Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

Thursday, August 24, 2017

This week we welcome guest blogger, Christina Lane. Christina is the founder of the popular blog DessertForTwo.com. Her food writing and photography have been featured on popular websites including The Kitchn, Tasty Kitchen, Babble, Fine Cooking, Serious Eats, and the Huffington Post. A Texan by birth, Lane’s desserts are a unique blend of Southern, Californian and Midwestern influences. She bakes and eats dessert daily.

I’m going to be a bit bossy with this recipe and insist that you eat these cookies warm, straight out of the oven. Surely you can manage this (check your tender loving patience at the door, please), and know that I do apologize for being so demanding. Imagine me, shaking my finger at you saying ‘eat these cookies NOW.’ You might be mad for a few seconds, or images of your Mom telling you to ‘clean your plate’ as a child might be conjured, but after one bite, you’ll know why I’m right. (I’m always right about cookies, please take note).

It never occurred to me to include this extra step in the instructions until I went for a cookie again, a few hours after they had cooled. The texture change is very noticeable. I like the cookies both ways, don’t get me wrong, but the caramel bits become extra chewy at room temp. They’re best enjoyed slightly warm, off the cookie sheet. And I mean, the absolute BEST.

If you loved my salted vanilla bean espresso chocolate chip cookies last month, you’re going to love these chewy, salted caramel cookies. This recipe again makes a small batch, just 1 dozen cookies, because self control is weakened by such ingredients as caramel, Kerrygold butter, and flaky sea salt.

In order to obtain the right level of salt for these cookies, I bake them with Kerrygold unsalted butter, and then add kosher salt in the recipe. After baking, a heavy sprinkle of large-flake sea salt on top is all you need. If you substitute a stick of Kerrygold salted butter, leave out the salt in the recipe.

The caramel bits you see floating about the cookie are the bagged caramel chunks that look like chickpeas. They’re made to melt at the slightest hint of heat with little coaxing, and then they firm back up to hold their shape. I’m afraid if you used regular, chopped caramel pieces, they would melt into a mess. You really need the ‘caramel bits.’ The label also says ‘unwrapped for easy melting.’

Did you know that you’re just 15 minutes away from warm, chewy salted caramel cookies?

Salted caramel cookies header 2

Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies
Prep:  5 minutes
Cook:  11 minutes
Serves:  1 dozen
Ingredients:

6 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter (at room temperature)

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg yolk (white reserved for another use)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup caramel bits

flaky sea salt, for topping cookies

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375F, and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat. (Silicone mats help cookies cook evenly and slows the spreading a bit. If you don’t have one, line your pan with two layers of parchment paper, and shorten the baking time by 1 minute).

In a medium bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer on high for about 20 seconds. Add the sugars and continue beating.

Next, add the egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until well-combined.

Sprinkle the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and caramel bits over the dough, and fold to combine everything.

Scoop out 12 dough balls onto the cookie sheet (leave them in little mounds, do not flatten), and bake for 10-12 minutes. Don’t be afraid of a little color on the cookies. The edges should be noticeably brown before removing them from the oven, and the tops may appear puffy and pale. The cookies will flatten and crackle as they cool (delicious!)

Enjoy WARM right out of the oven. If you have leftover cookies, heat them for 7 seconds in the microwave to soften caramel before eating.