Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Smoked Sea Salt

chocolate chip cookiesI missed it.

I missed National Chocolate Chip Cookie day last Thursday, May 15th.

I’m sorry, please forgive me. (Who makes up these holidays anyway?) To make amends, here are some irresistible soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, which I know you would never turn down. Especially because they are sprinkled with smoked sea salt.

I know we’re all friends because we like Sweet and Salty, right?

And by Salty, we’re not talking about a former Red Sox catcher (even though he is very good-looking, and actually looks kinda sweet).

We’re talking about a light sprinkle of sea salt on top of desserts. Salt coaxes out flavors, cuts the richness of chocolate and sugar. It elevates classic treats like these chocolate chip cookies.

chocolate chip cookies with sea saltI modified my recipe for White Chocolate Cherry Cookies with Sea Salt – this is one of my favorites because  it’s a very easy, no frills recipe that yields soft and chewy cookies. You just need one bowl, you don’t need a mixer.

It’s simple and classic. No need to brown some butter first, no need to toast the walnuts (although doing both would certainly be delicious). I used milk chocolate chips because that’s what I had at home, and I like the bigger chips of Guittard. The chocolate is smooth and creamy, which nicely offsets the smokiness of the salt. You can use dark chocolate, of course, and you can substitute pecans for the walnuts, or omit the nuts altogether. The cookie dough base would work for whatever you’re craving. (If you’re craving raw chocolate chip cookie dough, make these truffles instead!)

I have all kinds of salts at home but the smoked salt I used here was from pastry chef Brian Mercury of Harvest –  same guy who makes my favorite Taza Chocolate Cremeux. He makes his own salt, too, no biggie. I sprinkled espresso salt on another batch of these cookies, and I prefer the smoked sea salt. I think espresso salt works better with dark chocolate and other richer, more intense desserts. I buy my espresso salt at a local spice specialty store (Christina’s in Inman Square) but you can buy it on Amazon. You can buy pretty much anythingon Amazon.

Oh and I looked up if there’s a National Sea Salt Day… the closest thing that Google gave me was National Salt Awareness Week. It doesn’t sound as fun.

one bowl chocolate chip cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Smoked Sea Salt


3/4 cups butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 medium eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons smoked sea salt


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and sugars. Mash out any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon then whisk together using a fork or a wire whisk until well-blended and creamy.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda, and mix until smooth. Stir in the flour until evenly incorporated (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours, up to two days.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Using a standard cookie scoop (or a heaping 1 tablespoon of dough), portion out dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake in the middle rack one sheet at a time, for 10-12 minutes, or until beginning to lightly brown.
  6. Sprinkle smoked sea salt on each cookie. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.

For the next (real) national holiday, these chocolate chip cookies or other crowd-pleasing salty-sweet treats will  be perfect for any Memorial Day parties, potlucks, and barbecues:

cherry white chocolate cookiesWhite Chocolate Cherry Cookies with Sea Salt

chocolate turtle graham barsSalted Chocolate Turtle Graham Bars

nutella cookiesNo Bake Salted Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

salted caramel brownie insideSalted Caramel Brownie Bites

chocolate banoffee pieSalted Chocolate Banoffee Pie

chocolate chip cookies with walnuts and sea saltDo you have a favorite salted dessert?


34 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Smoked Sea Salt”

  1. #
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert posted May 19, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Favorite salted dessert – caramel – yum! These are lovely. Smoked sea salt sound wonderful – hope you have a terrific week.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      You, too, Tricia! Mmmm salted caramel.

  2. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted May 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I love smoked sea salt on cookies, so good! I also am obsessed with that Espresso Salt you turned me onto, though I haven’t used it nearly enough.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      It’s hard not to be obsessed with that espresso salt once you get a taste of it! Have a great week, Lauren!

  3. #
    Michelle Lahey posted May 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I loooove sea salt on desserts! These look fantastic.

  4. #
    Mike@TheIronYou posted May 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Smoked sea salt is where it’s at Bianca. Those cookies look killer, great recipe and great pictures too!

  5. #
    How to Philosophize with Cake posted May 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Woah those pics are making me drool right now. :) All those chocolate chips, mmm.

  6. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted May 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    *claps* YES! My kind of cookie!

  7. #
    Meghan posted May 19, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I love salty/sweet combos, and these look great.

  8. #
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan posted May 19, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    I so understand the beauty of sweet and salty -I have been sprinkling sea salt on my moose tracks frozen yogurt, my daughter thinksam a littlecrazy,but its so good – have you tried salt on any chocolate type frozen yogurt yet?
    A smatter of sea salt offsets the chocolate in these cookies so well – such a brilliant idea Bianca!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Oh my gosh I will be looking for chocolate frozen yogurt tomorrow and will be definitely be sprinkling some sea salt on top! Thanks for the idea :)

  9. #
    ATasteOfMadness posted May 20, 2014 at 1:23 am

    And here I am with only boring table salt in my house. These cookies are calling my name!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      You should definitely try some sea salt soon!

  10. #
    Shannon posted May 20, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I have a few fun salts in my cupboard, but I always forget to use them! sounds like a delicious way to use them :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      For some reason, I tend to use them most on desserts :)

  11. #
    Melanie @ Bon Appét'Eat posted May 20, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Bianca, where about do you live? We need to meet up for dessert, or coffee, whatever it is as long as you bring some of those beauty with you :)

    You speak my language! I want one, okay 2 or 3. Fine 4 will be plenty ahah!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 20, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      I live in Boston! Cookie-speak is a love language, right?

  12. #
    Choc Chip Uru posted May 20, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    What beautiful cookies, actually genuinely bursting with chocolate chips :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks, friend! I had a heavy hand with the chocolate chips ;)

  13. #
    liz posted May 20, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Every day is chocolate chip cookie day around here! Yours look amazing!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks, Liz! Everyday SHOULD be cookie day!

  14. #
    Monica posted May 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I’m chomping on some relatively similar choc chip cookies myself today, Bianca. Nothing beats a homemade choc chip cookie fix. Wish I could have a dozen of yours.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks, Monica! Having a dozen around is dangerous – I know that very well ;)

  15. #
    Jenny @ BAKE posted May 21, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I love seasalt on my chocolate chip cookies! I’ve never thought of using the smoked variety though, that’s such a brilliant idea!

  16. #
    Molly Galler posted May 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I just drooled all over my laptop. Holy yum.

  17. #
    Ashley posted May 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    haha I can never keep up with all the food holidays! Too many! These look amazing – I cannot get enough of salt on my cookies!

  18. #
    grace posted May 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    the salt is key, absolutely. i’m a chronic abuser of salt, but it’s a requirement for cookies like these. :)

  19. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted May 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Oh these look so good. I got some smoked sea salt for Christmas so I think I’m going to be trying it out in a sweet snack like this!

  20. #
    whatjessicabakednext posted May 26, 2014 at 4:57 am

    These cookies look divine, Bianca! Love the recipe!

  21. #
    Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes posted May 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

    These cookies look crazy delicious!! Love love love that they are topped with sea salt – I’m kinda obsessed.

  22. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted May 28, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Mmm, love the salty and sweet combo! And it just so happens my MIL gave me a box of all these fancy sea salts…i’m sure there must be a smoked one in there! These look too yummy ;)

  23. #
    Chelsea Lords posted June 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    These cookies are SO pretty! I love how thick and chewy they look – just how I like my cookies! Love that there is sea salt too :) Such pretty photos! Pinned :)

  24. #
    Jess @ Sweet Menu posted June 9, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Oh boy! I could gobble some of those cookies up right now! They look so yummy!

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