Chewy Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Sea Salt


I have had a problem lately. An obsession really. Cookies; I try to stop thinking about them but then they just keep coming back to me, calling my name. Maybe it’s all of the planning and work on my cookbook getting to me but even so, this is a really unusual thing for me. I don’t typically dive into the sweets or really think about them that often because I’m more of a savory guy. Even if I do get the hankering for something sweet I’m usually just fine with something as small and simple as a spoon full of coconut butter.

With that said, I also endorse listening to your body. In this case, my body wanted cookies, therefore I listened. That’s as scientific as I need to get about that because you just don’t question cookies. Actually this might be very bad advice for some people.

Chopped-Chocolate-from-Slim-PalateI wanted desperately to title these something like “The Best Ever Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies” but chose not to because it sounds a tad cocky. Despite that, I honestly do believe that that these really are the absolute best gluten, grain free, refined sugar free, and Paleo chocolate chip cookies ever created. Seriously, these are the best, are incredibly easy to make and you have to try them. I’ve never actually really tried to convince someone to try a recipe of mine simply because I don’t want to waste energy on something like that but you have to taste it to believe it these are so ridiculously good. I even fooled my non-paleo eating friends and family with these.


The trait that makes these cookies so irresistibly amazing is their stellar consistency. These cookies to me represent my perfect cookie. They’re soft yet slightly crispy on the outside, and decadently chewy and fudgey on the inside. The kind of beautiful chewiness that just slightly sticks to your teeth every other bite and then melts away in your mouth as you chew. Nothing beats the level of bliss that a good cookie can give you. Clearly I get pretty emotional whenever I eat or even think about these cookies.

Plus I’m really proud of them because it took a bit of work to figure out how to get the cookie to a consistency and flavor that I know and love and I’m happy to say I have figured it out. The only thing that I could say that went wrong is I ended up sprinkling them with a little too much flakey sea salt after I was done baking them.

Chocolate-art I’m typically not as smooth and savvy with a baking sheet as I am when wielding a cast iron skillet. In order for me to be successful in baking I always have to get super scientific about it. Cue the rapid searching of google. I found out that it’s a combination of the maillard reaction and of course the caramelization of the sugar in the cookies that gets them to ultimate level of chewiness. So I went on a whim and used coconut sugar along with almond butter (which tends to be prone to caramelizing as well, given the right circumstances) in hopes that the google overlords tale would ring true, and it did. If only I didn’t let that work go to waste the same day by trying to be a good person and giving the cookies out to my friends at school. I should have kept them all for my parents and I. And no that isn’t selfish; there is no “us” in cookie but there is in fact an “I”. Remember that.


4.9 from 28 reviews
Chewy Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Sea Salt
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The very best gluten, grain free, and paleo chewy dark chocolate chunk, or chip cookies.
Serves: 12-13
  • 1 cup creamy raw almond butter *See Notes*
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar preferably sifted *See Notes*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate coarsely chopped (I recommend 70-85% the actual cookie is fairly sweet so a darker chocolate contrasts best, and you can also use chocolate chips same weight in lieu of this and turn them into chocolate chip cookies if you wish)
  • flakey or coarse sea salt for sprinkling *see notes*
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or do these in batches on a single baking sheet. (These spread out quite wide so they have to be done on two different sheets or in batches)
  2. In a medium sized bowl add the almond butter. In a separate bowl whisk together egg and egg yolk. Stir the coconut sugar into the almond butter until thoroughly incorporated then add the baking soda, salt and vanilla extract and stir until completely mixed then add the whisked egg and egg yolk to the mixture and stir once more until completely incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate until well incorporated.
  3. With a cookie scoop or spoon drop 1½- 2 tablespoon sized mounds of cookie dough on to the parchment lined baking sheet spacing them about 2½ inches apart. This should allow you to only have 6 per cookie sheet and I don't recommend trying to fit more on there because they do spread out quite wide.
  4. If you're doing these with 2 baking sheets place one baking sheet into the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes then remove them and let cool slightly for 5-7 minutes. With a spatula, transfer them to a cooling rack to let them finish cooling completely. Repeat this step with the other baking sheet or with the same baking sheet until all the the cookie dough is used. As the cookies are cooling sprinkle them with a little bit of flakey sea salt.
Notes for sprinkling with flakey sea salt: Don't go too crazy here, a little bit goes a long way and you may want to put a little less than pictured in this recipe. Just a tiny sprinkling on each cookie.
Notes for coconut sugar: I have gotten many questions on if there are substitutes for the coconut sugar and my answer is yes but you can only substitute it with another granulated sugar. Things like evaporated cane sugar, sucanat, etc. The coconut sugar does not taste coconutty at all either, it has a very light brown sugar like taste. Do not substitute it with stevia, xylitol, swerve, any liquid sweetener, etc. It must be dry and granulated and actually have *gasp* sugar in it, in order for it to turn out properly.
Notes for almond butter: You're almond butter should be raw. There is a caramelization affect that happens in the oven that only results from raw almond butter. Once it is roasted it slightly loses it's ability to caramelize. *UPDATE* I used no stir almond butter from maranatha and it also works just fine for this recipe.


