Dark Chocolate, Pistachio & Smoked Sea Salt Cookies


I was going to start this post by saying ‘Please please don’t hug my back fat.   There’s this area on my back that you have no business squeezing, sir.  That side hug and subsequent finger clench was awkward for both of us’… but that seemed like an pretty tense way to kick things off around here.

I was going to talk about how I’m listening to entirely too much hip hop lately because all I can think about is champagne,VIP, and all the ladies that love me. It feels like talking about hip hop is like talking about Fight Club.  Not ok.   Plus… just saying the words ‘hip hop’ make me feel like a grandma wearing her baseball cap backwards.

Ok… Next!  What should we discuss?

YOLO?  Is it too late to talk about that?  …if you have to ask.  yes. 

Should I write about how sometimes I think my blog would be more popular if I were engaged or pregnant?  Should I write about how that thought makes me want to run full throttle into a wall?  Probably not.  That’s a little hot-button for these parts.  Those are just my weirdo backbrain thoughts anyhow… I know you’re mostly stoked to be here regardless of my… status (is that the right word?).

Should I write about how Pinterest sometimes stresses me… Oh nevermind!

Let’s just cookie.


We really should make Chocolate Chip Cookies more often.  It’s exactly 87 times more awesome than annoying.  Let’s think of Chocolate Chip Cookies as edible air fresheners.


Creamed butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.  A luscious and very familiar scene.

Flour, salt, and baking soda are next.  It’s simple, really.


Dark chocolate chunks are mandatory.

Salted pistachios are a luxury.

Some of the nuts are finely diced (almost into a powder), other pistachio chunks will be a bit more coarse.  The nuts are actually important.  They help support the structure of the cookie.


Toss all of the ingredients together and will yourself not to sit down on the couch with a spoon and raw cookie dough.


Unbaked cookies are generously sprinkled with Smoked Sea Salt.

I love pairing salt with sweets.  It really cuts through the sugar and makes amplifies the flavors of chocolate and brown sugar.  The smoked nature of the salt is just an added summer cookout bonus.

Also. Total side note.  I’m completely obsessed with this Burning Leaves Perfume from I Hate Perfume.  OBSESSED… but I haven’t made the splurge yet.  No one buy it before I do.  K.  Thanks.  I’m (mostly) kidding.  


These cookies bake low and slow, at 300 degrees F for almost 20 minutes.  It’s a slow road to golden.


 These cookies are everything they should be: studded with dark chocolate, flavored with pistachios, and salty like whaaat?  The smoked salt adds an extra layer of fancy.  It feels like campfire meets fine-dining meets ‘ooh my gosh I ate all the cookies’.

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen whom I love and respect… and whose Zucchini Rice Gratin I want to make immediately.

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio & Smoked Sea Salt Cookies

adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

makes about 24 cookies

Print this Recipe!

1/2 cup (1 stick)  unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

smoked salt for topping

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.   Add the egg and beat in for about 1 minute.  Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the mixture all at once to the butter mixture.  Beat on low speed until just incorporated.  Finally mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Dollop or scoop cookie dough by the 2 tablespoonful onto prepared baking tins.  Leave about 2 inches of room between each cookie.  Sprinkle generously with smoked sea salt.

Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until just golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cookies will last, well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days… as if they’ll last that long.  

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339 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate, Pistachio & Smoked Sea Salt Cookies

  1. These look completely divine. Making them ASAP. And I love how real you are. Keep it real, girlfriend. We love you no matter what. PS — I was totally jamming to Soul II Soul in the kitchen today. Busted out my middle school dance moves. It was awesome.

  2. Hi Joy! First time commenting here, but I just have to chime in and say: I’m SO glad you’re not engaged or pregnant! Recently, I’ve gained seemingly expert knowledge on pregnancy, newborns, breastfeeding, wedding planning and Crossfit because all of my favorite bloggers are transitioning to different life stages before me!

    I love being able to knowledgeably and randomly talk about nursing bras and WODs to complete strangers, but I sincerely appreciate that you aren’t rushing into anything other than being YOU for the time being. Let’s talk about cookies together, mmmkay?

    Your writing is just a pleasure!


  3. I love you BECAUSE you’re a single, child-less girl. I adore your recipes as well as your commentary and am thrilled that you don’t rely on relationship/child stories to attract readers. Us unmarried girls gotta stick together!

  4. Aw, Joy! You make me smile. I’m kinda glad that your blog isn’t about you being engaged or pregnant. To echo the above sentiments, we like you. We really like you, just as you are. Thanks for the incredible recipes and your great writing! You rock it!

  5. OMG you’re so right about Pinterest. I mean I follow this awesome graphic designer right? Who only posts PERFECT THINGS and I seriously feel inadequate to post things because they’re not perfect! I can’t handle it sometimes!

    I might have to make these cookies… right meow.

  6. Thank you, Joy, for being so relatable and REAL! And thank you for referring to cookies as air fresheners – that totally made my day! :-). P.S. I (of course) will still read your blog and listen to your podcast and adore all things Joy the Baker when you get engaged/have a baby/etc. but for now I like you just the way you are.

  7. Thank you. I love your down-to-earth-ness. It always makes my day! I’m SO glad you don’t write about your “upcoming wedding” or your “growing baby bump.” Uhg. Anyway. As soon as I get my hands on some pistachios these are being made and the eaten promptly.

    One last thing. I totally imagine you cooking in the kitchen, dancing around a bit, to this http://youtu.be/JGCsyshUU-A

    Don’t ask me why… I just do…. and it makes me smile hehe. <3

  8. Oh Joy, you crack me up. Who else talks about not wanting their back fat touched??? Most of us can certainly relate do that… I wish I could have one of these cookie right this very minute; pistachios are the best!

  9. I definitely think these cookies trump the zucchini gratin on Deb’s site :) No offense to anyone who prefers zucchini to dark choc cookies. I will always! take cookies! What an interesting combo of flavors – and I bet delish!

  10. This post made me smile… (edible air freshners! ha!). Your posts often make me smile. And I just want to say, we, your readers, would love you single, engaged, married, or pregnant–whatever makes you happiest! :)

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