The key to these cookies is a genius ingredient: Kraft Caramel Bits. I love cooking with caramel but I HATE dealing with individually wrapped caramels. Kraft Caramel Bits solves that problem.
I found my bag in the baking aisle at Target. I should have bought 5 of them. Scott pointed out that they look like garbanzo beans, which they totally do. Except they're about a million times more delicious.
The recipe calls for flattening the cookies slightly (so you can easily sprinkle a little salt on top). I first tried flattening with a cup, but that just stuck so I ended up pressing down slightly with my fingers. Which naturally resulted in eating some cookie dough. Normally not a problem, but, being pregnant, probably not the best idea. Oh well, if you make these and can resist eating the cookie dough, you deserve a medal.
My only complaint about these cookies is they were a humongous pain to get off the cookie sheets. I coated the trays in one layer of spray. I coated the trays in two layers of spray. Next time I'll try wax paper. Because these suckers stuck to those trays like it was their job. Caramel, in case you didn't know, is sticky. If you tried to remove them too early, the caramel bits would be too soft and the cookies would fall apart. If you wanted longer, the caramel bits got hard and stuck to the tray. Moral of the story - those 3 cookies up there are probably the only 3 that came off in one piece.
But these cookies? So worth the trouble. They might be, dare I say it, my new favorite cookies. How can you go wrong with chocolate and caramel?
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies
(from Gimme Some Oven)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or dark chocolate cocoa powder)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (11 oz.) bag Kraft caramel bits
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the caramel bits and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Press each cookie down slightly to flatten, then sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.