Okay one more shot, because cookies.

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required


  1. says

    YAY! thanks for posting! we were just talking about making choc chip cookies for my grain free/dairy free daughter! Your photos and claims of deliciousness lured me in – we’ll be making these soon [and probably not sharing]

  2. Lisa says

    You are just amazing Joshua! I can’t wait to try these on my husband the chocolate chip cookie man. Thank you for all your hard word finding the perfect cookie.

  3. jenn in GA says

    i made these today because your description was so tantalizing. they live up to the hype! thanks–i think–for sharing.

  4. Maria Castagnetti says

    Best.Cookies.Ever! I seriously can’t believe how goooooood they are! Crispy but chewy… Perfection.

    • Slim Palate says

      I use raw. I’m sure roasted would work but then again they may burn since they are already roasted prior to the baking. I have not tested with roasted nut butter yet.

      • Lisa D. says

        I used Justin’s Classic Almond Butter (almonds are roasted) the first time I made these – and OMG the batch was gone in two days. Last night I made them with Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter (contains evap cane juice, which is disappointing) and wasn’t as happy with the cookie taste, although it was much easier to scoop out of the can. Either way, the cookies will be gone by tomorrow. Joshua, you’ve created a paleo cookie monster.

    • Slim Palate says

      I audibly laughed when I read this. Don’t be ashamed, cookies tend to have their way with you sometimes. So glad you enjoyed them!

  5. Amber says

    Making these now. Do they really need a tsp of baking soda? They seem a little puffy…will rate when I taste them!

  6. Laura says

    You’ve outdone yourself on this recipe.

    I made these tonight. Oh my! They did not spread out as much as described, I wonder if my egg + yolk were a little small. Anyhow, that’s just a side note, what I really want to say is:

    They were DIVINE. Oh, so good.

    I am not a huge sweets eater but I had a hankering and they took care of it. I added walnuts to the second half of the batch and that was great too. Pecans would also be superb. I kind of had to push the dough together with the walnuts in it. The batch with nuts was more fragile but held together once cooled.

  7. LeeAnn Givan says

    Can you substitute muscovado sugar or pure cane sugar for the coconut sugar? Or is there a different consistency?

    • Slim Palate says

      I think it would be okay if you did that. As long as it’s another granulated sugar it should have a similar effect, of course depending on the size of the granules. I don’t know if I would sub all muscovado sugar though as it has a very strong molasses flavor that would be imparted in the cookies. Not that it would be a bad thing, it would just change the taste. With that said I think pure cane sugar would work just fine and would be your best bet.

