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Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A few years ago, the idea of adding salt as an accent flavor to a dessert – in addition to just having a pinch in with the ingredients – was new and exciting. Now, it’s a lot more common to find salt in slightly unexpected places, such as sprinkled on top of cookies and caramels in a much more obvious way than ever before. I’ve also seen salt blended into a bars of chocolate. I saw a handful of bars like these a year or so ago – very gourmet items with a premium price – but have seen the combination much more frequently. A coffee shop I like (the Los Angeles based Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) is now selling their own brand of salted dark chocolate that you can pick up with your morning latte.

I did pick up a couple of these bars recently, but not just to eat. No, I picked them up to bake with them. The dark chocolate is creamy and smooth, with a rich cocoa flavor and berry notes. It also has noticeable specks of sea salt sprinkled throughout that infuse the bar with a hit of salt when they melt on your tongue. I figured that the chocolate bars would be delicious in cookies, where that saltiness would serve to set off the sugars in the cookie dough as well as the sugar in the chocolate.

The cookies turned out beautifully. They’re crisp on the edges and chewy in the center. I added some ground oats to the cookies to help keep them moist and preserve that chewiness even after keeping them for a couple of days. The salt in the chocolate adds a nice savory – and definitely unexpected – twist to these cookies, too.

If you can’t find a bar of salted chocolate, dark or milk, you can still make these cookies. Pick up your favorite dark chocolate and chop it into chunks. Stir them into the cookies along with 1/4 tsp sea salt (fairly coarse, but not like rock salt). Add the salt with the chocolate so that the grains don’t dissolve into the dough when you mix them in. This way, you’ll get that same small hit of salt as you much your way through the cookie.

Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup salted dark chocolate, chopped
or 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks + 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place oatmeal in the food processor and whiz until very fine.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, ground oats, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and egg until smooth. With the mixer on low speed or working by hand, gradually add in all the flour mixture, stopping when the dough has just come together and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in chocolate chips.
Place 1-inch balls of dough on baking sheet.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until just golden around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen.

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  • Tracy
    February 12, 2010

    Where in the recipe do the ground oats come in? And, how did you grind them?

  • Eleanor
    February 12, 2010

    YES this is exactly what I wanted right now! I’ve been waffling over which dessert to make next and this fits the bill perfectly! It sounds delish.

  • Cheryl
    February 12, 2010


  • Nicole
    February 12, 2010

    Whoops! I think an old version of the recipe instructions snuck in there by mistake! It’s all fixed now.

  • Mackenzie@TheCaramelCookie
    February 13, 2010

    These are exactly what I’m craving right now! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Kara
    February 13, 2010

    I’m a sucker for the basics. So hard to find recipes for “normal” things anymore since everyone wants something new. Granted I’ve never heard of oatmeal in regular chocolate chip cookies before, but no matter. This still counts as “basic” and looks REALLY delicious.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Cookin' Canuck
    February 13, 2010

    These sound so appealing and I love the addition of the salt.

  • Sophie
    February 15, 2010

    yeah! so delicious! But I insert sugar instead of salt =)

  • Marika
    February 15, 2010

    These look and sound wonderful… I don’t know if I can find salted chocolate where I live, but either way I’ll be trying these soon!

  • Laura T.
    February 22, 2010

    These were very tasty. I liked what the oatmeal did to the dough – it made for such a nice cookie. Thanks for this recipe, it’s already a family favorite!

  • jdmabby
    March 22, 2010

    I think i’ll try making these but with sugar instead of salt. Half and half maybe.

  • Paula Braman-Duarte
    April 18, 2010

    I’m baking right now! This intriguing combo of salt and chcolate hooked me. And varying the tried and true chocolate cookie is okay with me… I thought I made a 1 inch dough ball but baked cookie is smaller than pictured one? I made my own salted chocolate per the recipe and find the cookie to have a very mild overall flavor, maybe this will deepen as cookies rest awhile. I will definitely make again with a salted bar, will look for at Whole Foods! Also, the cookie is a very thin one, a nice accompaniment to ice cream!

  • Noa
    July 3, 2010

    Just made them, they’re delicious!
    I experimented with different sizes, made one giant cookie and also a few tiny cookies, all of them were eaten within 5 minutes. Thank you for this fun recipe!

  • Sarah
    October 3, 2010

    These are my new favorite chocolate chip cookie. I tend to use semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips with the added in sea-salt (simply because it is what I often have on hand in the pantry) and they are fantastic. The first time I made them they didn’t flatten out too much, they were kind of puffy, but the second time they were lovely and flat, chewy with a bit of crisp. The only thing I can think that i did differently is to have a softer butter the second time . . . I zapped it in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it “room temp” after the fridge (I decided to make these at five pm for dinner dessert so didn’t have time to soften the butter on the counter) and that did the trick!

    Love these, a new family favorite for both children and adults . . .


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