Salted brownie cookies: deeply chocolatey, fudgy cookies with crisp edges and a sprinkle of flaky salt on top. Also known as the best thing my kitchen has produced in a very long time.
I love it when a random baking idea hits me and the resulting recipe just WORKS.
Let me be clear: it doesn’t happen often. Usually it’s fail after fail after mediocre fail, followed by me giving up for a while, followed by trying again a week or a month or a year later, again and again until finally I am pleased with the result.
Not with these.
These little bites of heaven came into the world already knowing exactly what they wanted to be, and they delivered. I woke up one morning last week obsessed with the idea of the intense, fudgy chocolate of a brownie, but the crisp, shattering edges of a cookie (wait, is this not normal? you don’t wake up dreaming of these things?).
I knew there would have to be salt on top, as all good chocolatey things need salt to balance them. But would it be a cookie dough masquerading as a brownie, or would it be actual brownie batter that I’d somehow firm up enough to keep its shape as cookies?
So as soon as I could, I did some research and discovered that a few other people had shared my brain wave. Namely, Food & Wine had a lovely-looking recipe that I knew I could tweak to my own preferences (removing some steps, no mixer, different proportions, etc). It was a brownie batter chilled until scoopable, which is genius and which I thought I could work with. So tweak I did.
I baked it once; I baked it twice; I fed it to family at a dinner, and friends by the pool. And the results are in: salted brownie cookies are the best things that have come out of my kitchen in quite a while. Brian’s family wouldn’t let us take any back home with us, and I watched with delight as one of my friends went through four in a row while sitting by the pool (don’t let her know I told you that).
And they’re actually really easy to make! Like, dangerously easy. Let’s talk about this.
Steps and tips for success:
- Use good chocolate – I used Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate, the 54% cocoa solid version (not the 72%, but you could certainly try that one). Chocolate is the main flavor here, so you don’t want to use cheap stuff.
- Melt gently – When melting the chocolate, make sure to do so gently so you don’t scorch it. I did this in small bursts in the microwave, stirring in between, but you could also do it in a double boiler if you, unlike me, are patient.
- CHILL THE BATTER. I cannot stress this one enough – it’s an absolute must to chill this batter before baking for at least half an hour. It’s a brownie batter, not a dough, so it’s much wetter than cookie dough is. If you tried to scoop it just after mixing, you’d have a puddled mess. Chilling it allows the chocolate to become semi-solid again, and makes it scoopable. I recommend 30 minutes to an hour for chilling, though I also had success chilling the scooped dough on the cookie sheet overnight (because I ran out of time) and putting it straight in the oven from there. I just wouldn’t recommend chilling the batter in the bowl overnight because it would become pretty solid and hard to scoop.
- Use a cookie scoop. It’ll be much less messy that way. I use a tablespoon cookie scoop (which actually gives you slightly more than a tablespoon) and highly recommend it.
- Use good salt on top. I used a flaky sea salt and it makes all the difference in terms of flavor. Just a tiny sprinkle is all you need – don’t go overboard.
You need to make these, ASAP. Honestly, I have nothing else to say.
Salted Brownie Cookies
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (227g; see note)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (28g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (33g)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (85g)
- Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle on top
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is just melted. Don’t let it go too long to avoid scorching the chocolate. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth and glossy.
- Whisk in the granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Stir in the flour and baking powder until incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chips. You’ll have a brownie batter consistency, and this is correct.
- Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but preferably under an hour. This allows the batter to firm up so you can scoop it. If you leave it in longer than an hour, you may have to let it sit on the counter to soften a little before scooping.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the batter by rounded tablespoons (I use this #40 tablespoon cookie scoop and highly recommend) onto the cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches in between to allow for spreading. For perfectly round cookies, roll the dough balls between your palms until smooth and even, then flatten slightly on the cookie sheet with your hand.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are crackly and cookies are a bit puffed (they will deflate after they come out).
- Sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of flaky sea salt while warm from the oven. Serve!
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Y’know, i was looking for mixing up the easiest chocolate chip cookies with some cocoa to see what’s up.
But then, i thought to myself: What if Katie already did some kind of darker chocolate variation with it?
