Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies
Are you a caramel fan? The sauce is typically served on top of ice cream, but imagine stirring it into cookie dough. Oh yeah, it’s as delicious as it sounds. These homemade caramel cookies are loaded with chocolate chips and sprinkled with sea salt. They are the perfect balance of sweet and salty!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Fun flavor. The caramel adds a unique taste to otherwise classic chocolate chip cookies!
- Reliable recipe. I use this cookie dough base in several recipes and just switch up the mix-ins (like these m&m cookies).
- Perfect texture. The centers are chewy and gooey, while the edges are slightly crispy.
- Sweet and salty. A little sprinkle of sea salt complements the chocolate and caramel flavors.
- Caramel sauce: Use a good-quality caramel sauce (not syrup). I like the Trader Joe’s brand or Stonewall Kitchen.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar creates a chewy texture and adds a subtle molasses flavor.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that is melted and slightly cooled. Different brands of salted butter have different amounts of salt so it’s better to add it separately.
- Eggs: Use room temperature eggs. It helps bind the ingredients and the additional egg yolk makes a rich flavor and chewy texture.
Add some mix-ins. I suggest 1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts. Other options include chopped pretzels, toffee pieces, shredded coconut or dried cranberries.
Use brown butter. Start with 14 Tablespoons of unsalted butter before browning. Water evaporates during the cooking process and the butter will reduce to 12 Tablespoons (3/4 cup).
How to Make Caramel Cookies
- Whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.
- Mix wet ingredients. Beat butter brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- Mix in the caramel sauce. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl if necessary.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Chill the dough for 2 hours.
- Scoop dough into balls and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Use good quality caramel sauce. This makes all the difference in taste and texture. A thick sauce is best.
Chill the dough. This is super important if you like thick, chewy cookies. I suggest 2 hours, but ideally overnight for best results. It’s also important because the caramel melts in the oven. If it’s cold, the cookies will spread less.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Since caramel is sticky, this will make clean up much easier!
Use room temperature ingredients, specifically the butter and eggs. It makes the dough easier to mix and creates a better textured cookie!
Weigh your ingredients with a scale. It’s more accurate than using measuring cups. If you don’t have a scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife (don’t pack it down).
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I suggest placing parchment paper in between layers of cookies so they don’t stick.
Freeze dough for up to 3 months. Wrap in plastic wrap, label and date. Defrost in the refrigerator before scooping and baking. Baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container to avoid freezer burn.
Make ahead the dough and store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Let the dough sit at room temperature until soft enough to scoop, about 10 to 15 minutes minutes.
The dough was too warm. This can happen if you live in a warm or humid climate. It’s also possible the body heat from your hands warmed the dough when it was rolled into balls.
No. Syrup is thinner than sauce. As a result the dough will be softer and the cookies will spread.
Yes, the recipe doubles well. Make sure your mixing bowl is large enough for all the ingredients.
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Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies
- 2 ⅓ cups (290 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (170 g or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup (200 g) packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (70 g) good-quality caramel sauce, plus extra for drizzling on cookies
- 1 cup (170 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Sea salt flakes for sprinkling on top
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat butter, brown sugar and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla, and mix until combined. Mix in the caramel. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator. If it’s too firm to scoop, let it sit for 10 minutes until soft enough to scoop. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop chilled dough. Roll into balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are set, but the centers are soft. Cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When ready to serve, add a drizzle of caramel and sprinkle of sea salt.