Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies Recipe

Photo of brownies topped with sea salt
These brownies are a tasty marriage of chocolate and a hint of savory


Choc-o-late. Just the thought probably brings a little smile to your face and possibly warm fuzzy thoughts. Mmm. Chocolate. As temperatures dip and more snow is on the horizon, a cozy house filled with the delicious scents of baking is just what you need—not to mention the chocolaty treats that result.

With a creamy, dark, dark chocolate frosting scattered with just a few grains of sea salt, these brownie bites are a tasty marriage of chocolate and a hint of savory, says cookbook author Georgeanne Brennan, who created this recipe for Real Food. And if you are looking for something to bring to a party, these intensely chocolate, not-too-sweet bites are perfect for a dessert buffet; they are cut in small squares with that thought in mind. There are many artisanal, domestic, and imported chocolates to choose from; just be sure to use an unsweetened one, notes Brennan.

Layer the choco-love with a pairing of hot cocoa or pour a cup of coffee and enjoy your freshly baked brownies that just might help melt some thoughts of the snow globe outside the window.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies

Makes 30 brownies

For the Frosting
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

For the Brownies
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon medium coarse sea salt

  1. For the frosting: Blend milk and sugar in a blender at high speed 30 seconds to mix well.

2. Over medium heat, bring water in a double boiler to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put chocolate in upper pan. The simmering water should not touch the bottom of the pan. Melt chocolate 3 minutes, stirring. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool 3 minutes (not too long or it will firm up again).

3. Add chocolate to blender and blend 1 minute to mix. Scrape down sides of blender. Blend on medium to high speed 4 minutes, until mixture has thickened. It will be very creamy. Refrigerate 1 hour, lightly covered, or up to 1 day.

4. For the brownies: Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and fine salt.

6. Melt the chocolate. (See step 2 in “For the frosting” above for instructions.)

7. In a large bowl, using an electric beater, beat butter 2 minutes, until creamy. Gradually add sugar and when well-blended, add eggs and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla then chocolate. Blend well. Add flour mixture in 2 to 3 batches, beating well after each.

8. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter. Pour batter into dish and smooth with a spatula. Bake about 20 minutes, until center is firm to the touch, edges have pulled away slightly from pan, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

9. Remove to a wire rack to cool. When cooled, cut into 1½-inch squares. Frost immediately or within a day.

10. To frost, place 1 teaspoon frosting in center of each brownie and swirl. Just before serving, sprinkle each brownie with 3 to 4 grains sea salt. If sea salt seems too coarse, crush a bit using a mortar and pestle or the back of a wooden spoon.

11. Unfrosted brownies will keep up to 4 days; frosted, unsalted brownies, 2 days. Store in a single layer, lightly covered with aluminum foil (do not let foil touch frosting).

Nutrition info Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies (per serving): CALORIES 120 (50 from fat); FAT 6g (sat. 3g); CHOL 22mg; SODIUM 105mg; CARB 17g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 2g


Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.