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

390 Comments

  1. Just made these – awesome tasting cookies! Really great recipe. Dough is sticky even after refrigeration, but it works if you follow the instructions to roll into balls. Thank you!

  2. Hey Sally, do you think this recipe would work well as a giant cookie cake too? Just wondering if I’d still need to chill the dough or not? I am pretty new to your blog but EVERY recipe, without fail has been foolproof! I’m referring everyone I know who eats my bakes, to where the recipes come from!

    1. Hey Amanda! Yep, this recipe could definitely work as a cookie cake. No need to chill the dough, just press into the 9-inch pan with a spatula (it will be quite sticky). Around 25-28 minute bake time.

  3. I’ve made these cookies 3 times now and folks can’t get enough of them. Who doesn’t like dark chocolate and caramel? They’re a lot easier to put together than I originally thought, but they disappear even quicker!

  4. Hi Sally, I have a silly question to ask – does the caramel harden when the cookies have cooled down and are stored in cookie jars for a few days?

  5. Just made these and they are amazing!!! Thanks!! One question – does rolo caramel stay a bit softer than wrapped caramels once cooled? Once they cooled completely, the caramel is harder than I thought it’d be and almost comes out in one bite because it’s not stretchy at all anymore.

    1. Those would be fine, though they may slightly ooze out of the bottom of the cookie. The chocolate coating on the rolls helps prevent any caramel from escaping. (Though sometimes it smell does!)

  6. Hey sally!
    Im really obsessed with you and your blog. You are amazing. I live in spain and we dont have rolos here. (Yeah it sucks) what should i do to have caramel inside these cookies? Should i freeze caramel in small chuncks and stuff it in the cookies? And then will it melt in the oven?
    Thanks, just got your cookbook!
    Xoxo rebeca

    1. Hi Rebeca – do you have any sort of caramel candies? If not, I don’t suggest freezing and stuffing in the cookie dough. How about you make these instead. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/18/salted-caramel-chocolate-chip-mini-cheesecakes/

  7. Hey Sally! Can I replace the dark chocolate morsels with normal chocolate chips? This recipe looks decadent I can’t wait to try it!!

  8. Hi, Sally! Quick question! I made these and they were quite flat and had like a little Rolos lump in the middle that didn’t melt properly or anything. What could I have done wrong? I’m not the most experienced baker (just started trying different recipes about six months ago) so I don’t know how to alter recipes to achieve the desired results, which in this case would be making the cookies thicker and softer.

    1. I should add my boyfriend still LOVED them and has asked I make them again for his birthday this week, I just want them to look pret

    2. Hmm. It sounds like your cookies spread a little too much and were incredibly thin so that it why the caramels were lumps – is that so? Yu may try adding 1 Tablespoon of flour to the cookie dough and/or chill the cookie dough for longer OR you can chop up the caramels and mix them into the cookie dough before chilling and rolling into balls to bake.

  9. Hi Sally.

    Made these weeks back and they were a great hit. I couldn’t find Rolos here in Singapore so I substitute with HERSHEY’S Kisses Milk Chocolate Filled With Caramel and I topped each cookie with Fleur de Sel. It was delish!!! A friend said best cookie ever. Yes I do agree this is the best cookie ever 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  10. Hi Sally,
    I made these twice and its been my all time favorite cookie! I also never liked a chocolate cookie before this. I have left out the extra chocolate chips and its still amazing! (Last night I had no milk, but it still turned out well despite that. They just cracked a bit more). Thanks so much for all your amazing recipes!!

  11. Just put a batch in the oven–can’t wait to taste them. Thought I would add, if you keep your fingers wet with cool water while you handle the dough, it will make the whole process go infinitely smoother.

  12. these salted caramel cookies are amazing, i made them with my three year old and we used the caramel mars limited addition, we froze them first to make them easier to cut and some of the chocolate coating came off so we had just the caramel in the center… absolutely amazing cookies!!! thankyou

  13. I wonder if you have ever tried making these and freezing and preparing later? *Sorry if someone asked this prior – my search engine isn’t cooperating to let me search the comments*

    I want to bring these cookies to a Christmas cookie exhange I was planning to start getting ready now and preparing and freezing the dough balls individually on parchment and then placing them in freezer bags when frozen so they are ready to go in the oven. I will either thaw them a bit and then cook, or cook them from frozen and adding an extra minute or two of cooking time.

