Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

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

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

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. 😉

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

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.

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

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…

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

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!

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

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.

Print

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

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

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 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

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

401 Comments

  1. Liked and repinned! Made this twice already since yesterday.. Im inlove and my friends loved it! This is the bomb! Good Luck Sally!

    1. Hey Rosie! I’m glad – I was hungry for cookies during the whole photo shoot and got to eat a bunch after posting them. 🙂 So good!

  2. Oh Sally! I came here to re-read a cookie recipe I’m making tomorrow and was stopped in my tracks by this post! Not only the heavenly cookie, but your lovely post. I adore your recipes and photos, but I also *love* reading your posts! I zipped right over to Pinterest and was not surprised to see yours is my favorite. :o) Liked, pinned, and eager to make these for my sweetheart. :o) Have a sparkly night! (And I can’t wait to see you crowned Dark Chocolate Champion!)

    1. Hey Karen! You are the sweetest ever and have been ever since you commented on my cupcake puppy chow! Thank you so much for the support and for always reading. THANK YOU for the votes – so many other wonderful recipes, so it means a lot to me! Hope YOU have a sparkly night too. =)

  3. Hi Sally … Just stopping by to say that I liked and re-pinned this recipe on pinterest!! I almost hope to make it soon as well. They look sooooo yummy! I always have such a craving for whatever recipes you post. If I had all the ingredients and it wasn’t after midnight, I would definitely be making these yummy treats right now! lol I’m actually hoping to make your cake batter chocolate chip cookies this week. I’ll let you know they turn out. Thank you for taking the time to come up with such wonderful recipes and posting them for us to read and enjoy! 🙂

    1. Hey Jennifer! Thank you so much for the vote! I think you’d love them and they are so easy to make! those cake batter chocolate chip cookies will always be a huge favorite of mine. You can’t beat them! Please let me know how you like them and if you get around to making these chocolate caramel cookies too =)

  4. oh good luck sally…voted and pinned and all that good stuff for you…these cookies sound sooo good!

  5. Sally – I made these last night (and pinned twice), but I have a quick question for you: my cookies totally fell and spread out to where they basically became a cookie cake in the pan. Is there anything I can/should do to keep the cookies “puffed up” and not flatten out? I want the caramel to really ooze out rather than sink with the rest of the cookie. I sifted all my ingredients, but I did use less chocolate morsels (I thought I had more than I did when I started making them). Any thoughts? Regardless of the look of the cookies, they were DELICIOUS. Thank you and good luck!

    1. Hey Maureen! Do you think that you maybe overmixed the dough? Or that your baking soda is not active? I always forget that baking soda expires after 6 quick months and have been left with flat cookies as a result! I’m glad you thought they were delicious regardless though. 🙂 Thank you for the good luck!

  6. These are fabulous!! I just made them this evening and they turned out beautifully! Thanks for a truly *winning* recipe. I’ve repinned it! Good luck in the contest 🙂

  7. These cookies are the best — another vote your way! I made the dough last night as soon as I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest and did the baking this morning. The house smelled wonderful, and the cookies tasted as great as they looked. (Past tense because they’re all gone!) The only change I made was using raspberry jam for filling because I didn’t have any caramels, and sprinkling sea salt after baking. I’m not much of a baker so I was very proud of the outcome. LOVE your recipes because they are written so clearly!

    1. Hey Elizabeth! Wow, I just LOVE your idea for adding raspberry jam filling. I MUST try that next time! It sounds completely amazing. I’m glad you like how clearly written my recipes are too – I try hard to make things simple for readers so that they can remake everything at home easily. I’m very proud of you too. 🙂 Thank you for the vote!

  8. Just voted for you and I’m going to try the recipe tomorrow 😉
    Which kind of caramel candy do I have to buy?
    Or can I make it from scratch? Do you have a recipe? 🙂

  9. Do you ever try using pastry flour or a pastry flour combination with all-purpose or bread flour? really gives the cookies a new taste. Bread flour gives them a denser, sometimes harder texture but, definitely worth experimenting with!