  8. Marilyn says

    Do you think cashew butter would work? And any suggestions for replacing the coconut sugar, or would that just not be a cookie? :-)

    • Slim Palate says

      I think if you subbed creamy cashew butter that it could work just fine although it might affect the taste a bit. And yes you can sub something for the coconut sugar but it has to be another type of granulated sugar, you cannot substitute stevia or a liquid sweetener of any kind. I prefer coconut sugar for these because it’s the best for taste and happens to be lower glycemic. I’m sure sucanat or organic cane sugar would work equally as well but I have not tested them with either.

  9. says

    You had me at “cookies” in the title. I can’t wait to try these! I will DEFINITELY be making this next weekend and let you know how they go.. I also wanted to say how much I love your blog. Your writing style, photography, and over all story is amazing. :)

  10. says

    These cookies are seriously wonderful! They tasted as good or better than any cookie I’ve baked with flour. I didn’t even have chocolate handy when I made them, and they were still amazing. This will definitely be my go-to cookie from now on. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

    • Slim Palate says

      I have not tested it with flax eggs but I don’t think that a substitution would work since I use both an egg and an egg yolk.

  11. Tori Lorvig says

    Hey I just saw this blog and think it’s splendid! I’m 18, too! And I thought all health food blogs were by soccer moms. It’s good to hear that I’m not the only teen who wants to eat healthy and still enjoy my meals…and snacks and desserts.

    • Slim Palate says

      Haha, there are a lot of soccer mom bloggers out there though! Not many teenage boys. None as far as I know.

  12. Liesbeth says

    These look amazing, but I’m wondering for my diabetic purposes if I could reduce the sugar, maybe increase the nut butter (even though coconut sugar is low gi it’s still sugar for me). I feel like it would affect the overall texture and result

    • Erin B says

      yes you can reduce the sugar. I used 2/3 cup coconut sugar + a bit of extra “nut” butter, I used chunks of 100% chocolate, and then I stuck a dried bing cherry in the middle of each mound before it went into the oven. Tasted perfect for me. And I ate way too many. yum. The recipe also made way more than 12-13 (30 I think) cookies for me, and they didn’t spread that much (some but not A LOT). I did 8 at a time on my stoneware without a problem. I also had to cook them a bit longer than 12 minutes… maybe 14? Of course, I didn’t use almond butter. I made my own mixture of pecan+cashew+pumpkin seed+sunflower seed+coconut butter. I think this recipe would easily adapt to being nut free by making seed(+coconut?) butter (or buying sunbutter).

    • Millerina says

      I only used 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and the used a 1/4 cup cacao nibs, and 1/8 cup of Guittard extra dark choc chips…DELISH. Totally fine to reduce the sugar.

  13. says

    I’m from the UK and looking at making these but wondered if I could substitute the coconut palm sugar. I can’t have coconut palm sugar due to a health condition, however I can tolerate xylitol. I was wondering if I could use that instead as it’s granulated? Thanks in advance, Emma x

    • Slim Palate says

      You cannot sub xylitol, you need something that actually has sugar in it so it caramelizes properly in the oven. You can use any granulated sugar including pure cane sugar, sucanat, etc.

  14. Denise says

    I can’t tell from recipe if I am supposed to add the baking soda, etc to the egg mixture or almond butter…can u please clarify? Can’t wait to try these!

  15. says

    Josh thank you so much! I visited my sister this weekend and made these with cashew butter because it’s what she had. They turned out amazing and we brought them to a friends for dinner. The cookies were devoured quickly!!! Love love love them- yay for a paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe that is EASY and delicious!!!! Thank you :)

  16. Emma says

    Hahaha! Josh, I’ve been following you for a while and haven’t felt the overwhelming urge to comment until I read that “There is no ‘us’ in cookies but there is an ‘I’. Remember that.” Hilarious!! Going to make these tonight – will let you know how I get on!

  17. Sally Kanehen says

    I’ve just discovered your blog through Clean eating with a dirty mind, and it’s amazing!! I’ve pinned so many recipes, they all look so good! You’re quite inspiring, and I am loving your photography style. Congrats on the new book!

