Sweet and Salty Desserts

Salt isn't just for caramels: We like the balance it brings to chocolate, roasted peaches, olive oil cake, and more. Here are 12 of our favorite salt-accented desserts.

Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt
In his cookbook Salted, Mark Bitterman writes of this peach, cinnamon, and salt recipe: "Your first bite will expand the boundaries of sensation, separating your mouth from the rest of your body, and you'll be feeling spiciness in the warmth of your hands and smokiness in the tingling of your toes." We agree.Courtesy of Ten Speed Press
Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
A heady mixture of olive oil and preserved oranges flavors this moist, dense Sicilian dessert.André Baranowski
Salted Caramels
Fleur de sel mimics crunchy ice crystals atop these chewy bites of vanilla caramel.Todd Coleman
Olive Oil Gelato
Olive Oil Gelato
Smooth, grassy, and slightly savory, this rich olive oil gelato makes for an elegant dessert—we love it topped with a sprinkle of sea salt.Helen Rosner
Chocolate Caramel Tart
When making this dessert (from Brooklyn's Marlow & Sons), we found that darker, Dutch-process cocoa powder makes for a more flavorful, cookie-like crust. See the recipe for Chocolate Caramel Tart »André Baranowski
Punitions (French Shortbread Cookies)
Use a good salted butter with a high butterfat content, such as Kerrygold, to make these shortbread cookies. See the recipe for Punitions »Todd Coleman
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Nougat Squares
These decadent candies taste best with a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.Todd Coleman
Caramel Pretzel Bars
Buttery shortbread meets gooey caramel meets salty pretzels in cookie bar form. We love that the caramel calls for sugar, honey, and maple syrup; it creates a multifaceted sweetness that pairs beautifully with the pretzel's salt.MacKenzie Smith
Butter Turtles
Butter Turtles
This recipe is from Food Editor Ben Mims, and was adapted from an old Southern Living recipe. The combination of salty nuts, sweet, buttery shortbread, and dark chocolate will have anyone hooked.Noah Fecks
Better Nutters
This peanut butter sandwich cookie--Thomas Keller's take on his favorite childhood cookie--has a sophisticated edge thanks to vanilla paste and high-quality butter, while keeping all of the sweet-salty goodness from the classic Nutter Butters on which it's based.Noah Fecks
Apricot Tarts with Pistachios
Lightly sweetened apricots are baked quickly in a simple short-bread crust for these rustic tarts, which are garnished with vibrant green pistachios and fleur de sel. Other stone fruits, like plums and peaches, will work just as well.Penny De Los Santos