I’ve already given you several “stuffed” recipes. The Cookie Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. The Thin Mint Stuffed Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies ( a personal favorite). Oh and those crazy good Peanut Butter Cup Brownies.
I’m not over it yet.
Thing is: merging two delicious things together is just such a good plan. Whether it’s spreads and doughs, doughs and cookies, cookies and brownies – adding two flavors and textures together elevates baked goods so much more than simple mix-in additions could.
These cookies jumped off my baking list and into my kitchen for a birthday party. Two friends shared a party, and I did some digging to find overlap in their baked good preferences. Caramel won the round! I’d already made caramel-stuffed Snickerdoodles a bit before and loved how the melty caramel centers came out. I decided to work with caramels again, and thought this chocolate chocolate chip cookie recipe might be a nice change of pace.
The cookies turned out great… though I will admit they made me really late to the party! Let’s just say that a side experiment to stuff the same dough with frosting did not turn out so well. No big loss, because the caramel-stuffed cookies were winners (and the birthday was a come-and-go thing, anyway!). My friends gobbled these up real fast. The chocolate base has a satisfying depth to it, with cocoa in the dough plus chocolate chips added in. I swapped in sea salt for regular salt and think it made the base dough even more tasty. Once your dough is ready, caramel candies get stuffed into the cookie dough balls. You stuff them in the middle, but they’ll sink to the cookie bottoms somewhat while baking. When you bite into a cookie you’ll get a nice caramel-y surprise. The caramel does harden over time, so you’ll need to serve these warm if you want a gooey effect.
This dough was a little challenging to work with, so I’d chill it next time. Otherwise, you might find it’s a little hard to form your caramel-stuffed balls.
Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Original recipe: Crazy Little Projects. I’ve edited the recipe a bit and added my own commentary.
Yield: ~30 cookies
Suggested equipment: Mixer
Total Time: ~2 hours 40 minutes, including 2 hours for chilling the dough
Cook Time: ~9 minutes
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 package of caramel square candies – I used Kraft. You’ll probably have leftovers, which you should definitely use to make Caramel Doodles.
- Extra sea salt for sprinkling
Step by Step Directions
Make your dough
- Cream butter and sugar together
- Add the cocoa and eggs, and mix together until it’s combined
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix again
- Stir in your chocolate chips (I decreased the number of chocolate chips vs. the original recipe because it started to look like a lot of chocolate chips in the bowl. Feel free to dial it back up to 1.5 cups of chips if you so desire!)
- Chill the dough for at least a couple hours so it’s easier to work with and doesn’t spread as much while baking
Assemble and bake
- Preheat your oven to 375F
- Unwrap 12 caramels to start, and cut each caramel in half. You will probably need more than this but I’d lowball upfront so you don’t waste unwrapped caramels!
- Line your cookie sheets
- Roll out balls of dough so they’re each roughly 1 to 1.5 inches large and place them on your cookie sheets at least an inch apart
- Take a caramel half and press it on top of each ball of dough. Push the caramel into the center of the ball and cover it up completely with dough (see pictures for reference). Unwrap more caramels as you need them to fill all the balls of dough!
- Sprinkle the tops of the cookie balls with a bit of sea salt
- Bake the cookies for ~9 minutes. They’re done when the edges firm up a bit, but the centers still look a little soft
- Let them cook for a few minutes before biting in
As I mentioned, the caramel will harden up the longer you let the cookies cool. Still, you gotta let them sit for a few minutes before chomping down – that caramel can get mighty hot!