  18. Shari says

    Hi Josh, I did go ahead and use Swerve granulated rather than the coconut sugar as I can’t eat that right now. I also used 2 oz of 100% dark chocolate. I have no doubt the coconut sugar would add a whole other dimension, but these are pretty darn fabulous this way as well. Thanks for a great recipe!

  19. Winny says

    Josh, I simply have no words to describe how good these cookies are, they have the exact texture and consistency I love in cookies, crispy outside and slightly soft and chewy inside! So this short comment it’s to simply say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for creating the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and sharing it with us :) I’m sending you a big hug and wishing you much success in anything you do! I can’t wait to get your cook book!

    • Slim Palate says

      Thank you Winny, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Hope you enjoy my cookbook as much as you enjoyed the cookies!

  20. Jenna says

    Well, this is officially my first blog post comment. I just couldn’t stay quiet. I knew we saw eye to eye when you described what drove you to make these. I am not a fan of the almond flour/coconut flour consistency for chocolate chip cookies and these absolutely, 100%, hit the mark!!!! I was so excited after trying a bite that my boyfriend and I were highfiving in the kitchen. Thank you for putting in the time to make these just right. They are perfecto!!

  21. kibra says

    Hi Joshua! The recipe looks superb. Quick question, what can I use as a substitute for the nut butter? I am allergic to all nuts.

    Thanks again,


    • Slim Palate says

      Well, you need a nut butter of some sort. Although if you don’t have an allergy to sunflower seeds I bet that creamy sunflower seed butter would work equally as well. Just as a warning though, I’ve heard that sunflower seed butter does something weird in the oven like turn green. Good luck!

      • Sooz says

        I’m so glad you mentioned that note about sunflower seeds. I made a lovely bread the other day using sunflower meal, and it had green spots (like mould) spotted all through it.

        Still tasted good, so I ate it. But I had been wondering exactly what had done that. Now I know!

  22. Cate says

    Wow-wee! Thanks for this, Joshua! I’d been using a similar recipe with maple syrup, but yours wins, hands down. The texture is heavenly. I used a Chocolove bar (sea salt and almond), plus added unsweetened coconut flakes and a smattering of pecans. Keep on posting, and we’ll keep on drooling.

  23. 2boys2joys says

    You nailed this recipe! By far the best Paleo CCC recipe I have made and I’ve made many. They were all good but these were amazing! Thank you for bringing back the cookie of my childhood.

  24. Kat says

    First recipe of yours that I’ve tried, and I’ve gotta say, these are INCREDIBLE. Not only are they the best paleo baked good I’ve ever made, but potentially the best cookies that I’ve ever had, paleo or not paleo. These are basically my dream cookie (dark chocolate plus salt plus perfect chewiness), and they didn’t disappoint. Thank you SO much for creating such an awesome recipe! These are now my go-to for impressive (yet super easy to make) chocolate chip cookies!

  25. Liv says

    Joshua, these are SUPER! Very easy to make, and very satisfying. What? Did I just stop after eating one cookie? Incredible, (I have a huge sweet tooth and a very hard time limiting my portions for sweets.) A rough estimate puts these at about 120 calories a cookie. I got 14 out of my batch. Will make them a bit smaller next time around. Congratulations on the cookbook btw. I’ve checked it out of the library, but will be getting my own copy. All the best wishes to you, Liv

  26. Malarie says

    Has anyone tried making these up here in the Rocky Mountain region? I’m in Colorado Springs (6600ft), just curious if any adjustments were necessary to account for the elevation. They look divine, excited to make a batch!

    • Bobbie says

      I made these with Sunbutter and they are amazing! I didn’t have much problem besides them falling apart. However that could have been a mistake on my end. Highly recommend making!! You won’t be the least bit sorry.

  27. Sarah W. says

    This is the best paleo cookie recipe ever!!!!!! It didn’t require a mixer, super easy to mix with spatula.

    They didn’t spread as much as I thought they would.

    My husband actually scoffed at the salt on top so I think next time I will omit the post-baking sprinkle.

