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?


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