Enjoy the perfect balance of sweet and salty with this easy-to-bake salted caramel chocolate chip cookie recipe. They're chewy in the middle, crisp on the edges, and loaded with chocolate chips for a tasty treat that's just as satisfying as my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
Why you'll love these cookies
If you are a caramel lover, you have to try these easy-to-bake salted caramel chocolate chip cookies that blend gooey caramel and rich chocolate chunks into a golden, crunchy treat, topped with a sprinkle of sea salt for the ultimate sweet-salty flavor experience.
Whip up your new favorite cookies with ease using this straightforward recipe. Whether you've got salted caramel candies or soft caramels lying around, they're the secret to creating a heavenly homemade batch, ready to delight at any moment.
These salted caramel chocolate chip cookies are super yummy with a chewy texture and crunchy sides, just like my popular peanut butter and s'mores cookie recipes.
More Chocolate chip cookies
Best caramel to use for caramel cookies?
When making caramel cookies, the best caramel to use is usually a soft, chewy kind that won't harden too much when cooled.
Homemade caramel made from scratch is ideal because you can control its consistency, ensuring it's soft enough to blend into the dough but not so liquid that it leaks out during baking. You can cook it to a 'soft ball' stage where it's pliable and chewy at room temperature.
If you're looking for convenience, store-bought soft caramel candies that you chop into small pieces work well, too.
These caramels will melt slightly as the cookies bake, creating pockets of sweet, gooey caramel throughout each cookie. Just make sure to choose quality caramel candies that are known for their rich flavor and buttery texture to give your cookies that irresistible caramel taste.
Ingredients and substitutions
*You can find the recipe card with quantities and instructions at the end of this page.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is ideal for creating a sturdy yet soft texture in cookies, but you can also use cake flour for a more delicate crumb. Adding cornstarch helps to tenderize the dough, resulting in a more tender and chewy cookie.
- Baking Soda: Helps the cookies rise and spread just the right amount.
- Salt: A pinch of sea salt enhances the flavors and complements the caramel.
- Butter: Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature or melted butter but cooled first (brown butter is also great), provides richness and helps with leavening.
- Sugars: A mix of dark brown sugar or light brown sugar for moisture and depth of flavor, and white granulated sugar for sweetness and crisp edges.
- Eggs: Bind the ingredients together and add moisture; room-temperature eggs will mix more evenly.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds a classic sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with chocolate and caramel.
- Chocolate Chips: Semi sweet chocolate chips, chocolate chunks or milk chocolate chips add gooey chocolate pockets to the cookies.
- Salted Caramel candies: Either store-bought (Werther's soft caramels) or homemade caramel bits, or butterscotch chips, ensure it's thick enough not to make the dough too wet.
- Flaky Sea Salt: Sprinkling on top before baking creates a delightful contrast and intensifies the caramel flavor.
How to Make Chewy Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream butter and sugars
- Place the softened butter with white sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer or in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat at medium speed for about 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract into the butter mixture and mix again for 1 minute to incorporate.
Add dry ingredients
- Add the dry ingredients, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and fleur de sel (sea salt) to the wet ingredients.
- Add also the dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks and the salted caramel pieces or caramel bits.
- Mix with a wooden spoon or with your hands until the cookie dough is homogeneous and a bit sticky.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or with a silicone baking mat.
- Using your hands or a cookie scoop, shape cookie dough balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheet covered, making sure to separate them by about 2 inches / 5 cm.
- Add extra chocolate chips and bake for about 12 - 15 minutes until lightly golden brown on top but still a little soft in the middle.
- Allow the baked cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet before letting the cookie cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Sprinkle a hint of sea salt on top of your salted caramel chocolate chip cookies and enjoy with a glass of milk.
Room Temperature: Store cookies can be stored at room temperature for one week when placed in an airtight container or under a dome.
How to Freeze Cookies? You can freeze them for up to 3 months either after baking, when they are completely cooled, in storage bags.
Or before baking by shaping them into cookie dough ball, you will then just need to let them come back to room temperature before following the baking instructions of the recipe.
Tips for this recipe
- Chill Your Dough: Chilling the dough solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. So, the cookies spread less, and you get a thicker, more robust cookie.
- Measure Accurately: Be precise with your measurements, especially for the flour and sugar. Using a kitchen scale can help ensure that you have the exact right amount, which can make or break your cookie texture.
- Add Salt with Care: Since you're making salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, be mindful of the salt content. If your caramel or butter is already salted, you may want to reduce the additional salt called for in the recipe to avoid an overly salty cookie.
- Brown Your Butter: For an added depth of flavor, consider browning the butter before adding it to your cookie dough. Browned butter adds a nutty, caramelized taste that pairs wonderfully with the salted caramel.
- Underbake Slightly: Pull the cookies out of the oven when they are just barely set and still soft in the middle. They will continue to cook on the baking sheet after you remove them from the oven, which can result in a gooier cookie if that's your preference.
- Use Quality Ingredients: The better the quality of your chocolate and caramel, the tastier your cookies will be. Look for good quality chocolate chips or chunks and a caramel that has a rich, genuine flavor.
- Cool on the Pan: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This brief cooling period allows the cookies to set and makes them easier to handle without breaking.
Nutty Delight: Mix in chopped pecans or walnuts for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor that complements the caramel.
Double Chocolate: Use a mix of milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips, or add cocoa powder to the dough for a double chocolate cookie with caramel chips.
Stuffed Cookies: Place a small piece of soft caramel candy in the center of each cookie dough ball for a gooey caramel center.
White Chocolate Twist: Substitute the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips for a sweeter, creamier chocolate experience.
S'mores Variation: Incorporate mini marshmallows and graham cracker pieces into the dough for a s'mores-inspired treat.
Spiced Cookies: Add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough to give the cookies a warm, spiced flavor.
If you love caramel recipes
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