These cookies are my Christmas gift to you.
The dark chocolate brownie cookies on their own are pretty spectacular. As you can see from the photos, they have that chewy, craggy, cracked edge thing going on that makes brownies so awesome (and the reason why brownie edge pans exist). And then they are fudgy, soft and intensely chocolately on the inside. You could just make the brownie cookie part of these and make a darn good cookie.
I like that the caramel in these is a total surprise. Looking at the outside of these cookies, you’d probably never guess there was a pocket of caramel-y goodness waiting for you inside.
Depending on the softness of caramels you use (I used Trader Joe’s sea salt caramels), these cookies will be nice and gooey even at room temperature, but for optimal decadence, I recommend heating them up just a touch before eating. Five or ten seconds in the microwave does wonders.
I’ll be the first to admit that this batter is a bit…strange to work with. When you’re mixing it up, you’re going to look back at the recipe a good dozen times and think, “Now, that just can’t be right.” But it is!
When you first mix up the batter, it’s going to be super thin and liquidy—think cake batter. Something you’d never be able to form into a cookie shape, let alone smoosh around a caramel. But as the batter rests and chills in the fridge, it thickens up something fierce, and ends up turning into the consistency of fudge. It’s still a touch sticky to deal with, but with damp hands, you can make it work. And a little bit of cookie dough on your hands is totally worth it for these intensely chocolate cookies.
I’ve talked in previous cookie posts about the importance of watching your cookies like a hawk while they’re in the oven to make sure they end up soft and chewy, and that’s even more important with dark-colored cookies like these. It’s almost impossible to tell when these start to brown at all, so you’re really testing doneness based on texture and jiggle. You want to pull these when the tops just begin to crack and crinkle, but they still feel very liquidy.
No worries, even though they feel that way, these cookies aren’t raw in the middle. That’s just the caramel that has turned to liquid—it’ll solidify back up as the cookie cools. Because of all that liquid deliciousness in the middle of these cookies, they are pretty fragile when hot, so I recommend letting them cool almost completely on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish the job. If you do it too early, you’ll leave half of your caramel center on your cookie sheet. Sad panda.Print
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies are rich, decadent, chewy chocolate cookies stuffed with an ooey gooey caramel. Yum!
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pound semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 dozen soft-style caramels
- Coarse sea salt
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the eggs, salt, and vanilla extract and beat on medium until smooth and light yellow. Add in the flour and baking powder, and continue to mix until just combined.
- Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until the chips are completely melted.
- With the mixer running at low speed, pour the melted chocolate into the cookie batter. Once all the chocolate is in, increase the mixer to medium-high and beat for one minute. The mixture will appear liquidy and thin (like cake batter) at first, but will solidify as the chocolate cools.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and chill dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Roll the dough into a one-inch ball, then flatten. Place a caramel on top, and then place another flattened, one-inch ball on top, sandwiching the pieces together and crimping the edges to seal in the caramel. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and caramels.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the cookies begin to look cooked around the edges, and cracked on the top—but still liquidy in the middle.
- Remove from oven, and sprinkle immediately with sea salt. Let cookies cool almost completely on the baking sheet, about 15 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.