  10. Just made these and they came out amazing! I used semi-sweet chocolate chips just to sweeten it up a bit. Only thing is when I tried to move the cookies from the tray, it basically crumbled up since it was so soft (except for the part with the caramel which held onto the cookie haha). It still tasted amazing, but I’m not sure how I can get the cookie to stay in 1 piece!

  11. These are UNBELIEVABLE! I used Reisens and they were so amazing. Thank you for another wonderful recipe! You have quickly become my go-to for dessert recipes.

  12. I loved your other salted caramel cookies and can’t wait to give this one a try! Good luck in the contest, rooting for you! 🙂

  13. Dear Sally, I stumbled upon your blog on facebook only a few weeks ago and I am still stoked about this unbelievably lucky coincidence! I had already made your cinnamon swirl banana bread and the M&Ms rainbow cookies and loved them, but then I came across these babies and I’ve got to say they’re nothing but heavenly soft chocolate-y caramel-y sweet salty PERFECTION… Thank you so much for your amazing recipes! I’ll definitely try another one out for easter brunch, maybe the carrot cake or one of your sticky bun recipes. Good luck in that contest, fingers are crossed!

    1. Helen – thank you for the good luck wishes! 🙂 And you’ve made a couple of my favorite recipes. Good choices! and these cookies are wonderful. The salty/sweet, the dark chocolate, and gooey caramel. I love it all. Thanks for reporting back to me! I’m glad you found my website.

  14. Im really sadddd!! I made these coookies with milk duds (I literally stood in the candy aisle forever looking for chocolate covered caramels, and my options were milk duds or dove chocolate caramels) and the milk duds were a total fail. It hardens immediately (i should’ve known, i dont think i had ever had milk duds before) and the caramel isnt gooey like yours. the cookie part is amazing!! what caramels did you use??

  15. I happily voted for you Sally and I’m happy that I did because these are delicious and decadent! I’ve never had any sort of salted chocolate/caramel type thing before and wondered what all of the fuss was all about. Now I understand:)

    1. Hi Heather! Thank you so much for the vote; that’s amazing! I love the whole salt/chocolate/caramel combination. And so happy you tried it and like it now too! 🙂

  16. Do these freeze well? I made them last week and they are to die for!! Have been asked to make them for two different weddings so I would like to make ahead of time and freeze. Thanks. Awesome website.

    1. Hi Rachel! Yes, they freeze well. Up to 1 month. What I alway do, though, is: 1) make the dough. 2) chill it. 3) roll into balls w/ caramels inside. 4) freeze individual balls in a large zipped top bag. 5) bake whenever I need them.

      1. AMAZING recipe, Sally!! I had to force myself from eating all of them fresh out of the oven! Quick question – Should I “defrost” or bake them longer if I freeze them?

      2. Hey Amanda! If you bake the frozen balls of dough, just add an extra minute or 2. I always bake them straight from the freezer. They are better that way in my opinion!

  17. Sally,

    I came across your website by chance and your cookies really look delicious! I live in Asia and we are not familiar with the cup system for measurement. May I kindly ask you to post recipies using weights i.e. grams. Is there any way that I can try any of your recipe that you may have weight measurements for. Many many thanks.

    Floss

      1. Sally,

        Sorry, but may I ask and if you have the information on hand – what is the weight of one large egg that you usually use? With or without shell is fine.

        Many thanks!

        Regards,

        Floss

  18. I made these yesterday although I used white chocolate chunks and didn’t use the salt (as the last recipe I made was salted caramel as well), the chocolate cookie batter was absolutely perfect and I would definitely use the recipe again! Love the rolo centres too, definitely made me wonder about what other centres I could try in cookies 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed these cookies! You could try Snickers inside a chocolate chip cookie like these: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/02/26/snickers-bar-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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