These Salted Caramel Cookies are the best cookies! They have a soft and chewy texture, nutty and rich brown butter flavor, gooey caramel filling, and pools of melted chocolate. They're the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
I made this recipe on a whim. I had this craving to make everything with brown butter this weekend. Including this yummy cookie recipe, brown butter blueberry coffee cake, and brown butter banana bread. The rich and nutty flavors of brown butter make every baked good better.
When I was brainstorming a brown butter cookie I thought of all of the flavors I would love to go with a buttery and chewy cookie base. Naturally, salted caramel and chocolate chunks came to mind. I've seen other bakers/bloggers stuff cookies with caramel, Reese's cups and more, but I've never seen a recipe with caramel, chocolate chunks AND brown butter.
I was a little nervous about how they would turn out to be honest because I'm typically one to use softened butter in my cookie recipes.
I'm very particular about the temperature of my butter when I make my chocolate chip pudding cookies so I'm always hesitant to make a cookie recipes that involves melted butter. But brown butter is too good and chilling the dough does wonders for this recipe.
The key to making sure your cookies don't spread all over the pan when you're dealing with melted butter: is chilling the dough. I know this is somewhat time consuming, but totally worth it.
Not only does chilling the dough allow you to have that perfect chewy texture, but it also gives the dough enough time to sit and allow all of the flavors meld together.
Reasons to Love These Salted Caramel Cookies
- Taste: Think of a deep toffee flavor when you take a bite and a sweet and salty caramel surprise inside. And don't forget the chocolate chunks and flaky sea salt to top it off.
- Perfect to make ahead: These sea salt caramel cookies are ideal for making ahead, because they require a bit of chilling. Make the dough the day before and bake them when you're ready.
- Texture: They're soft and chewy and filled with melty chocolate. The center of these salted caramel chocolate chips cookies are the best part. It's filled with soft and chewy caramel to add an extra layer of chew to this recipe.
- Appearance: The large chocolate chunks are my favorite part! They're so mouthwatering and the addition of the sea salt on top adds for extra appetite appeal. Not to mention the gooey caramel when you break it in half.
All that said, I would absolutely make this brown butter salted caramel cookie recipe again. And again and again.
How to Make Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here are the basic steps, with images, for these this caramel cookies recipe. Skip down to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe.
Step 1. Brown the Butter First. Add the butter to a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Continue to stir periodically for 3-5 minutes until the butter bubbles and froths. The milk solids will begin to separate and you'll notice a nutty flavor while the bits turn a deep aburn color. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the brown butter into a medium bowl.
Success tip: make sure to get all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the bowl—those are the good parts
Step 2. Wet ingredients. Transfer the slightly cooled brown butter to a large mixing bowl and beat with the sugars until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Step 3. Finish the dough. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until a dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Step 4. Chill the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.
Alternate chilling option: you can scoop the dough out with a large cookie scoop and chill them on a sheet pan. However, the dough is more prone to drying out this way.
Step 5. Stuff cookies. Use a large cookie scoop to scoop the dough out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Unwrap the chewy caramels and place one inside a cookie scoop. Place another on top and pinch the edges and roll the cookies into a taller cone-shape (see image below).
Success tips: rolling the dough into a taller cone, rather than a round ball, helps the cookie bake on top of itself.
Step 6. Bake cookies. Arrange the cookie dough balls on a large cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are set and slightly golden brown. Press a few more chocolate chunks into the cookies right out of the oven then sprinkle them with fleur de sel (flaky sea salt). Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Success tip: the bake time will vary based on your oven and the size of your cookie dough so keep a close eye on it.
I just made a batch of these and baked them and put them in the freezer. I'm heading to a lake house with my family this weekend and wanted to share the delicous-ness with them. They're the perfect cookie for family gathers, special occasions or a holiday cookie exchange.
Although I think this may become your new favorite cookie recipe, we have more holidays cookies on WMM! Try these ginger cookies, melting moments cookies, or peanut butter cup cookies.
Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. Cover and chill in the fridge for up to a week or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge and bring them to room temperature before serving. The caramel inside will be hard if you try and serve them cold.
To freeze the dough, skip chilling the dough and stuff the cookies with caramel. Roll them into large dough balls, flash freeze on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding 2-3 minutes to the bake time.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Delicious Cookies
- Brown Butter Maple Pecan Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Cookies
- Chocolate pudding cookies
- Triple chocolate cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 240g) unsalted butter cubed
- 1 ¼ cups (266g) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 ½ cups (281g) all-purpose flour gluten-free if needed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup (180g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 8- (8-ounce) semi-sweet baking bar roughly chopped
- 12-14 soft caramels (we used Kraft baking caramels)
- Stand Mixer or Electric Mixer
- Baking sheet and parchment paper
- Make the brown butter. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, until the bubbler bubbles, foams and the milk solids start to separate. The solids will start to smell nutty and turn a deep amber color. Remove it from the heat and pour it into a medium bowl to cool slightly.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until combined, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla, egg and egg yolk and continue to beat until combined, about 1 minute.
- With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the drygredients, then turn the speed up to medium-high to combine. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight. You can leave it in the fridge for up to 72 hours. See notes for freezing.
- When you're ready to bake preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a large cookie scoop to scoop the dough out onto the cookie sheets. You should have 24-28 scoops. Place a caramel in the center of a dough ball then cover it with another. Pinch the seams to close the caramel inside and roll the ball into a balls just slightly taller than it is round. See blog post images for an example. Repeat with the remaining dough. You should have 12-14 large cookies.
- Arrange the cookie dough on the secon d cookie sheet a few inches apart. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges and tops of just set and slightly golden brown. Press a few additional chocolate into the top of the baked cookies and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.