Thursday, October 11, 2012

Salted Dark Chocolate Oat Cookies (★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆)

Salt fixes everything.

No, does.

Think about it.

Whenever you cook something, or bake something, or "blah blah blah" [insert brûlée, flambé, etc] anything edible what's the one thing that is always missing?  The thing that item needs more of?  The one thing that just sets it over the edge?

Unanimously, the answer is salt.

The godsend.  
The cherry on top.

My mom is famous for making salsa and I've been her ever present taste-tester throughout the years...
but the scenario never fails.

"Can you taste this and tell me if it needs anything?"
"Um, I think it needs more salt."
"I already put in salt."
"I still think it needs some."
"I put in A-Lot of salt."
"Okay, but..."  [Skipping the argument and adding salt.]
"I'm telling you, I added a tuh... Oh.  That's good."

I mean what else gives pasta that pop?
Sautéed chicken that zip?
Fire roasted bell peppers that tang?

It's the most essential ingredient in play dough...a staple during our most fragile and pliable years.
And it's the best snail repellant I know of.  Oh, look at the fizz!
But salt just isn't for the obvious.

It's also for the dollop of whipped cream on your morning coffee.
For the slice of watermelon you packed in your lunch.
For the Dark Chocolate Oat cookies I baked you.

...Wait whaa?...

For whipped cream?  Fruit?  Cookies? 

Yup.  Especially for cookies.

A couple years ago, I decided to test what has been hailed as the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever: New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies.  

The secret?  
Well, lots of nuances...but mostly it was the sprinkling of salt on each piece before it entered the oven. 

They were good.
And the salt?  Heavenly.

The cookies had a slight savory taste and the salt helps to bring out the other flavors already present in the cookie.

I have now become a salt-believer.
Every cookie should be kissed with this stuff.

Let me convert you.
It's for your own good. 
Salted Dark Chocolate Oat Cookies
adapted from Jens Favorite Cookies and Stresscake
  • 1/2 Cup Butter (softened)
  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Cup 70% Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • *Coarse salt for sprinkling 
Bakes approximately 30 cookies
Preheat oven to 325F
Cook for about 12 minutes. 

1) Preheat oven to 325F.  Cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar
    *Tip:  If you haven't left the butter out long enough you can pop it in the microwave to speed up the
      "softening" process.  Be careful though.  You want softened not melted butter.  Start with 5 to 10
      seconds and go from there.  Flipping the cube and checking after every time.
     *Tip 2:  My intention was to use only brown sugar, but I found that the cookies were a little too
       bitter.  I added the white sugar later because I ran out of the brown.  If you want you can substitute
       either of the two for each other.  I just really like brown sugar.

2) Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat until thoroughly mixed.
    *Tip: 1 Tbsp might be a little overzealous.  I love vanilla in just about anything so I increased the
      amount.  In hindsight though, I couldn't really tell the difference so the standard 1 tsp would have

Just me at work. 
Wet ingredients
3) In a smaller bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a spoon.  Flour, oats, cocoa powder, salt, and
    baking soda.
4) Gradually add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture, beating well between each addition.

5) Add or chop up 70% dark chocolate chunks (chips) to cookie dough.

Dark chocolatey goodness
 6) Place rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on greased cookie sheet about two inches apart.

 7) Sprinkle a dusting of salt over each ball.  Bake for 11-13 minutes or until middle springs
      back when touched.

These are good.

Ooey.  Gooey.

A little bit of chewy.
A ton of chocolately.
A hearty texture.

And the zinger?

The one that puts even all of Charlie Sheen's outrageous catchphrases to shame?

Salt of course.  

And you know what else fixes things?
My new Canon EOS Rebel T3.
Feast your eyes.

Dark Chocolate is yummy.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies


  1. Hahaha that sounds like my convo EVERY night making dinner....and totally agree - salt + cookies is unbelievably good! I love how dark your cookies are too, they look fabulous!

    1. Aw, thanks! Salt is a wonderful thing for sure. If you want cookies/cakes that dark, Hershey's Special Dark cocoa is the way to go. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. OMGosh! These look amazing! I love the combo of salt and dark chocolate. Pinning this one to try soon. :)
    Thank you for sharing at Marvelous Mondays this week!

    1. Ya, pretty much a little salt on anything is amazing. Thanks!

  3. These cookies look so good! They look so chocolaty! And you're right about the salt! :)

    1. Yes, the answer to all the world's problems! Salt!

  4. LOVE the salt, and LOVE that these are dark chocolate - the BEST kind if you ask me.
    thanks so much for linking to wake up wednesdays

    1. Yep. Black dark chocolate is the best dark chocolate. Thanks for stopping by and for hosting!

  5. These look-DIVINE! Get in my belly now!!!!! I've got this recipe locked away now. And I totally agree...when all else fails, add some salt ;)


    1. With all this salt talk I feel like it needs it's own little "jingle." We can sing it whenever we have a problem and then remember, "Oh, salt is the answer!"

  6. Oh my! Those look so dark and decadent! I'd love some of them :) Thanks for linking up to All My Bloggy Friends this week - I'll be sharing this on Facebook!

    1. Thanks Jamie! I appreciate that you take the time each week to comment on all those who link up! That must be quite a task!

  7. Natalie,
    I saw these on Tasty Tuesdays and had to come check them out--I love dark chocolate, and you're right . . . salt really does bring it on!


    1. Haha, I couldn't agree more. "Salt, do your worst!"

  8. They look so dark and tasty. Dark chocolate is my favourite kind of chocolate so I would love these. Visiting from Creativity Link Party.

    1. Dark chocolate is my favorite too! Unless, I'm adding fruits and nuts or something. Then I really like milk chocolate. These are really good cookies, though. So I would love them.

  9. I need that dark chocolate cocoa in my life! Next time I go to the store it will be on my list! Thanks for sharing at Sweet & Savory Saturdays #28.

    ~Amber @

    1. Thanks Amber! Yes, Hershey's Special Dark is the only one that gives that super-crazy-extra-dark color. It's awesome!