Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thick and soft-baked salted caramel chocolate chip cookies are filled with caramel and sprinkled with sea salt. Sweet and a little salty, these always disappear quickly!

salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

These salted caramel chocolate chip cookies begin with the most popular cookie recipe on my blog: my beloved chewy chocolate chip cookies. To this fan favorite recipe, we add caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt. Everyone loves these thick, soft, chewy, and caramel-y cookies because they taste like salted caramel cookie dough when warm from the oven.

Truly– is there anything better than cookies and caramel?

salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

These Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies Are:

  • Thick and extra chewy
  • Rich and buttery
  • Soft-baked style
  • Relatively easy– no mixer required
  • Sweet and salty
  • Stuffed with gooey caramel
  • Topped with crunchy sea salt
  • Based off of my chocolate chip cookies recipe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies Video

collage of photos showing how to make salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

How to Make Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Beat the wet ingredients together.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. 
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to combine them.
  5. Chill the cookie dough. Chilling is mandatory– at least 3-4 hours, but if you have time I highly recommend chilling the cookie dough overnight for less spreading.
  6. Shape the cookie dough. Take 1 scant Tablespoon of cookie dough, stick a caramel inside, and place 1 more scant Tablespoon of cookie dough on top. Smooth the cookie dough over the caramel to completely hide it inside the dough ball.
  7. Sprinkle with coarse salt + bake. These cookies take about 12-13 minutes to bake. If they didn’t spread much in the oven, press them down lightly after you remove them from the oven. Do not over-bake the cookies. The cookies will appear very soft and undone at the 12 minute mark. However, they will continue to bake for about 10 minutes as you allow them to cool on the cookie sheet. The cookies you see in this post were baked for 12 minutes.

salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

Best Caramels to Use

The best caramel candies to use are either (1) Rolo candies (the little chocolate covered caramels) or (2) Werther’s brand soft caramels. Kraft caramel squares seem to have gotten firmer and harder in the past couple years and won’t create a gooey caramel center like Rolos or the Werther’s. If you’re up for it, you can even use homemade soft caramels! The caramel you use definitely matters, so stick to my suggestions. If using Werther’s brand, fold them in half because they are pretty long and won’t fit inside the cookie dough ball otherwise. I always have the best luck with Rolo candies.

salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

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salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 15 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chewy chocolate chip cookies with caramel hiding inside! These cookies are unbelievable and disappear every time I make them.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 cup (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (180g) chocolate chips, divided
  • 15 Rolo candies (or other chocolate coated caramel)
  • sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to combine them. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up to 3-4 days. Chilling is mandatory. I highly recommend chilling the cookie dough overnight for less spreading.
  3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  5. Roll the dough into balls, 1.5 Tablespoons each. You’ll have about 30 balls, give or take. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact. Make a thumbprint into one dough ball and press the Rolo inside. Cover the Rolo with another dough ball and mold the two dough balls around the Rolo, making sure it is completely wrapped inside. See photo above for a visual. Gently press down on the large cookie dough ball to *slightly* flatten and press a few more chocolate chips on top. Sprinkle with sea salt. Put 7-8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Put one cookie sheet into the refrigerator as you bake batch #1. Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet.
  6. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If the cookies still look too puffy when you remove them from the oven, gently press down on them a little more.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls (with caramel inside) freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Eggs: Room temperature egg + egg yolk are preferred. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, simply place the whole eggs into a glass of warm water for 10 minutes.
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, caramel chocolate chip cookies

217 Comments

  1. angela @ another bite please says:

    oooo…love the idea that these can be frozen….when I have that cookie craving what a perfect solution…I haven’t had rolos in forever.

    1. I always freeze the cookie dough balls and bake them later! Or freeze the baked cookies, too!

  2. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking says:

    I just cannot get over how unbelievably thick & chewy these look! I just tried using cornstarch in my chocolate chip cookies this week, and I am a believer! I also find that substituting some cake flour for all-purpose flour makes them extra thick.

    Love, love, love!

    1. Cake flour makes things extra soft, so I’m glad you are beginning to use cornstarch, too! Thanks Lindsey!

  3. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says:

    Miss Sally when are you going to open up a cookie-shop so I can come and buy ALL THE COOKIES?! Seriously – I could easily buy a few dozen of these right this minute….

    oh and a few of those giant cookies you make as well. 😉

    1. Haha! I’d love to open a shop one day. Maybe someday in the future. 🙂 What a dream!

  4. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh my goodness, these cookies are perfection! So so beautiful 🙂

    1. Thank you friend!

  5. Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic says:

    Oh my goodness, why did it take me so long to see these? I am not the biggest fan of caramel but I definitely want to make these and stuff them with a York Peppermint Patty or something….The cookies look so soft and tender!

