Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I could eat all the cookies in the world. If they’re chocolate chip. And stuffed with caramel. And baked with pudding mix. And topped with sea salt. And taste like THIS.

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These cookies are pretty big. Definitely big enough to split in half. That way you get to pull apart that gooey caramel in the middle. But who am I kidding; these are way too yummy to split. And they bake up beautifully- super soft in the middle with golden edges. I did chill the dough for an hour or so. That way they hold their shape in the oven and rise up nice and tall. Plus, chilled cookie dough. Yes please! I’m pretty positive I have a new favorite chocolate chip cookie.

And I do mean favorite.

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To make salted caramel chocolate chip cookies you’ll need about 12 chewy caramels. Werther’s and Kraft work well. Pick up a 3.5 ounce box of vanilla instant pudding mix- be sure that it is instant.

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Start by whisking the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

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Beat the softened butter and both sugars together in an electric mixing bowl until it’s soft and creamy, about 2 minutes on medium high speed.

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Add in the egg and vanilla extract (can’t have too much vanilla!) until well combined. Reduce the speed down to low and gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

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Pour in 2 cups worth of semisweet chocolate chips (set a small amount aside for topping the cookies) and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. I know it’s hard to wait, but chilling makes all the difference.

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Okay, here’s the funny part. Scoop out 3 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Repeat with another 3 tablespoons. Place a caramel in between the 2 dough balls and roll together to make one ginormous dough ball. At this point you’ll be thinking that I’m crazy and that these cookies will be WAY too big, but trust me. They will hold their form in the oven (hence why chilling is so important). Repeat with the remaining dough and caramels, and you’ll end with about 1 dozen giant balls of cookie dough. Spread them out 3-4 inches apart on very lightly greased cookie sheets. I like to mist the sheet, then wipe down with a paper towel. Too much cooking spray will yield flat cookies! If you’re feeling fancy, poke some extra chocolate chips on the tops of each ball.

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Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes. You want the center to be slightly undercooked, but the edges set and golden. The biggest crime of un-chewy cookies is overbaked cookies. Try and resist the urge to leave them in an extra minute. Pull them out when the tops are ever so lightly golden, and after they sit on the tray for 10 minutes, they will likely be cooked through to perfection. Sprinkle each cookie with some coarse sea salt, because these are salted caramel cookies. 

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After 10 minutes, transfer them from the baking sheet to a wire rack. To enjoy these cookies at their very best, use all your will power to let them cool to room temperature. Then when you’re ready to serve, warm them in the microwave for a few seconds. Seems contradictory, but you’re left with the right chewy texture, and an ooey-gooey warm caramel filling.

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Have any neighbors you want to wow by sharing chocolate chip cookies with a makeover?

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So if you’re looking for a solid new chocolate chip cookie recipe, I recommend that you bust out that mixing bowl immediately and enjoy the ooey-gooey mess out of these.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Perfectly baked chocolate chip cookies with a gooey caramel center and topped with sea salt. My new standard of cookie.
Servings Prep Time
12 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
14 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
12 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
14 minutes 1 hour
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Perfectly baked chocolate chip cookies with a gooey caramel center and topped with sea salt. My new standard of cookie.
Servings Prep Time
12 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
14 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
12 cookies 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
14 minutes 1 hour
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 12 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3.4 ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 12 soft caramels like Werther's or Kraft, unwrapped
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, instant vanilla pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In an electric mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and both sugars together until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla and met until well blended.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the batter, and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 and very lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
  7. Scoop out 3 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Repeat with another 3 tablespoons. Place a caramel in between the 2 dough balls and roll together to make one large dough ball. Repeat with the remaining dough, yielding about 12.
  8. Press additional chocolate chips on top of each dough ball (for looks), and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the center is slightly undercooked but the edges are golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle cookies with sea salt. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Store in an airtight container. Recipe adapted from LeCremeDeLaCrumb.

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