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. I made these today, with soymilk instead of milk. They’re so ridiculously rich and chocolatey! Thank you so much for inventing and sharing the recipe!

  2. I have made these cookies twice and they are absolutely delicious. I got so many compliments from my friends and family! these are definitely some of my favorite cookies and I will be making them again!

  3. Can you use dove chocolate covered caramels?

  4. Can your salted caramel sauce be used instead of the rolos or would it be too runny?

    1. I fear it would be way too runny unfortunately.

  5. Chelsea -NZ says:

    Hi sally!
    This weekend I have made 3 of your different cookies recipes- all just exchanging the flour to gluten free flour as I am coeliac and they were all such a hit no one could tell. Your recipes have inspired me to bake again being gluten free. I feel like everything I have made before I found your page was pathetic!!!! Your brilliant. Thanks so much! These cookies were to die for.

    1. Hi Chelsea!
      What kind of gluten free flour do you use for this recipe? My mother is Celiac and I love being able to bake her something new and exciting!!

      1. I want info too on your ratio for GF flour….. I was going to comment exactly on this!  I use a mix of rice, tapioca and potatoes starch with xanatham gum. 

  6. Chelsea -NZ says:

    Also sally how can I buy your cook book in nz?

    1. Hi Chelsea! It should be available online and in stores wherever cookbooks are sold.

  7. i have your first cookbook and have been eying these Salted Caramel dark chocolate cookies in there for months. Finally made them a couple of weeks ago and they are DIVINE! Thank you so much from a fellow chocoholic 🙂

  8. Elizabeth F. says:

    As a self confessed people pleaser, I usually make other folks favorites.  Well I am recovered!  I love dark chocolate, love, love caramel, and will probably have some kind of disease related to over sea salt consumption!  I made these because they looked so darn delectable in your divine pictures and I needed a just me cookie.  My daughter is a chocoholic and said “mom, don’t put the sea salt on next time they will taste better”.  I say more sea salt means no sharing with adolescent whiner!!!  Needless to say these truly were one of the best cookies I have ever made.  I will make them again this weekend for the unsalted daughters bake sale and see how much moola i rake in to cover her ridiculously expensive Cheerleading tab.  Thank you once again Sally for the great recipes that continue to inspire my own baking “obsession” since you have already rightly so cornered the market on the “addiction” label.

    1. I’m so glad you love this recipe so much! Thank you!

  9. Hi, I made this recipe from your cookbook and really LOVED it. The cookies turned  out so perfectly, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Thank you for the recipe!
    I posted pictures of the result on my blog :!

  10. Is it possible to MAKe these cookies…let them cool completely…then freeze and thaw a few days later for eating? 

    1. Definitely!

  11. Hi Sally,
    I made these cookies like 10 times BUT! they turn out cakey every time. I mean they crack and crumble very easily (unlike your chocolate chip cookie recipes, and yes I tried them too!). Your chocolate chip cookies turn out nicely and hold the shape very well if you know what I mean.

    I cream the butter and sugar with spatula so there’s no whipping process to add air and make the cookie brittle. Also, I mix in egg with low speed. Please correct this if I misunderstood.

    Please kindly suggest what I’ve done wrong and how to fix that. I prefer the texture of the chocolate chip cookies but the taste is this recipe is heaven too 🙂

    Thank you xx

    1. Cakey cookies usually means there is a higher ratio of flour to fat– are you over measuring the flour at all? Make sure you are spooning and leveling it. I never cream the butter and sugar by hand; always a mixer. I’d try that since the recipe calls for it and the cookies are never cakey using the directed method. You can also try adding 2 Tbsp more butter as well.

      1. Thank you for your advice. I tried again according to the additional 2 tbsp butter, the cookies look better but still crumbly. I measure all ingredients by weighing (including the 125 g flour).
        How about sticking to your recipe with an additional egg? I’m afraid the dough could be cakey though.

  12. Hello. I was wondering if chopped chocolate would work instead of the chocolate chips? By the way, these look delicious, I swear I almost drooled all over my keyboard. That’s how good they look, especially to a chocolate addict such as myself.

  13. Hello, love your cookbook and site first of all.
     Alright here we go I love caramel and dark chocolate so I have tried to make this cookie twice now out of your cook book my husband bought me last year. Sadly though they have not turned out as they should. I’m not sure if my oven is off or what exactly is up but they turn out flat and the caramel turns just chewy and in the very center almost completely in contact almost as if the caramel never melted. I’ve tried baking more and less and still no success :/ I can not figure out where I go wrong. I’m persistent though, I give up for awhile then keep coming back to this recipe to figure out what keeps going wrong. 

    1. Natalie, which brand of caramels are you using? I recommend kraft chewy caramels. And don’t be afraid to add another Tablespoon or two of flour to the cookie dough. That will help prevent spreading. Hope this helps!

    2. Try Rolo’s they worked great.  

  14. Sally, 
    Two questions 1. Does this dough freeze well? 2. If I do freeze it should I freeze with the caramels inside or wait until I take them out to bake to add the caramels?

