Think of the best “brownie” cookie you’ve ever had and double the fun and the flavor – now you’ve got Rocky Road. With your choice of mix-ins (my favorite combo is pretzels, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows), you can customize these as you like. Try potato chips, Teddy grahams, dried fruit, toasted nuts or chopped roasted peanuts. Before you make these, be sure to read all of my tips in Baking Together #44: Rocky Road is a Party-in-a-Cookie.

Makes about 14 to 16 cookies

  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened, natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups mix-ins, lightly packed (choose from the options below)
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)


1. Put the butter in a medium saucepan and set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is melted, about 2 minutes. Slide the pan off the heat, add the sugar and cocoa powder and whisk until blended. Set aside to cool while the oven heats (about 15 minutes).

2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Have ready 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment or non-stick liners. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl until well blended.

3. After 15 minutes, add the egg and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Add the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until blended. Add the mix-ins and stir until just combined.

4. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop (see note), scoop the dough and arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Gently press down to flatten the mounds to about 1/2-inch thickness and sprinkle the tops with a touch of flaky sea salt (optional but delicious).

5. Bake until the cookies are puffed and the tops are cracked and no longer wet, 8 to 9 minutes. Move the cookie sheet to a rack to cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies from the sheet to a rack until cooled.

Susie Middleton


Mix-Ins: Choose up to 3 for a total of 1 to 1 ½ cups.


  • Hearty potato chips (I like Lays Wavy, lightly crushed)
  • Lightly salted peanuts or cashews (coarsely chopped)
  • Almonds, pecans or walnuts (toasted and coarsely chopped)
  • Salted tiny pretzels (coarsely chopped if using larger ones)
  • Dried cherries or chopped dried apricots
  • Mini Teddy Grahams (any flavor and coarsely chopped)
  • Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (any flavor)
  • Mini marshmallows (snipped if using the standard size)