    • Sarah W. says

      AND for once a recipe made EXACTLY the amount specified! I got 12 cookies. perfection. next time I’m doubling this recipe.

  28. Pat Chapman says

    What, no coconut or almond flour!? The only dry ingredient is 1 tsp of baking soda….surely these won’t work. Well, the dough was pretty decadent and fabulous, but the cookies surely cannot work. Hm. Just sent a photo/text to my hubby letting him know what’s for dessert tonight. Wow. All I can say. Will be my go-to. And yes, I was wrong! Thanks for what you did to create these for healthy sweets.

  29. Jen says

    Oh my. Most amazing Paleo cookies ever. I have made them twice since I discovered your recipe. My kids (ages 8 and 9) and my husband also adored them. Thank you.

  30. Theresa says

    So I get the dunce of the year award, but how exactly does one sift coconut sugar? Google actually failed on this one.

    • Slim Palate says

      Simply sift it like you would sift anything else. Put it in a sifter and shake it around into a bowl. Whatever comes through the sifter is sifted and whatever stays at the top are the clumps that you don’t need in the recipe (you can crush up the clumps later). It’s not 100 percent necessary, I Just like to do it to avoid any clumps and have a uniform texture of the coconut sugar when mixing.

  31. Christa says

    My cookies didn’t spread like is shown here. But I also got more from the recipe so maybe I need to make them larger is the issue?

  32. Bobbie says

    I made these with Sunbutter because I have a nut sensitivity and they turned out great! They taste like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.Pure amazing! I did add a little lemon juice to the batter so they wouldn’t turn green and it worked! Only downfall is the cookies fall apart very easily but maybe I didn’t cook them long enough; I live in Colorado Springs and still adjusting to the elevation with baking.

    • Slim Palate says

      Well it depends. You have to let them cool completely, they are very malleable when hot out of the oven. It could also have been from the lemon juice.

  33. Crystal Reed says

    I made these yesterday and they were delicious but mine would not stay together. Too crumbly. What did I do wrong?

    • Slim Palate says

      Did you use creamy almond butter? Either that or you didn’t mix the ingredients thoroughly enough is my guess.

  34. GregS says

    I have made this recipe 4 times for me and my family. It is my all-time favorite cookie recipe. It even surpasses Tollhouse, which I thought could not be done. Thanks so much! One tip — my coconut sugar was kind of coarse so I ran it through the blender before mixing it in with the almond butter, which made the batter smoother.

  35. Erica says

    These were SOOO good! Thank you! So easy! I plan on changing it up and trying different butters and fillings. :)

  36. melissa says

    What kind of dark chocolate do you use? Where can you find it (whole foods?)? I prefer using chocolate without soy lectin. Thanks!

  37. says

    This is one of the sexiest cookies I’ve ever seen. I’m a huge fan of salty sweet combinations. I like to make my chocolate chip cookies with maple bacon crumbles on top. This recipe is next on my list to try.

  38. says

    I’m smitten, irrevocably, by the lush photos! Also, I just picked up a jar of almond butter. 😉
    Is it okay to chill the dough before baking? Refrigerating cookie dough is something that’s been hammered into my routine, not doing so would feel fiendishly awkward. 😀

    • Slim Palate says

      I wouldn’t refrigerate the dough, the oil might separate. It’s better to use it immediately in my opinion.

  39. Angela says

    This is an awesome cookie recipe, Paleo or not, and so easy to make. I made it with roasted almond butter because it was what I had and wasn’t going to the store to buy raw, but it still turned out really delicious.

    Other Paleo cookie recipes I have tried were way too puffy and crumbly. This one is actually a bit crispy and definitely delivers on chewiness!

    I can’t wait to try it with raw almond butter. My new ‘go-to’ Paleo/grain-free & dairy-free chocolate chip cookie. :)

  40. Kristi says

    Yum! I had only dark chocolate Hershey Kisses(I know it is not the best dark chocolate). I followed the rest of the recipe and put a kiss on top of each cookie. We loved them!!! Thank you!