    1. Freezes well, yes! Up to 3 months. To ensure the caramel is nice and gooey, add the caramels after freezing and thawing the dough.

  15. Can you double this recipe?

    1. Yes you can.

  16. Hi Sally, I just made these cookies, they are terrific!
    Last month I bought your book on line and I’ve tried many recipes so far, both from your book than from your blog (almond butter chocolate chip cookies and buttery blueberry streusel muffins are one of my favorites). Thank you!
    Bianca from Italy

  17. Can you refrigerate this dough overnight instead of 2 hours?

    1. Yes. Let is sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to slightly soften up before rolling/scooping.

  18. Hi Sally,

    Can these cookies be made ahead and frozen? They look great!

    1. Yes, absolutely! Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

  19. Hi Sally. Have you ever made these cookies with dark cocoa powder?

    1. I have, yes! I’ve used Hershey’s Special Dark. They’re wonderful.

    2. I just made them with Special Dark cocoa power.  They were awesome

  20. These are the best cookies ever.  I used Hersheys special Dark cocoa powder.  Under baked a bit so they were soft and fudgy and gooy.    So glad I doubled the recipe.  

    I didn’t have parchment paper –too much baking the weekend before.  But a greased cookie sheet worked just fine. 

    This recipe is definitely a keeper

  21. Sally,

    I made these last night, they were delicious! I made a double recipe and let the dough chill in the fridge over night. My only problem was the dough was soo sticky I had the worst time putting them together, I couldn’t roll them all. I just had to smoosh them together, so they look pretty lumpy/messy. I did the 4 tbls of milk before I chilled the dough like your recipe says (doubled it). Should I do less milk? more flour? Thanks!

    1. More flour should help, Alicia. Happy holidays!

  22. i made cookies from your recipe i loved it i live in INDIA but i am a fan of yours

  23. Do you roll the cookie dough into a ball after you put the Rolo in the middle, or do you leave it as is? I rolled the dough after I put the Rolo in and I believe the Rolo moved to the bottom… It was a disaster… Haha!

    1. I had the same issue! They tasted wonderful but they were a huge mess and I couldn’t even separate the cookies from the parchment paper to put them on the cooling rack. Can you offer advice?

  24. Hi.. Avid fan and follower of yours from India ! I’m a doctor who has now become part time home baker thanks to you! 
    I want to know if I can substitute the egg in this with flaxseed powder and water mixture ?
    I have guests coming over who don’t eat eggs and wanted to make these cookies for them .

  25. Hi Sally, 
    They don’t sell any chocolate coated caramel where I live could I use a caramel sauce instead? 

    1. Caramel sauce is a no because it is too liquid-y. How about any caramel candies? I also have a caramel candy recipe (make them from scratch!) in my new cookbook, Sally’s Candy Addiction. They work in this cookie!

  26. Sally I made these but made a few with mini reeses. Chocolate overload and I ate all the reeses ones

  27. Hi Sally!
    I just made these and my appartment smells AMAZING!!
    I have a question though. My cookies turned out kind of flat. Dont get me wrong, they still blew my mind! They still taste amazing, but they aren’t quite as pretty as your cookies 😛 (and I’m a sucker for a pretty cookie).
    I followed your recipe, weighing al my ingredients. And i chilled the dough overnight, so that couldn’t be it. The only thing I changed was I only put in 1 tbsp of milk, because I felt the dough was already kind of sticky.
    Do you have any suggestions for the next time? More flour or maybe omit the milk all together?
    Have a great day!!

    1. Hi Linda! So sorry you’re running into flat cookies with this recipe! BUT, I’m glad you still love their taste. I would add 3 extra Tablespoons of flour and omit the milk completely. This will help. Great job with the chilling. Never want to skip that!

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I will make those changes the next time I make them. I will let you know how they turn out!

  28. I made these again, Sally, this time for my daughter’s baby shower. I remembered that she had loved them at her engagement party. For the first time I bought Rolos, instead of using Kraft’s caramel bits. I got more cookies, as I made them as small as I could while still enclosing the Rolo. They were still quiet large! And of the five desserts I made, they disappeared first and were what people wanted to take home. I had to quickly grab two and stash them for myself!

    1. This all makes me so happy! From engagement party to baby shower 🙂

  29. Outrageously delicious!

  30. I happen to have a pouch of the unwrapped mini Rolos on hand. Do you know if those would work instead of the full-sized Rolos, and if so, how many minis I would put in each cookie? I do have one roll of regular Rolos, but not enough to make this recipe.

    1. I’d say 2 mini rolos in each. Great question!

      1. Thanks! I made them with regular Rolos in half of the cookies, and 2 mini Rolos in the other half, and they came out very tasty. I used your great trick for softening butter quickly! The problem I had with this recipe was that even though I chilled the dough for about 3 hours, it was still quite soft and sticky to work with.

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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