    Have you tried this for this particular recipe?

    1. Yep, I always freeze cookie dough. For this recipe, I suggest chilling the cookie dough as directed. Then, roll into balls, freeze on parchment, then once frozen place into freezer bags. They are good in the freezer for up to 2-3 months, which is perfect for your cookie exchange.

      1. Thank you. I’m in the process of making 4 batches of them over the next week. I’ll chill dough and then make balls as per recipe and freeze. Thanks Sally. And PS your recipe deserved that award! Amazing!

      2. I assume you mean chill the balls of dough withOUT the rolos? and then after thawing, add in the rolos?? or can you stuff the dough with rolos and then freeze? 
        thanks!

  14. hi Sally I’m new to your blog and totally addicted! Just want to try out this chocolate chocolate chip cookie – but my little son is not a fan of caramel – can I still make this cookie leaving out the stuffed caramel? Thanks a lot!

    1. Absolutely! The cookies are tasty without the caramel inside too. I use this recipe to make white chocolate chip cookies too: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/21/inside-out-chocolate-chip-cookies/

  15. Hi Sally!
    So nice meeting you yesterday at Williams and Sonoma. Read through your cookbook and cannot wait to try a lot of the recipes: this one in particular!!

  16. Is it possible to do this but instead of the rolo’s, use home-made caramel e.g. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-salted-caramel-recipe/?

      1. Wow, that was fast. OK, well, that’s what I had guessed. Is there a way to do the whole thing from scratch, or do you really need to use store-bought candy?

        Also, when baking these, I imagine the caramel is nice and gooey when they are warm. But if I make them and then eat them on day 2 for example, will the caramel be too chewy?

  17. Hi Sally!

    I bought your beautiful cookbook and just made these cookies: they are absolutely delicious AND beautiful! Congratulations for your blog and your cookbook, I love them!

    Greetings from Québec, Canada!
    Merci beaucoup!

    1. Yes, the dough may be chilled up to 3-5 days. Covered tightly. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 40 minutes before rolling.

  18. Hey sally, i am a really big fan of your blog, im in looove with your cookie recipes, and im really excited to try this one, but, you think i could use caramels instead of the rolos? Because where i live we dont have those or anything similar, i adore, youre a sweet.

  19. These are the greatest cookies. These are my go to when I want to impress people! The husband brought a few into work and they split each cookie into quarters so they could make them last longer!

  20. These were by far the most popular cookie on my cookie tray this year. This was the second year I made them and I doubled the recipe because I remembered how delicious they were and that they were a big hit last year, too! This is definitely a “keeper”! Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. Excellent cookie…One of the best, if not THE best recipe ever! Actually, one of my friends called it (I hopre this is ok to say…”Better than sex”).
    Anyway…my only notes would be: : Wear latex or vinyl gloves to make the dough easier to work with and clean up. Also, when I make them, I first make 36, 1” balls. That way, I can be sure that I will have enough dough for 18 uniform cookies and if any are too small/big or there is leftover or not enough dough, I can adjust the size of all of the cookies. That also gives them time to return to room temperature which, for me, makes it easier to form. I also emphasize strongly to VERY lightly sprinkle each with the sea salt as a little goes a very long way. You don’t want to overpower the cookie.
    Thank you again for this recipe!

  22. Hey Sally, I am making some Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes for a friend next weekend. He wants half a batch of them to be made with a dark chocolate cookie base with the regular cookie dough frosting. I was thinking of using this dough as the base and baking it in muffin tins. What do you think?

  23. I ‘ve just made ​​the cookies.
    I have had the problem that the dough was very sticky and verry hard to make a ball of it.
    After much effort I did a little water on my hands and made a ball 🙂
    I wondered if this is normal? i chilld the dough 4 ours

  24. I love these cookies!! Dark chocolate, caramel and sea salt together can not go wrong! I have make them several times now and can’t wait to make them again and again!

  25. Hey Sally! I made these yesterday and the cookies today were not completly crunchy but they were still hard. I left them in there for an extra 5 minutes. Should I not do that next time? And also would you know how many calories are in these per cookie?

    1. Julia, it sounds like the cookies were overbaked. I suggest baking them for the recommended time. Feel free to use an online calculator to determine the nutrition information.

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