Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

Decadent dark chocolate cookies stuffed with caramel and topped with sea salt. Totally worth every bite!

Dark chocolate cookies with sea salt and caramel on a yellow plate

When Nestlé Toll House approached me last month to be apart of their Dark Pinspirations SweepstakesI nearly fell off my chair! You see, today’s cookies were in a Nestle baking contest with some other great talent! If you like dark chocolate, you have to check out the other recipes in the contest.

Update: My cookies won the contest! Yep, the cookies you see here are worth $5,000 and won the Nestle Baking Contest. I can’t thank you all enough for voting! I call them my $5,000 cookies. 😉

Dark chocolate cookies with sea salt and caramel on silpat

Making them is so easy.

The chocolate cookie recipe is quite simple and standard. I use extra cocoa powder to make them even more fudgy. The more chocolate, the better. I stuff the cookies with chocolate coated caramel candies and Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels and top each of them with sea salt before throwing into the oven.

I love those Dark Chocolate Morsels and have been using them left and right in my recent recipes. I’ll link up to some dark chocolate recipes at the bottom of this post for you.

stack of salted caramel dark chocolate cookies with caramel in the middle

To make the chocolate cookies, start with some room temperature butter. Beat the butter in the mixing bowl with a stand or hand mixer for about 20 seconds on medium speed before adding any sugar. This gets it nice and creamed. Add 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar. The brown sugar does not have to be packed and you may use light brown sugar instead. I prefer dark brown sugar because it has a richer, more robust flavor than light brown.

Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat the mixture and scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl with a spatula as needed. The wet ingredients are ready, so set them aside. Moving onto the dry ingredients…

Dark chocolate cookies with sea salt and caramel on a silpat

I like to sift the dry ingredients together. Unsweetened cocoa powder can be quite lumpy and you don’t want any dry pockets of it in your cookies, so sifting it with the flour, baking soda, and salt just makes it easier to incorporate into the dough.

Once your dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add them slowly to the wet ingredients. I like to take a measuring cup and add about 1/2 cup of dry ingredients at a time with the mixer running on low. This allows the dry and wet to be mixed together easily and prevents a huge powdery explosion all over my kitchen!

Don’t forget the last two crucial ingredients. The cookie dough is quite thick, so you need *some* liquid to thin it out again. Use 2 Tablespoons of milk, no more! Any more will make your dough VERY sticky and unmanageable. Trust me, I’ve tried. After the milk is mixed in by hand, add the 1.5 cups of Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels. I like a lot of morsels in every bite.

Chill the dough for at least 1-2 hours. Two hours is preferred. The longer you chill the dough, the less sticky it will be – making it much easier to handle in the next step. I even chill mine for 4 hours when I have the time.

Dark chocolate cookies with sea salt and caramel

Now comes the fun part! Grab 18 chocolate coated caramel candies or regular soft caramel candies (I prefer to use Rolos). Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled dough and split in half. Roll each into a ball with your hands. Stick a caramel into 1 ball, sort of like a cradle. I have a picture of how I do this in this similar cookie recipe. Top the caramel with the other ball of dough and seal down the sides so that the caramel is securely stuffed inside.

Top the cookie with a sprinkle of sea salt. I love salty sweet cookies! Chocolate, caramel, and salt are a winning combination and taste remarkable in this thick, soft cookie recipe.

Now it’s time to bake. About 12-13 minutes in the oven. The chocolate cookies are rather large and they will appear undone and very soft when you remove them from the oven. That is OK, I promise. The cookies will continue to bake as they cool on the cookie sheet.

I always slightly underbake cookies so that they remain soft. These chocolate cookies keep beautifully, and even get even softer on day 2. And remained soft for 7 whole days. They only lasted that long because I forgot about one lonesome cookie in my cookie jar. 😉

Just wait until you try one fresh out of the oven!

Dark chocolate cookies with sea salt and caramel on a teal plate

Now let’s look at the selling points here:

  • Caramel oozing everywhere.
  • Melty dark chocolate.
  • Fudge brownie-like interior.
  • Sea salt on top to accentuate the sweetness.
  • Heavenly!

Thick cookies, chewy exterior, soft-baked consistency. All of my cookie requirements! I know you are going to love these chocolate cookies. And they are surprisingly easy to make.

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stack of dark chocolate cookies with sea salt and caramel with caramel showing

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 16-18 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Decadent dark chocolate cookies stuffed with caramel and topped with sea salt. Totally worth every bite!


  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2/3 cup (58g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels
  • 1617 chocolate coated caramels, such as Rolos
  • coarse sea salt


  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for about 20 seconds. Add the sugars with the mixer running on medium speed. Cream it all together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate medium size bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. Slowly add to the wet ingredients. Stir in the milk, then fold in the dark chocolate morsels. The dough will be thick and very sticky. Chill for at least 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled dough and split in half and roll each into a ball with your hands. Stick a caramel into 1 ball of dough. Top the caramel with the other ball of dough and seal down the sides so that the caramel is securely stuffed inside. Repeat with the rest of the dough and 18 caramel candies. Sprinkle each with sea salt before putting into the oven.
  5. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  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 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: caramel chocolate cookies, salted caramel dark chocolate cookies

collage of 3 salted caramel dark chocolate cookies images


Comments are closed.