    1. mmmm – stuffing with a peppermint patty, now that sounds great! Have you seen my Peppermint Patty Stuffed Chocolate Chip Bars before, Nora? You’d love them! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/10/28/peppermint-patty-chocolate-chip-cookie-bars-2/

  6. Laura Dembowski says:

    Those cookies look incredible! All that gooey caramel! And who doesn’t want a bigger kitchen? 🙂

  7. Lisa McNair says:

    I just made these (made the batter 2 days ago) and they turned out delicious and beautiful! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. So glad you chilled the dough for 2 days – that makes some nice soft, thick cookies. Thanks Lisa!

  8. I swooned over your salted dark chocolate caramel cookies and I love these just as much! Absolute heaven. I have a neighbour who is dying of ALS. He can no longer walk or even speak but he is able to eat and has a real sweet tooth. Of course I save the very best (your recipes) for him. He’s had quite a few of your recipes and he really loved your salted dark chocolate caramel cookies as well and I can’t wait to bring him these ones tommorow! Thank you Sally for creating such incredible recipes.

    1. Heather, that is so sweet of you to bring these cookies to your neighbor. I lost a loved one to ALS. I’m so glad that these recipes bring him joy -thank you very much for letting me know.

  9. Decided to make these today as I’m a bit bored on school holidays. My cookie dough is currently setting, but everything you make seems to turn out perfect so I hope these turn out well too.

  10. Glad to know that you found your passion in life. It is not easy to find that thing that you want most doing in life. There are lots of people who hate their jobs but stayed mainly because of their salaries. Anyway, those cookies are gorgeous. I”d like to have a bite. 🙂

  11. Maegan @ The BakerMama says:

    Yummy Yum! My favorite candy baked into a perfect looking cookie must be out of this world delicious! Can’t wait to bake these!

    1. It sounds like you have to make them Maegan! You’d love them. Enjoy!

  12. Looks amazing! Love the Rolos stuffed in there. The texture looks perfect 🙂 !

    1. Thanks Chrissy! You should give them a try some time.

  13. amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    Now that I’ve made these, I can confirm that they’re 100% delicious! I was a little nervous whether or not they were done after the 13 minutes, but I took Sally’s advice and took them out, and I’m SO glad I did. They continued to cook on the pan, and were perfect – soft, thick, and amazing. Thanks, Sally!

    1. That’s great, Amy! So glad you made them and loved them. Thanks!

  14. Love your site but cannot print the recipes! Keep pushing the print button but no luck. Help!

    1. Hi Ellen – I’m not sure. It seems to be working for me.

  15. Could you recommend me any other sort of chocolate caramel candy I could use in place of Rolos? I’m from Australia and unfortunately we don’t sell them here. ):

    1. Hi Peyton! I fear any other caramel would just melt completely out of the cookie. If you can find chocolate coated caramels there, you may use those.

  16. Literally THEE best cookies I have ever made! SO fun and delicious!!! Crispy golden brown on the outside, nice and chewy on the inside! Great amount of chocolate to cookie. A lot going on with the sweet/salty and different textures. HUGE hit!

    1. I love these cookies too Ashley! So glad you did too. Thanks for reporting back!

  17. Chelsea Smith says:

    These are magically delicious!! I will be trying them again for sure. However mine baked much much much slower than you call for. I’m wondering do you think that it could be because i used a parchment lined stoneware instead of a metal baking sheet? They spread much larger than your picture shows albeit still soft and chewy. I know that is because of the longer baking time. The salty sweet, chocolatey, chewy, caramel goodness was divine. I will bake them again for sure even if they take me longer every time. I ran out of Rolos so i put mini Reeses cups in some too. Fantasmic! The hardest part of this recipe was the wait time while they refrigerated and baked. Thanks for so generously sharing your genius recipes.

    1. Hi Chelsea! Sorry the cookies spread for you. Did you chill the dough? Do you use a silicone baking mat? I suggest buying a silpat – its rubber lining will grip onto the bottom of the cookies and prevent spread. I hope you try them again. All ovens are different and that’s fine yours took a bit longer. Silpat: http://www.silpat.com/

  18. These look amazing! I bake cookies when I’m bored too (; I was wondering if these would turn out alright if I used margarine instead of butter? I know butter is always better but right now I only have margarine.

    1. Hi Emily – no, you need butter. The cookies’ texture will be crumbly and not set up properly. Definitely need butter.

  19. These cookies are to die for and always run out the quickest at bake sales and parties I take ’em to. People think I’m quite the baker because of them, and I don’t bake. Thank you for this stroke of genius of a cookie!

    1. and I tried them with other caramel centered chocolates but didn’t turn out as great, too big and the dough was weighed down by the center so that it was hard to stay together. Rolo is the perfect size and proportion. Great call.

      1. Yes, Rolos are the best! I haven’t had luck with any other caramel candies. And I’m so glad you love these cookies and that they are very popular, too!

  20. My dough is chilling right now, and I realized I did one egg plus one egg white instead of one egg plus one egg yolk… any suggestions on how to make up for my mistake before I try to bake them?

