These chocolate 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 are irregular shapes with 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 on 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. It doesn’t matter which salt you use if your salt will dissolve (like in soups or sauces), but you’ll want to adjust the amount. But use large crystal sea salt when you want that 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 chocolate caramel 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 chocolate caramel cookies, please leave a comment and rating here.
Looking to learn?
Sign up to get recipes full of kitchen tips and tricks.
Looking to learn?
Sign up to get recipes full of kitchen tips and tricks.
Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
Week 17: p52 of a favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Week 18: pâte à choux – bacon cheese puffs
Week 19: veggies turned sweet – red velvet beet waffles
Week 20: plating – chocolate chip cookie (butter challenge)
Week 21: Birthday Party! – chocolate orange cake
Weed 22: Scandinavian – Swedish apple cake (plus a bonus sourdough discard apple cake)
Week 23: Layers – Pecan apple oat bars (post is pending)
Week 24: Tarts – rainbow fruit tart
Week 25: Bagels and donuts – maple donut cake
Week 26: Surprise inside – surprise heart yeast bread (pending)
Week 27: Local favorite – Rainier cherry crisp
Week 28: Seasonal ingredients – blackberry lemon bread
Week 29: French dessert – peanut butter banana clafoutis (a classic with non-classic flavors!)
Week 30: Savory baking – pizza
Week 31: Unusual ingredient – juniper lime drizzle cake
Week 32: Gelatin (homemade marshmallows) and 33: Picnic – peanut butter rice krispie treats
Week 34: Brunch – spinach and feta muffins
Week 35: Laminated dough – puff pastry cinnamon twists
Week 36: Friendship challenge – chocolate chip marshmallow cookie bars
Next week: Decoration Challenge: Royal Icing or Fancy Glaze