  1. Can I freeze these once I have formed the stuffed cookie ball portion and bake when needed?

    1. Absolutely! See the recipe notes for details.

  2. Hey Sally! I love these cookies. I was wondering if I could wrap mini Resee’s in the dough instead of the Rolos with success? Not sure why it wouldn’t but wanted to see if you’ve tried it or seen it done. I don’t want it to get all goopy and stuff.

    1. You sure can, Lydia! You can see how I use them in these cookies!

  3. These turned out amazing. I never write reviews, but these were easy and something different.

  4. I will probably make these this weekend, so let me throw this out there. Hershey’s makes salted caramel baking chips and I happen to have about 8 bags in the house. Could these work, along with the dark chocolate chips? Seems like it would make this less fiddly (sorry, watching to much Great British Baking)

    1. Hi Debbie, Do you mean using a mix of chocolate and caramel chips and skipping the rolo/caramel in the center? If so yes, you can do that!

  5. These are fantastic cookies!!! I made them for a cookie exchange today and my husband didn’t want me to share them (never happens). I loved two things about these cookies—the dark chocolate cookies and caramel taste so amazing, and just as good for me was they looked just like Sally’s picture. I often make cookies but they rarely look just as good as the recipe pictures (even if they taste great). Well, these are sooo good! Thanks, Sally, I can see why these won you a grand prize award! I’ve been waiting to try these since I got your cookbook with them and today was the day!

  6. Thank you for posting this recipe. I just made them with my family super fun. They are super tasty. Just a few tips for anyone else who wants to make them, make sure the Rolo(or whatever you use) is in the middle as much as possible. And be aware they do take a while to fully dry. Mine turned out looking like piles of poop. But they tasted great. I would definitely make them again. No wonder they won that contest.

  7. Can I use dutch processed cocoa powder in this recipe?

    1. HI Pailin, This recipe uses baking soda, which means we want to stick with natural cocoa powder and NOT dutch processed. You can read all about the science behind why to help you understand the difference in my baking basics post Dutch-process Vs Natural Cocoa Powder.

      1. I understand the difference between natural cocoa and Dutch-processed…but I only have Dutch processed cocoa powder. In that case, is it possible to replace baking soda with baking powder? since baking powder doesn’t need an acid to work

  8. Oh my gosh. These cookies are amazing!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  9. These are outstanding!!! I really was expecting the caramel to bust out of the cookie and make a total mess but it didn’t at all, and the cooled the cookies held together marvelously. And they’re SO DELICIOUS.

  10. Amola Darekar says:

    Awesome recipe. Tried today.. everyone at home loved the cookies..but I just have one question as my dough was not dry but it was soft. I used measurements in grams.. do u know why this would have happened?

  11. Never left reviews on any of your recipes before so I’m going to do that now. I first started using your recipes in 2011 I want to say, and I have followed religiously since. These cookies are my favorite cookies of all time and I think about them constantly. I have never had every single recipe created by one person come out flawlessly every time but they always do with yours!

  12. Pern Krider says:

    Hi Sally, I’ve been looking for a double chocolate caramel pecan cookie recipe. This one looks really close. Can I add some chopped pecans? Would I need to alter anything else? I am new to baking! Thanks!

    1. Hi Pern, I recommend replacing half of the dark chocolate chips with chopped pecans for a total of 1 and a half cups of add-ins. Enjoy!

  13. I want to make this recipe but I just have a pot of salted caramel that I was gifted, would it work the same way to just pour some on the cookie dough or is there a better recipe?

  14. hi Sally, really love your recipes. I have never baked before this whole COVID-19 thing and when I finally did, I’m just so grateful I came across your site and learned so many things from it! I have recreated your salted caramel sauce and it was absolutely amazing. I’m wondering if that can replace the rolo candies as the filling, because unfortunately similar candies/chocolated are hard to come by here in my country. Is there any way to do it with the sauce instead? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Stephanie, I’m so glad you have been enjoying my recipes! The salted caramel sauce is a liquid but you can use my recipe for homemae caramel candies to stuff these cookies. Enjoy!

  15. Can I use kraft square caramels?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Sure can! Make sure they are very soft to begin with. If they’re old or on the harder side, they won’t soften in the oven. We like Kraft or Brach’s brand caramel squares.

  16. Hi Sally,

    Can I use milk duds? I can’t find rolos in my location

    1. Hi Joyce, you can, but they won’t have a gooey caramel center like Rolo candies. They may turn pretty hard after baking inside a cookie, too. Mini snickers bars are a fun alternative if you want to try that!

      1. Aside from mini snickers, what are my other options? Thank you

  17. I just discovered Kraft Caramel Bits, can I use it?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joyce, We love caramel bits – but they are used more like chocolate chips and won’t melt. For the gooey centers of these cookies, you want very soft caramel squares to begin with. If they’re old or on the harder side, they won’t soften in the oven. We like Kraft or Brach’s brand caramel squares.

  18. HI, Sally. I wanna try making this recipe, but how much approximately should each piece weigh if I want the recipe to yield 16 pieces.

    1. Hi, I have made these cookies a few times and they have turned out great! I was considering trying this recipe in a pan similar to brownies (layer of batter, layer of caramels, layer of batter). Have you tried this? Any thoughts on cooking time?

      1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Leanne, We haven’t tested these as bars so I’m unsure of the exact bake time they would need. They should fit into a 9×9 inch pan. Let us know if you try it!

  19. These are by far my favorite cookies! Even better than inside out’s and better than the regular chocolate chip cookies! It was easy and fun to make! I absolutely love the taste and I wouldn’t improve or change a thing, beautiful recipe!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally