These chocolate and caramel cookies combine soft and fudgy cookies with salty caramel chips and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top. If you like brownie-like chocolate cookies and salted caramel, these chocolate caramel cookies are made for you.
These salted caramel chip chocolate cookies were first baked for the 2021 Reddit 52 week baking challenge (Week 37: Sweet and salty). The recipe was adapted from a Tom Douglas recipe for triple chocolate cookies to use in ice cream sandwiches. It still uses melted bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa for the brownie-like cookies and adds salted caramel chips and flaky sea salt for a more balanced flavor.
As an aside, if you’re looking to make ice cream sandwiches, I think both this double chocolate caramel cookie and the Tom Douglas recipe make cookies that are too soft. Instead, I would recommend using the oreo cookies from the Flour Bakery Cookbook.
What is flaky sea salt?
Just like it sounds, flaky sea salt is made of flakes of salt that have irregular shapes and a fine crystal structure. I use flaky sea salt as a finishing salt in this chocolate caramel cookie recipe and on my salted caramel pudding.
Flaky sea salt is much more expensive than your everyday cooking salt. You could sub a small amount of another salt here, but go easy with it.
Tip from the wise quacker: table salt has the smallest salt crystals, then coarse or kosher salt, and then sea salt. That means that there’s more salt in a teaspoon of table salt than a teaspoon of coarse salt. If your salt is going to dissolve (like in soups or sauces), it doesn’t really matter which salt you use, but you might need to adjust the amount. Use large crystal sea salt when you want a hit of salt that melts on your tongue, like on pretzels or these cookies.
Tips and tricks
There are no unusual ingredients or challenging steps in making these cookies. The recipe starts with creaming butter and sugar, adding the eggs and vanilla extract, the melted bittersweet chocolate, then the dry ingredients, and then the salted caramel chips.
First, cream together butter and sugar (Panel #1, below). It won’t get light and fluffy like when you’re making cake. Panel #2 shows the batter after the three eggs and vanilla have been added one at a time.
You’ll want to let the melted chocolate cool just a bit before adding it so it doesn’t cook the eggs. Panel #3 shows the mixture after the melted chocolate has been added.
Finally, Panel #4 above shows the chocolate cookie dough after stirring in the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix at this point.
Once you have added the caramel chips, chill the cookie batter in the refrigerator for just about 10 to 15 minutes. This makes it easier to scoop. But don’t leave the batter for too long, or it will be hard to scoop.
You can bake these chocolate caramel cookies at this point or put the cookie balls on a baking sheet for freezing. If you want to bake right away, space the cookies one to two inches apart. They’ll spread a bit more if you bake them from here.
If you want to freeze the chocolate caramel cookies for later, you can crowd the scoops on the cookie sheet, but don’t let them touch. Leave the chocolate cookie balls on the cookie sheet in the freezer overnight, then transfer the cookies to a freezer bag for three to six months. They’ll just take a minute or two longer to bake.
Bake for about 12 minutes. The tops will be cracked, and the cookies should still be slightly soft. Sprinkle on the flaky sea salt while the cookies are still warm.
Store at room temperature in an air-tight container. Or freeze for three to six months.
Variations and substitutions
- Substitute other chips in place of the salted caramel chips. The original Tom Douglas recipe called for chocolate chips. Or make them with mint chips and sub mint extract for the vanilla for a mint chocolate cookie.
- These cookies will work with semisweet chocolate, but they may be too sweet for some tastes.
No, you don’t have to do anything, but you will always get more consistent results if you weigh your ingredients, especially when you’re baking.
I have used both King Arthur and Hershey’s brand chips in these salted caramel chip chocolate cookies.
All drop cookies freeze well. Just scoop the cookie dough onto a lined cookie sheet and freeze the dough balls for a few hours or overnight. Place them into a freezer bag and squeeze the air out. They can be baked straight out of the freezer at the same temperature for just an extra minute or two.
If you love these caramel chip chocolate cookies, check out some other uglyducklingbakery cookie and brownie recipes like these mini chocolate chip cookies, Nutella blondies, peanut butter Rice Krispie treats, chocolate chip marshmallow cookie bars, or lemon lavender shortbread.
Chocolate Caramel Cookies
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 10 ounces (283 grams) bittersweet chocolate
- ½ cup (2.2 ounces or 63 grams) bleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (0.8 ounces or 24 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (7.1 ounces or 200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup salted caramel chips
- flaky sea salt for topping cookies optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F or 175°C.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or whatever way you are most used to and let it cool slightly as you make the cookies.10 ounces (283 grams) bittersweet chocolate
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.½ cup (2.2 ounces or 63 grams) bleached all-purpose flour, ¼ cup (0.8 ounces or 24 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or medium-sized bowl if you are using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about three minutes until mixed well.5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup (7.1 ounces or 200 grams) granulated sugar
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed for about one minute between each addition. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.3 large eggs
- Add the vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for one minute.1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add in the melted chocolate and beat until mixed.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low or by hand just until the dry ingredients have been combined.
- Stir in the salted caramel chips by hand.1 cup salted caramel chips
- Put the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to make the batter easier to scoop. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
- Using a medium-sized cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop out cookies onto the baking sheet, leaving 1 to 2 inches between cookie balls.
- Bake for about 12 minutes. The tops will be cracked, and the cookies should still be slightly soft.
- If using, lightly sprinkle on the flaky sea salt while the cookies are still warm.
- Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, and then transfer them to a baking rack to cool fully.
- These cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for about one week or frozen for 3 to 6 months.
If you make these salted caramel chip chocolate cookies, please leave a comment and rating here.
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