Salted Double-Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies

October  8, 2015
8 Ratings
Photo by Phyllis Grant
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 8 minutes
  • Makes 21 cookies
Author Notes

This is inspired by a recipe for Olive Oil and Seat Salt Brownie Cookies that I found all over the Internet. I traced it back to Ashton Epps Swank from the blog Something Swanky.

I removed the brownie component of these cookies by taking out the baking soda and one egg. I added less sugar, flour, and cocoa. I added more salt and vanilla (always). And then I snuck in a bit of butter (because even though these are olive oil cookies, I think butter makes everything better).

They aren't the prettiest cookies. But they are some of the richest and most flavorful chocolate nuggets I've ever eaten. As my son says, "You can taste every single ingredient loud and clear."

Use an olive oil that is mild and affordable. Save your fancy herbaceous olive oil for drizzling. —Phyllis Grant

What You'll Need
  • 2/3 cup non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa
  • 2/3 all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (mild)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon Maldon sea salt (to sprinkle on top before baking)
  1. Sift together the cocoa, flour, and salt. Sift again. Set aside.
  2. In a standing mixer (or by hand) beat the sugars, olive oil, and butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add your egg. Beat at medium speed for 8 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add your vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and beat for 8 seconds on low speed. Scrape down the sides. Add the second 1/3 of the dries, beat for 8 seconds on low. Scrape down the sides. Add your final 1/3 of the dries, beat on low for 5 seconds. Add the chocolate chips and beat on medium for another 5 seconds at the most. If there are any pockets of flour remaining, mix them in by hand. If you have time, refrigerate the dough for about an hour (it will be easier to handle).
  3. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  4. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Scoop the dough into half spheres (I use a 1/8 cup-sized ice cream scoop). Or you can scoop with a spoon and quickly roll with your hands. They will spread a bit so leave a few inches between the cookies. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt (amount is up to you). Bake them for 3 minutes. Spin the tray around 180 degrees (to cook evenly) and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes. You want the centers to still be glistening. Don't worry—they will firm up quite a bit as they cool. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the sheet pan. Careful as you remove them because they are quite delicate. Eat right away. Or freeze for a few months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jona @AssortedBites
    Jona @AssortedBites
  • Liz
  • LeighAnne Cully
    LeighAnne Cully
  • Christine
  • kumalavula
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

22 Reviews

emily June 26, 2019
"Add your egg. Beat at medium"
The egg is not in the list of ingredients. :-)
I made a vegan batch (flax egg and no butter, all olive oil) with a good dark cocoa powder and Belgian chocolate (not chips), and they are dark chocolately good. Thank you!

Ken K. May 22, 2019
I'm not sure what happened, but I attempted this recipe and it was a disaster. The "dough" was more like cake batter, and after it firmed up enough to barely hold it's shape when I scooped it on to Silpats. I baked four for time indicated in the recipe and they were still goopy after the cooled for a while. I double the baking times and they better but still falling-apart tender. And the taste was cloying sweet with a little bit of a bitter edge. I used natural (unalkalized) cocoa powder and 65% chocolate chips.
Esty December 9, 2016
Has anyone made this with Dutch cocoa (alkalized)?
Sharon B. December 8, 2016
I made these without the chocolate chips because I wanted a more savory were they good! I love the crunch of the Malden salt on top. I tend to like my food more salty then most, so these were perfection to me! :-)
Jona @. November 11, 2015
I loved them! I am not a good baker, and was just experimenting with these for a bake sale and they were pretty easy and yummy. I did refrigerate the dough overnight and baked them in the morning and the result was spectacular. Even though dough itself was just so appetizing, it looked like ice cream and smelled amazing. I also like the addition of olive oil and no use of baking powder and baking soda.
Liz October 27, 2015
I must have done something wrong because these are so salty they are basically inedible. I didn't even use salted butter because I didn't have any, just unsalted. I used the amount of salt the recipe called for. I did not have chocolate chips on hand so maybe those were suppose to add to the sweetness amount and mask the salt. I'd like to try and make these one more time but add in chocolate chips and eliminate the salt, except for the flakes on top.
Phyllis G. October 27, 2015
bummer! it's true that the chocolate chips are a key component to these cookies. these cookies are savory. but the sugar and salt and chocolate should balance nicely. what kind of salt did you use in the cookies? 1 teaspoon of kosher salt should be just right. i tried using maldon salt in the cookies once but i found them too salty as well. let me know what you learn! so sorry they were inedible.
Liz October 27, 2015
I used regular salt not kosher so I think that was my problem! I didn't realize it was such a difference. Luckily now I know for the future. I am not a fan of salt anyway so my taste is probably sensitive. I'll have to try again and add in the chocolate chips. Thanks for the feedback!
Lara October 19, 2015
Recipe doesn't call for egg(s), but instructions include "Add your egg"...should I assume the olive oil replaces the egg???
LeighAnne C. October 19, 2015
In the list of ingredients it calls for 1 egg room temp
LeighAnne C. October 19, 2015
I made this gluten free and added peasants....a hit with everyone. Also used coconut sugar in place of the other 2 sugars
LeighAnne C. October 19, 2015
It should read pecans
Phyllis G. October 27, 2015
i glad you didn't add peasants! i've never used coconut sugar. i will get some.
Christine October 19, 2015
any nutritional info on these? need to know before i eat 6 more, midnight!
Phyllis G. October 27, 2015
ha! olive oil is sooooooo good for you.
Mariah October 18, 2015
Honestly my mom cooked and baked everything with olive oil when I was a child. She didn't change anything else, and let me tell you those boxed brownies were so fudgey and everything felt a bit oilier and denser. You would think that's nasty and too heavy, but it's the BEST comfort food since it feels so much more calorific. Actually it's pretty good for you compared to butter.
Judy G. October 18, 2015
How would you convert this to vegan?
Phyllis G. October 27, 2015
i don't know! sorry. this might be a great question for the food52 hotline.
anna October 18, 2015
Could you successfully replace the flour with almond flour, or walnut flour? And what would happen if you replaced the butter with more olive oil?
Thx, Anna
Phyllis G. October 27, 2015
totally fine to use only olive oil. and almond or walnut flour sounds wonderful! not sure about the consistency. the cookies might spread out more? let me know if you try. would love to learn more about nut flours.
kumalavula October 10, 2015
i was hesitant when i saw the consistency of the dough even after i'd chilled it an hour but they came out great! i used extra vanilla salt when mixing the dough together instead of strikingly with salt before putting them in to bake. i didn't have any maldon salt so thought that adjustment would work just as well. i will be hightailing it to my neighbors to give them some of the warm samples just out of the oven, so i don't get tempted to eat them all!
Phyllis G. October 27, 2015
vanilla salt! love it.