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

402 Comments

  1. Sally i have been a long time reader!! I made these with peanut butter chip and dark chocolate cocoa powder and I won our cookie off at work!!! Thanks for being awesome I want to get you’re cookie book asap when it comes out!!

  2. Hi Sally,
    My first comment here, but I had to tell you how FABULOUS these were. They will go in my cookie hall of fame. I used caramel-filled Dove candies instead of the Rolos. They are a little flatter, and easier to get into the cookies. I also added a little instant coffee to intensify the chocolate flavor. Thanks so much for this amazing recipe & your wonderful blog!

    1. That’s great, Joan! I love these cookies as well. I’ll have to try them with those Dove chocolates next. Thank you so much for reporting back and saying hi!

  3. Have I died and gone to heaven? Nope, just another fab cookie recipe from your blog. I’m baking these today and sending half to a bachelor party with my husband and taking the other half to a girls weekend. I think I’ll also be making these again as part of the favors I’m handing out at a nautical baby shower I’m hosting next weekend. Thank you thank you thank you! Your blog is my go to for sweet treats of all kinds. Great minds think alike! 😉

    1. Hi Ashton! So glad you are loving my cookie recipes! And that you like to bake for others. I jut know everyone will enjoy these salty/chocolatey/sweet cookies!

  4. Made these and LOVE them. They are wonderful. Just wondering if anyone has tried making a smaller version of these cookies using the new mini rolo’s ?

  5. OMG!!!! I just made a batch of these and just had my first bite. Absolutely. Amazing! I cannot wait for my hubby to get home from work to try these. Definitely my favorite new cookie!

  6. Just made these cookies and they were absolutely divine fresh from the oven, with the caramel super gooey and delicious. I did leave out the chocolate chips otherwise the recipe would’ve been too fudgy for me. However, given the success of this bake and the comments above, I’ll definitely try it next time. Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing!

  7. I made these cookies today. They have just come out of the oven, so I cannot tell you – yet – how they turned out exactly. But the dough tasted very nice when they went in 😉

    The only problem I ran into was making the dough portions. I tried it with 2 tablespoons, but it all just stuck together. And the portions were very different in size.
    I then grabbed a small ice cream scoop. That worked better. But when I was at 12 portions, I ran out of dough!
    The cookies which have come out of the oven just now, are _huge_. They’ll probably still taste great though ^_^

    But can anyone give my some tips on how to make equally & correctly sized dough balls of this very sticky dough? (I cooled the dough for 2 hours, so that shouldn’t be the problem…)

    Thanks in advance!

    1. I’m not sure what you mean when you say that 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough stuck together? You could not break it in half to stick the Rolo inside?

      You could always measure 1 Tbsp of dough, then another 1 Tbsp of dough, stick a Rolo into the center of one and then top with the other one. Then roll it all together to make 1 cookie dough ball with the Rolo inside.

  8. These cookies are delish…but can only eat half with a large cup of milk. I doubled the recipe and made 30 nice size cookies. My family loved them. And so did my co-workers. Next time, think I will reduce the amount of chips, really way too many. I will keep trying your recipes and sharing with my friends. Thank you!

  9. Hi Sally! I just wanted to tell you how delish these cookies are!! I made them for a cookie exchange and they won!! So, thanks to you for the awesome recipe!!

    1. Hi Stefanie! Can’t believe these cookies won the cookie exchange! Well, actually I can. They are SO good. I need to make them this holiday season for sure. I appreciate you making them and reporting back!

  10. Hi Sally!

    My wife made these cookies and they were absolutely amazing! She used Kraft Caramels and we noticed that they tended to harden up a bit after the cookies cooled. They were amazing after putting them in the microwave for about 8 seconds, which got the caramel flowing again.

    The question I have is whether there is another type of caramel that stays more ‘fluid’ than the Kraft Caramels? Does the milk chocolate on the Rolo’s have any effect on the dark chocolate content?

    She also had someone recommend using peanut butter in the middle. What od you think of that idea?

    We will be buying your cookbook when it comes out!

    Take care and God bless!

    1. Hi Paul! You could certainly stuff these cookies with peanut butter. Maybe about 1 tsp? That would be delicious! And I’ve never had the Rolo candies harden up on me, which is why I prefer to use them over the kraft caramels.

  11. I just made these for my dad’s birthday (2 of his fave things are chocolate and caramel). I was lucky I grabbed one while they were cooling, otherwise I wouldn’t have even gotten to try one. My aunt actually hid the last few so I wouldn’t take them home. Needless to say, they went over very well. Thanks, Sally!

    1. Haha! Well, I’m certainly glad to hear that you loved them Rose! And your dad too. These cookies are great for chocolate/caramel lovers.

  12. Hi Sally! I plan on making these to take as gifts I wanted to know how long I can chill the dough. I know the minimum is a couple of hours, but will the dough get weird if I keep it in the fridge for longer? Maybe a day in advance? PS I made your nutella pumpkin pie for thanksgiving, yummy!

    1. Hey Shae! I love that pumpkin pie. Great choice. These cookies? Another great choice! This dough is just fine left chilling in the fridge (tightly covered) for up to 3-4 days. If I remember correctly, I had it in the fridge for 5 days one time and the cookies were just fine! I wouldn’t go over that though. Let me know how you like them!