Well, there wasn’t any letdowns. Tried it, baked it, loved it!
The only thing that i’ve modified is using white chocolate instead of chocolate chips, and bc of that i cut out some of the sugar. It gave the cookies a good contrast, which everyone loved it.
It is a more expensive variation, for sure, but it is so much better than the original one that it actually hurts, lol. And the original is already GREAT.
Next one in my list is the PB Cookies! Thanks for sharing these recipes Katie, me and my dear ones really appreaciate it!
Cheers from Brazil!
Forgot the rating, lol. Obviously is 5/5.
Thank you SO much, Yuri! Your review means so much and I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes. I have an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe coming next!
These are the most amazing chocolatey cookies!! I was wondering how to store them. I want to mail some out to my daughter in college but find the cookies get stale hard in a few days, even when stored in Tupperware. What do you think?
They do freeze well. I eat one per day straight from the freezer for my chocolate fix!
Hi Emily – so glad you love these! I think wrapping the cookies individually in plastic and then storing them in a freezer bag for shipping with all the air sealed out that you can is the best way to prevent them from going stale.
These were so good and easy to make!! It took a lot of willpower not to eat them all the same day I made them.
Could I replace the flour with all purpose gluten free flour or oat flour?
I haven’t tried it but I think either one would work! Let me know if you try it!
Excellent recipe! Have you tried it with milk chocolate?
Thank you! I haven’t tried it with milk chocolate but I think you’d need to cut back on the granulated sugar if you used it.
For the chocolate chips that you fold into the batter, do you use semi-sweet or milk chocolate?
You can use whichever you like best! I do semi-sweet.
Hi. Looks yum but a quick question before I make it. Do I need to melt the sugar while whisking or the texture should be grainy after adding sugar n other stuff.
No need to melt the sugar – grainy texture is ok!
These cookies are amazing! The sea salt on top puts them over the top! I made them for the first time last year for a holiday party, and now I receive requests for them all the time. So, so good!
Thank you so much Colleen – I agree, everyone who tries them wants more immediately!
I already commented on these cookies but since so many other people liked them wonder if I used the wrong chocolate? Now that I think about it, basically I melted down 8 oz of bittersweet chocolate chips, added more sugar and very minimal flour and eggs to bind together, and then added more chocolate chips. No wonder they made me sick! Can you clarify what kind of chocolate should be used? I used Ghiradelli bittersweet 60% cacao chips for the chocolate.
Becky, I’m sorry these didn’t work out for you. I suggest using a chocolate bar rather than chips, as I suggest in the recipe. Chips have a wax coating on them that prevents them from melting well, and it might have upset your stomach to have that much of it. i can’t say for sure. I use Trader Joe’s semisweet pound plus baking bar which is about a 50% dark.
These cookies were so yummy (the salt is such a good addition) and I loved the soft brownie texture of them. I would make these again!
The salt is so key! So glad you enjoyed.
I made these and they were so good! However they did not look like the picture at all, more spread and thin and crinkled, any idea what I did wrong?
But They were still gone in 24h 🙈
Hey Ori! Glad you enjoyed them despite being thin. How long did you chill the batter for before baking them? That makes a huge difference in terms of how much they’ll spread – the colder they are, the less they will spread.
How many cookies did this make for you?
It makes 22-24 – I will update the recipe to reflect that, thanks!
This recipe is absolutely amazing! It’s always a hit when I bring a batch to my coworkers.
I found you can swap out some or all of the dark chocolate for semi-sweet and still be delicious. You can also add the sugar to the butter and chocolate when melting and have a smoother cookie when baked.
Thank you for sharing such an awesome dessert!
Love those tips! Thank you so much Haley!
Literally the best cookies I have ever eaten. Perfect crunch on the outside, perfect fudgy center. The sea salt on top just makes me want to eat them even more! Every single person who i gave these to were very pleased, too. I will definitely be making these again (and again, and again…)!
Yay!! Thank you so much Cecilie!
Great recipe a keeper definitely.
Thank you, Anisah!
How many cookies does the recipe make ?
I wonder if espresso powder would intensify the chocolatey goodness. ☺
I bet it would! Let me know if you try it!