Let’s get in the Christmas Spirit with these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies, shall we? ❤
I spent most of my life disliking biscuits (that’s what we called most cookies back in the day!). “Never a biscuit person,”I learnt to say very early on. And then when the obvious follow up question was “Would you like a bag of chips then?”, instantly I’d say, “Not a chips person, either!”
Much to the chagrin of all my friends’ moms, it was hard to appease me with chips and biscuits at snack-time. I could tell it was a hiccup. What do you serve a nine-year-old who has zero interest packaged crisps?
When I look back, I can’t help thinking that maybe if there were home-baked cookies, I wouldn’t have said no so often. I would have politely picked a piece off the tray to honour the effort put into baking them, taken a bite, then positively polished off the entire tray. Who could resist home baked goodies? 😉
I hate to admit it, but the turning point of my relationship with cookies came when I first ate a White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie from Subway. Yes. I know. SUBWAY! (I love it, it’s no secret.) I took one bite of that gooey, melty cookie, with the subtle crunch and earthiness of the macadamia nuts and thought, “Everyone’s been doing cookies wrong this whole time!”
That’s also when I began calling cookies ‘cookies’, instead of biscuits. Man, I grew up! 😀
Fast forward a few years and here we are. I’m smitten with cookies and I reserve almost all of my cookie making to Christmas time. I just find it more apt, more ‘in the spirit’, if you know what I mean? So, when I saw Erin Clarkson’s (you must visit her beautiful blog, Cloudy Kitchen!) gorgeous Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies, I knew they had to make an appearance at my Christmas table. And I think they would be a wonderful addition to yours too!
This recipe makes about 22 cookies. Here’s what you need:
- Granulated White Sugar – 200 g, for the caramel
- Unsalted Butter – 225 g
- Light Brown Sugar – 125 g, packed
- Granulated White Sugar – 50 g, for the cookie dough
- Eggs – 2, large
- All Purpose Flour – 330 g
- Baking Powder – 3/4 tsp
- Baking Soda – 3/4 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- 70% Dark Chocolate – 225 g, roughly chopped into chunks
- Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
- Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling
Here’s how you make these drop-dead-divine Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
- Make the Caramel: Place 200g granulated white sugar in a heavy bottom pot on medium heat. While the sugar melts, line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Stir the melted sugar often with a whisk and let it cook until the caramel turns a deep golden hue and all the sugar crystals and clumps have dissolved. Pour the smooth caramel on the lined cookie sheet in an even layer and leave it to cool and harden.
- Brown the Butter: Melt the butter in a pan placed on medium heat. Continue to cook, as the butter froths and turns a deep amber shade. When little browned bits begin floating around and the butter is nutty take it off the heat and leave to cool for a while.
- Make the Cookie Dough: In a large bowl beat brown butter, light brown sugar and 50 g of granulated white sugar. Add in an egg at a time, then continue beating till the mixture becomes pale. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat on slow speed until all the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
- Crush the Caramel: Using a mortar, beat the hardened caramel and break into a few large pieces. Beware of sharp caramel shards flying around the kitchen! Place the large pieces in a ziplock bag, zip it up, then using a rolling pin, crush the caramel into smaller chunks.
- Add the Mix-Ins: Toss the crushed caramel shards and chopped chocolate chunks into the dough and using a spatula mix them in.
- Shape the Cookies: Using an ice-cream scoop, place leveled scoops of cookie dough on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1.5 inches apart from each other. You will be able to bake 8-10 cookies at a time.
- Bake: Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are a tad bit browned and the cookies have splayed out and puffed up. Take them out, and while still hot, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and using a large round cookie cutter, press the edges in while going around each cookie in circles to reign in their shape (another one of Erin’s genius tricks!).
- Serve: These cookies can be served warm or cooled completely and stored in air tight containers for up to 5 days.
Why I love these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies
The classic Chocolate Chip Cookie is not my favourite cookie in the world. I”d pick these Brookies or my favourite Christmas Sugar Cookies over Chocolate Chip Cookies, any day. But these cookies? They are right there on the top of my list along with Alison Roman’s Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies!
For starters, Erin’s recipes are always reliable and innovative. She toys around with ingredients till she comes up with glorious concoctions that never fail to impress. And these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies definitely make the cut.
They are rich, buttery, and so gooey. The experience is almost other worldly, like being enveloped in the softest, mushiest hug. Remember the ever sexy brown butter that I spoke about in this post? It makes a rather boisterous comeback in this recipe, and man does it wow once more! The warm notes of salted caramel add oodles of flavour to the cookie, while large melty chocolate chunks bring comfort, sweetness and indulgent luxuriance. Those crackling uneven flakes of sea salt perfectly offset the sweetness, heightening every flavour note while at it.
About a million times better than a regular Chocolate Chip Cookie. You’ve got to taste it to believe it!
What I did differently
One glance at Erin’s recipe and I was irrevocably in love with it. But right off the bat I knew that if my family, friends and I were to really enjoy it, I was going to have to reduce the amount of sugar drastically. That and the fact that the muscovado sugar needed a replacement as the stores here don’t have it on their racks.
It was clear to me, making these changes would have a significant impact on the resultant flavour and texture of the cookie. But I took the risk any way.
I started off with a combination of 125 g of packed light brown sugar and 50 g of granulated white sugar. I’ve learnt that brown sugar gives baked goods lots of body and gooeyness. And I like using granulated white sugar for just the slightest bit of crisp. Working this combination through the batter, I found that I was happy with the amount of sweetness, and knew it would only get sweeter with the addition of caramel shards and chocolate chunks. Now all I needed to worry about was the texture…
These cookies baked up beautifully and I couldn’t be happier with the texture! The densely packed cookie dough bloomed and puffed in the oven and made for fudgey, gooey cookies interspersed with crunchy caramel bits and pockets of melting chocolate; cookies that will make you go weak in your knees!
Why you should make these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- These cookies are super easy to make. Yes, there are a few elements to put together, like making the caramel and cooling it to a crisp, and browning the butter. But both of these elements require nothing more than a watchful eye; certainly no elbow grease.
- Zero resting time! Ever wanted to make a cookie and eat it NOW? This is the recipe for you. The addition of the salted caramel and browned butter to the batter eliminates the need for the cookie dough to rest in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavours meld and the sugar to caramelize, like most regular Chocolate Chip Cookies call for.
- Perfect for picky eaters. Kids may say a loud NO to Gingerbread Cookies (can’t blame them, those are such ‘adulting’ flavours!) this Christmas, but there’s no one could resist these!
- They are comfort food. Though I think they’d be great for the holidays, these cookies are the comforting hug you need any time of year!
- Because they are Salted. Caramel. Chocolate. Chunk. Cookies. with Brown. Butter! DUH!
Want to Pin This recipe for later? Here you go…
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