    1. Hi Carly! I think that the cookies should be just fine. The egg white won’t provide the same moisture that the egg yolk will, though. I think they should be alright!

  21. Hi Sally,

    Have you ever tried any of this recipe (or any others) with an all-purpose gluten-free flour? I’m wondering if my blend would work okay (blend of rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and xanthum gum). Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Hey Tricia! No, I do not bake with GF flours. I am not gluten intolerant, so I don’t have the need to. Sorry, I have no sound advice about them!

      1. Thanks for the reply Sally! I’ll just have to try and see what happens! 🙂

  22. I recently pinned these and just pulled the first batch from the oven. I made these gluten free for my son who has celiac. I substituted Gluten Free Pantry all purpose flour cup for cup and they are perfect!! Yummy recipe and great directions.

    1. That is great to hear that the cookies turn out well with GF flour. Thank you so much for reporting back about that Sarah! Very much appreciated. So happy you enjoy them!

  23. I finally made these tonight and they turned out AWESOME!!! My son and boyfriend say these are by far the best cookies they’ve ever had. SOOOOOO YUMMY!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    1. The best cookies they’ve ever had? What a compliment. 🙂 Thanks Angel!

  24. I just made my first batch of these, the only difference being that I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown. I made them a little thick on purpose and made 9 of these cookies. (they were giant cookies, because I love giant cookies) They were SO delicious that I am working on my next batch already!

    1. I bet they were giant cookies! I get nearly double from the dough. I love that you made them so large. Glad you enjoyed them! One of my favorite cookie recipes for sure.

  25. Hi Sally,

    I just wanted to thank you for this amazing recipe! I have made chocolate chip cookies before, but these were BY FAR the best of them all. The cookies came out really well and stayed chewy even when I baked them the night before. Everyone loved them at the party! i mean what more could you ask for in this decadent chocolate chip cookie with a caramel center?

    1. Hey Ashley! I am so happy to hear that you love these cookies. They certainly are one of my very favorite cookie recipes. Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and let me know you liked them. 🙂

  26. Sally, I just cannot believe we have so much in common, and then I saw your last name.. Which, (although it half changed when I got married a year ago) is my last name too!!! I absolutely love baking, and salted caramel is one thing I cannot resist, it is my weakness!! I love your site, and love this cookie recipe (along with the dark chocolate version!) I’ve seen some of your recipes on pinterest, but I’m Definitely bookmarking your whole site!

    1. Hi Gabby! Wow, we have a ton in common. You like Pinterest, dark chocolate, salted caramel, and we share(d) a last name! My last name will change in 1 year to Quinn. 🙂 Anyway, thanks so much for bookmarking my sire. Let me know all the recipes you bake, I love hearing about it. Thank you Gabby!

  27. Hey Sally! So, I can’t wait to make these sometime, but I’m not sure they sell rolo caramels in my country. Can I just make my own caramelsauce and let it harden, and use that for the caramelcenter?

    1. Alexandra, the caramel sauce could spread everywhere and may not work as a proper filling. Do you have any sort of caramel candies or candy bars?

      1. I’ll certainly will look out for something like rolo’s then! Wouldn’t want to ruin these lovely cookies :p

  28. I finished making a batch where half had Rolos in the middle and half had Reese’s peanut butter cup miniatures in the middle. It made 30 cookies and when I took them to a place I volunteer at, they were all gone within a couple of hours and the compliments I got on them were amazing! This is my go to recipe when making cookies, but I will be trying more of your recipes when I find the time.

    1. Hi James! I love your idea of stuffing the cookies with PB cups. I have to try that next! I love this cookie recipe too. Let me know what you make next!

  29. Sally, I made these recently and they were SO DELICIOUS, so so delicious. I had really high expectations for these cookies and was almost skeptical that they could be THAT good — but they really are, I had to use all my willpower not to shove cookie after cookie into my mouth. Now I’ve been obsessively scouring your site trying to decide which things to bake for upcoming holiday parties! How oh how am I going to choose amongst so many delicious options??

    And on another note, i really appreciate the obvious hard work that goes into your website and your recipes. I sometimes find trying recipes from blogs a bit frustrating because the bloggers do not respond to reader questions and feedback. So it’s refreshing to see a blogger who is so interactive with readers and tries to make every reader’s chance of success with a recipe as high as possible. Major props for that, it is much appreciated!

    1. Julie, this comment made my night. I had a terrible day in the kitchen testing a dough recipe and reading this just makes the day seem much better. This is hard work! But I really do love it and it’s wonderful to help other bakers eager to learn as well. I am still learning – everyday!

      I know what you mean about these cookies. They really ARE that good. 😉

  30. Wow! I made these today (Thanksgiving) along with some other goodies. I subbed white sugar + a tablespoon or so of molasses for brown sugar. My cookies turned out HUGE. Giant! Not sure if anyone else ran into this problem… Or maybe it’s not a problem 😉 I’m sure they’ll be gone before the days end. Thank you for such a good recipe, will try again with brown sugar and smaller dough balls.

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