  41. Hilary says

    I whipped up a batch of these yesterday and was blown away by how delicious they are. They came out perfectly. All I had in the house was roasted almond butter (not raw). It didn’t seem to impact the outcome too much (?). Thanks for the suggestion of a little sea salt. I am such a sucker for sweet-and-salty combinations. Outstanding!!! Thanks so much!

    • Slim Palate says

      It can certainly be doubled but it’s going to make a lot of cookies and you only want to be doing about 6 cookies per sheet because they spread so much so you’ll probably have to do it in 4 batches or so. If you have two cookie sheets you can prepare them on two, bake those, and then repeat the process one more time.

      • Gemma says

        Thanks! I doubled the batch, and used home-made raw almond butter and they came out amazing. Can this be made using a stand-mixer, until the point where the chocolate is stirred in? Carpal tunnel syndrome makes it hard for me to stir…

    • Slim Palate says

      I’ve never tried it with erythritol but I would be afraid that he bitter aftertaste would be unpleasant with this recipe.

  42. Kelly says

    I never comment on blogs, but I just had to say that these are some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. I felt like I was eating a toll house cookie haha. I’ve always been an ice cream person and never really cared for cookies that much to begin with, but my husband wanted to give these a try and I’m glad we did. I’m thankful for all you food bloggers who make it possible for my husband with Crohn’s to have a sweet treat other than just fruit and yogurt every now and again. Thanks for a great, easy recipe!

  43. Jenny says

    Best cookies ever. I gave up refined sugar over the summer and this is such a delightful treat. Thanks for sharing!!

  44. Sarah says

    These are incredible. I have been substituting half the almond butter for an equal amount of coconut flour (the dried leftover fibre from when I make coconut cream), using whole almonds and just throwing everything in the Thermomix at once, and they still work perfectly. Best ever way to use up all that coconut fibre that backs up in my freezer! And nobody who has tasted them has ever guessed that they are from leftovers 😉

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Slim Palate says

      I’m afraid not, apple sauce is not the right type of substitution for this recipe. You can only substitute the coconut sugar for another type of sugar.

  45. Renee says

    Thank you so much for these. My daughter is entering her first finals week as a college freshman and I’m sending a care package. I tried two other paleo chocolate chip cookie recipes last week and was disappointed with both. The texture and taste on these is perfect. (I had to quality control before I could send them, y’know.) I used roasted almond butter because that’s all I had and they came out just fine. You are AWESOME!!

  46. Renee says

    I have to confess, I was stingy. I didn’t put in the full compliment of chocolate. I only used 1 bar from a 3-pack of TJ’s 72% dark chocolate. It looked like enough. They came out good, really really good, but they deserve to have more chocolate so they can be the uber decadent treat they were meant to be. I’m feeling guilty, and now I’m going to have to make them again soon and do right by you and all the people I share these with.

  47. Stef says

    Hi. So I’m totally stumped. The first time I made these cookies, they were the most AMAZING thing ever. They came out perfectly chewy and gewy. Since then, I’ve tried 3-4 times and I CAN NOT get it to work! Once it puffed up and was white-ish, a few times they didn’t flatten, once they were really crumbly… HELP! Any ideas? I’m using the Maranatha no stir almond butter.

  48. Bobbie says


    I used homemade blanched raw almond butter, only 1/2 cup coconut sugar and chopped up a 3.5 oz bar of Equal Exchange Panama Extra Dark Chocolate (80%). I finished the slightly cooled cookies with a few Maldon Sea Salt flakes. DELISH!

  49. Kaelee says

    I’ve made these before and they are divine! I’m making them again but am going to put them in the freezer to take to a party this weekend. Will they be okay to freeze and thaw? Any tips for that? Thanks!!

    • Slim Palate says

      I have not tried freezing them so I’m unsure whether or not they will be good afterward. They do last a few days after being baked though so it would be okay to bake them the day before and then take them!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: