Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

I’ve been meaning to post the recipe for these achingly delicious cookies for a while as I firmly believe any occasion is made better with some homemade chocolate cookies. The last time I made these was for a summer picnic (ahhhh remember summer?) but just looking at the pictures is making me crave them!

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

I am a fan of all cookies – the proper American kind where they’re totally thick and gooey. Lashings of chocolate folded in chewy, brown-sugary dough that’s been all but barely cooked just to hold them together.

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

I have been on a quest for the perfect cookie recipe for a long time and I’m still not sure I’ve totally cracked it – but these come pretty close. Plus a few extra touches – such as organic vanilla pods and Green and Black’s milk chocolate with sea salt – lift these cookies to a whole new level.

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookiesThis particular batch didn’t turn out quite as thick as they should be as they spread considerably during cooking. This was because – I must confess – I broke my own golden rule of not chilling the dough for long enough before baking.

To get real thickness the dough should be thoroughly chilled before hitting the oven, or even frozen, as this slows down the spreading process. But, such is life, the day I made these I just didn’t have time so had to make do with a quick 30 minute chill, resulting in slightly flatter cookies.

However, this doesn’t affect the most important aspects – taste and texture – and they were truly delicious; soft, chewy, chocolatey and doughy. The intense vanilla and sea salty chocolate also gave them a deeper, slightly more sophisticated flavour. A cookie for grown-ups, you might say.

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

You can of course add whatever you like to these – if you don’t fancy the sea salt chocolate (although give it a go if you’ve never tried it, I guarantee it won’t disappoint!) you could add chilli chocolate, white chocolate, nuts or smarties if you fancy a splash of colour (and a hit of e-numbers).


300g plain flour
1 teaspoon biarcarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
170g unsalted butter
100g soft light brown sugar
50 dark brown sugar
115g granulated sugar
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
1 vanilla pod (you can use extract if you don’t have fresh pods available)
200g Green and Black’s milk chocolate with sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180c. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Chop the chocolate into chunks and also set aside.

Melt the butter and in a separate bowl mix with the sugars, then add the egg and egg yolk before finally adding the seeds scraped from your vanilla pod (or extract if using).

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully incorporated. Then fold in the chocolate chunks. Don’t worry if your dough feels softer than usual – this is what makes the cookies so soft and chewy.

Cover the dough and chill for at least two hours, or up to three days, in the fridge. This step is important as it will help the cookies keep their shape and not spread as much in the oven. You can bake them straight away if you absolutely don’t have time for chilling, but just be aware you’ll get flatter cookies (but don’t worry they’ll still taste great).

Take the dough out of the fridge and allow to slightly soften for a few minutes if the dough is too hard to work with.

Line two large baking sheets with grease-proof paper or ideally silicone baking mats if you have them.

Shape the dough  into balls, about two tablespoons of dough each. Try and get the balls to be taller rather than wider, to get as thick a cookie as possible.

Bake the cookies for 9 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and under-baked but that’s exactly how they should be – do not bake them for longer! They will continue to firm up as they cool down.

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

Leave them to cool on their baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack. Do not try moving them when they’re still hot as they’ll collapse.

Chocolate sea salt and vanilla pod cookies

Extra info

  • This recipe should make about 16 cookies, give or take how big you want them.
  • You can freeze the uncooked dough and bake from frozen, just cook for an extra minute. You can also freeze the cooked cookies and just gently heat up in the oven for 2-3 minutes.

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