      1. These were so good!! I recieved many compliments on them, although one person told me she hated them because she ate three in one go and it’d make her lose her figure 😉 ahahha. And they are really great to make in advance because they get softer as each day passes..yum. I also made your puffy snickerdoodles and I’ll just include my comment here. They were good, but mine were definitely not as puffy as yours. They spread alot and turned out to be giant cookies. I left my butter out for a while, it wasn’t melted but maybe softer than if it had only been one hour? Could that be it?

      2. Hi Shae! So happy these cookies were a hit. They always are! Yep, it sounds like your butter was too soft for the Snickerdoodles. You want it firm and at room temperature, not super soft like the consistency of peanut butter. I hope that makes sense. You can always add up to 2 Tablespoons more of flour – that helps prevent the spreading.

  13. HI SALLY! THESE LOOK AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. Im gonna try them out tonight! But i have a dying question. I really love chewy cookies and I’ve recently tried out your chewy chocolaye chunk cookies (WHICH WERE EXCELLENT. THE BEST IVE EVER TASTED/BAKED). Can I replace the softened butter here with melted butter like the chunk cookies recipe to make it even chewier? 🙂

    Any advice on the cornstarch and egg yolk too? how should i alter it?

    PS: I decided against altering this recipe for the first time since its award winning! 😀 fingers crossed!

    1. Hey Yvonne! To be honest, these chocolate cookies are quite chewy as is! I don’t suggest altering the recipe at all. I’ve never tried these with melted butter, and without trying it myself – I can’t tell you how to adapt it correctly. So just make them as is, you will love them – promise!

  14. Hi sally! I’m making these cookies now.. But I’ve just realized my dough isnt sticky enough..it’s not like your chocolate chip cookie dough..which was sticky and then after chilling was perfect.. This one seems normal., not at all sticky I mean. The reason I guess is I used one egg but it wasn’t large.. I should read recipe more carefully! Anyway is this lack of egg going to effect my cookie? If it will is there anyway I can fix it.. Since my dough is chilling, if there’s something That can be done please let me know. Also, can I add more sugar now? I feel like it needs more..
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Radhika, why do you feel the dough needs more sugar? 1 total cup of sugar is plenty for the ratio of other ingredients, however if you’d like it much sweeter than you may add more. And your cookies should turn out just fine if you are using a medium egg. It won’t make that large of a difference, though you should try to use a large egg if you make them again.

      1. Hi Sally! I wanted to add more sugar because te dough wasn’t tasting sweet enough. Anyhow, I wanted to wait for your reply so I chilled my dough for about 18 hours and it was so hard! My fault completely but the cookies turned out like rocks! I’m trying this recipe again today with large egg and more sugar.. Wish me luck! Will keep you posted!

  15. Hi I’m from New Zealand and we have completely different products and terminology over here! Can you explain the type of chocolates you’re using? Are they runny caramel in the middle or solid that then melts? Cheers!

    1. Hey Celia! The caramel is not runny at all. It’s solid, but stretchy when you bite into the candy. The caramel then melts when baked inside the cookie. Hope you get to make them!

  16. Thanks so much for this recipe! Now I know why it won the contest. I made these over the weekend…soooo good. I was a little stingy with the salt, so next time I’ll add a little more.

  17. Hi Sally,

    Read so much about this recipe tht now I can’t wait to make them at home.but please can u give the GRAM measurements for this recipe.
    Thanks in advance for ur help.

  18. Sally- In an attempt to reduce a lot of the chemicals that are so freely laced in our foods, I have really enjoyed trying so many of your recipes. Nothing beats homemade. One question I have is, If I opt to try a “better” version of a caramel would I still be using the entire thing. I bought dark chocolate covered caramels at Trader Joe’s and they are a little sizable. Do you think I should cut each in half? If the caramel were not completely covered in chocolate due to being cut in half do you think it would matter as far as how the baking process goes? i cannot WAIT to bake these!

    1. Hi Janet! you may certainly use those Trader Joes caramels. Cut in half is fine and having the caramel exposed is also OK. As long as the cookie dough completely envelopes the caramel itself. Enjoy!

  19. Hi sally!
    Just wanted to say that i absolutely LOVE your blog (i chose it as the best website at school) i also love your recepies. One question, can i freeze the dough when caramel is inside?
    Thanks so much,

  20. Made these cookies yesterday as a little side treat to bring to a dinner party at our friend’s house. Well, these were the first things to disappear amongst a table full of desserts! 🙂 Thanks Sally, your recipes never disappoint! In fact, they are beyond delish 🙂

  21. hello! I absolutely love your recipes!
    I made the S’more Chocolate Crinkle Cookies before, and I was wondering if I could do this Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies similar to the S’more. Can I cover the Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies with the fine crumbs of Graham Crackers? 🙂

    1. Much, much different. This recipe is developed for regular all-purpose. I do not suggest switching flours.

  22. Your recipes are always delicious! I could only fun mini Rolos at the time that I wanted to make these. I made the cookies smaller and got 22 cookies, but it needed more caramel! I would stick with the regular size of Rolos next time I think.
    Happy chocolate chip day! lol
    Your cookbook is fabulous by the way!

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