is the reason for chilling the dough?  I did not pre-read the recipe and had planned to make them to take to an event, so I was dismayed when I got to that step because I definitely did not have time to chill them.  I just decided I had no other choice, so I put them straight in the oven after making the dough and I thought they turned out absolutely perfect!  So what did I miss with the chilling?

  17. Hi Sally,

    Just made these and they taste amazing. Mine however turned out very thin and flat. Wondering if you know why. The only change I had to make was that instead of the Hershey’s special dark cocoa I could only find “black cocoa.” I read your post on the differences between natural and dutched cocoas and used 1.5 cups natural cocoa and 0.5 cups of the black instead of 1 and 1, since you had said the special dark is half of each. Would this be why they became so thin? Thanks very much. 

    1. That may have something to due with the excess spread, but maybe the dough could’ve used more time in the refrigerator chilling. I like to chill my dough overnight! That’s a great way to save time later. Also, how about that butter– was it melted at all? Make sure it’s soft, but still quite solid.

  18. Hi, these cookies were so delicious! I experimented two  other substitutes for the chocolate chips. Hershey’s salted caramel chips in one batch and heath bar toffee peices in another. The toffee ones were soooooo delicious, but turned out really shiny. Any idea how I could fix this? The salted caramel chips looked exactly as oictured and texture wise were perfect. Thanks!

    1. These are SO good with caramel chips! I haven’t tried them with toffee chips but I’m guessing since toffee has so much butter in it that they melted down. Did they still taste good?

  19. Hi! I made these last year and they were delicious!! I just realized now the recipe doesn’t specify if we should use light vs dark brown sugar. Which do you recommend, and will it impact the flavour or texture of the cookies?

    1. Either would be just fine!

  20. Hi Sally! I was doing this recipe from head to toe, and my cookies went flat in the oven, I guess I’ve done something wrong. Why this could be happening? I’m really knew to baking so I’m clueless

    1. I’m sorry that happened, Siu! Please refer to this guide I posted a while back for troubleshooting tips!

  21. Hi. I can’t see where to add the milk so I added with egg. Is that ok?

    Also it was like a very thick cake batter. Hope it thickens in chilling

    1. I add the milk in step 3 after I combine the wet and dry ingredients! Yes, it’s a very sticky batter but will firm up a bit in the fridge!

  22. Can I do this recipe in a pan like the cookie cake recipe ?

    1. Sure can! I recommend a 9-inch square or round pan. I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  23. I just made these cookies for a outing with my family. I had my coworkers be my guinea pigs and the look on their faces as the bite into them was amazing. These were a smash hit. I doubled the recipe and instead of the chunks I used dark chocolate chips. I used a table spoon sized dough ball and made around 50 cookies. I didnt read the directions thoroughly when I did it not realizing you needed to chill it, so I covered it and threw it in the freezer for an hour and they were amazing.

    1. I’m so happy they were such a hit, Sarah!

  24. Hi Sally. Big fan of your soft batch cookies and I want to try these next. It’s hard to find special dark cocoa here and I know you said use 2/3 cup natural if it’s not available, but I was wondering, could I just do the “3/4 natural and 1/4 dutched” you mentioned?

    1. Hi Jillian! This is a great question. Yes, you can still do 3/4 natural and 1/4 dutched– so mostly natural with a little dutched 🙂

  25. Could we substitute melted better for creamed butter in this recipe?

    1. Hi Andy! No, I recommend sticking to the recipe. The butter needs to cream with the sugar.

  26. I made these yesterday, chilled the dough overnight and baked them today. They were one of the best cookies I’ve ever had!! But, they didn’t spread much. I rolled them into balls, but didn’t spread like yours.

  27. Just made these, and they are easy and delicious! I added some peppermint extract to make them festive. Thanks for a great recipe, as always!

  28. I just made the salted dark chocolate cookies and I am in love. Soooo much chocolate. If you love or like chocolate make these and you will be in love also. A different do over and soon.

  29. Malini Chandra says:

    These are so good! I’ve made them twice now, and using Hershey’s Special Dark + Hershey’s regular cocoa powder gives them that perfect, deep, rich chocolate flavor. I squashed them down a bit to flatten before I baked and they came out the perfect size. Will be adding to my tried and true recipes board on pinterest!

  30. Hello Sally and Team,

    Can this recipe be doubled? If so are any recipe adjustments needed?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Donna! For BEST results, I recommend making 2 separate batches of dough instead of doubling.

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