Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies

requisite Valentine-y type photo for this time of year.

There are three things in this world that I love: Chocolate, Caramel and Salt.  Well, ok, there’s more than three things.  But for the purpose of this post let’s pretend that there are only three things.  And how awesome is it when you get to combine all three things you love into one thing?  And how even awesom-er is it when that thing is a cookie???

I know! It’s pretty superamazingfantabulous awesome, that’s what.

soft Werther's caramels, sea salt and chocolate

I’m a salted caramel junkie.  That salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks…. mmmmmm.  Mmmmhmmm.  Salted caramel sauce? It should be poured on just about everything.

So you can imagine how happy I was when I stumbled upon a recipe for Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Sea Salt over on Two Peas and Their Pod.  Josh and Maria have the most amazing cookie recipes on their site.  If you remember, that’s where I got the wonderful and so pretty Pomegranate White Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe from.

sprinkle of salt and they're ready for the oven

The recipe was a little different – it used plain yogurt instead of eggs, which I really liked and I think I will experiment with in a few other cookie recipes.  My sea salt also seemed to be a very fine grade and I think the photos might have looked better if I’d used Kosher  salt instead but that might have been overkill on the saltiness.

I doubled the original recipe, because, let’s face it, 24 cookies don’t last around here at all.  I need substantial batches to feel like I’ve used my time wisely!  It worked out just fine.  I used Werther’s soft caramels because it was that or Kraft caramels and believe it or not, the Werther’s were cheaper and were big enough that I was able to cut them in half before rolling them into the cookie balls.

Another interesting little tidbit… I use silpats on my cookie sheets.  I have two – an original silpat that I’ve had for years, and a newer one from Epicure that I bought at a party a year and a half ago.  The cookies baked on the original silpat turned out perfectly.  Almost all of the ones I did on the Epicure silpat type pad leaked caramel.  I did two batches on each sheet and the same thing happened both times.  I’ve never been happy with the Epicure mat and I wasn’t able to find it on their website so I’m wondering if they discontinued it.  It never stays flat in the baking process – always puffs up.  I’m thinking of tossing it and investing in a second real silpat – they really are wonderful.

All ready to be eaten - these are two bite cookies.

The cookies were delicious – the caramel stayed all gooey and soft in the middle and the the salt is a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the caramel and the richness of the chocolate.  Definitely worth that extra little effort to pop the caramels inside each one!  And then I made a big mug of tea, curled up in a chair and read my book with a couple few of these to munch on.

And then I took the dog for a hike – these really don’t fit into my Operation Combat Winter Fatter-itis plan.  (that should be said with a big echo behind it) But they’re too good to pass up.

Photography

All images were shot in AV mode.

Image 1: 1/20, f3.2, 50mm, ISO 400, +2/3 exposure compensation

The image was backlit from my south facing kitchen window and I used a piece of white foam board to the right of the scene to add some fill light.  Post process was a minor contrast/vibrance tweak and standard sharpening.

Image 2: 1/40, f3.2, 50mm, ISO 400, +2/3 exposure compensation

The image was backlit from the south window – no reflector was used.  Post process included split toning with a very subtle bump up of red tones on highlights and blue tones on shadows.  Small adjustments were made to contrast, clarity and standard sharpening.

Image 3: 1/125, f3.2, 50mm, ISO 400, -2/3 exposure compensation

The image was lit to the left from the window with no reflector. Post process included split toning with a very subtle bump up of red tones on highlights and blue tones on shadows.  Small adjustments were made to contrast, clarity and standard sharpening and a minor crop was done to improve the composition.

Image 4: 1/20, f3.2, 50mm, ISO 400, +2/3 exposure compensation

The image was lit to the right from the south window – again, no reflector.  Post process included split toning with a very subtle bump up of red tones on highlights and blue tones on shadows.  Small adjustments were made to contrast, clarity and standard sharpening.

In my next post I’ll do a quick tips and tricks on the difference a reflector can make to a shot using this photo shoot.  It’ll give you an idea of the very different look a very simple and inexpensive tool can lend to a photo.

Comments

    • Melissa says

      Hi Jenn,
      I buy it at the grocery store. It’s usually in a box with the regular table salt and kosher salt. It’s a tiny bit coarser than table salt but not as coarse as kosher salt. Hope you manage to track it down.

  1. Anne says

    Hi!
    I really want to make these, my boyfriend loves anything with chocolate but I couldn’t find soft caramel, so have bought some chocolate covered chewy caramels, but now I am worried that the cookies will have to be eaten warm, otherwise the caramel won’t be soft…
    What are your cookies like when they’re cold? Is the caramel still soft in the middle?

    • Melissa says

      Hi Anne,
      Yes, the caramel stayed soft and gooey after they cooled. I did freeze a small batch and I found those didn’t soften up as well when they thawed – still soft but not as gooey.

  2. says

    Holy yumminess!!! WOW. I’m about to lick my screen… chocolate, caramel, salt… love this combination! Great great recipe… thank you so much for sharing… I can’t wait to give these a try!

  3. says

    Hi Melissa, wow do those cookies look absolutely divine, and you’re a great photographer of them too. I adore photography, and just got myself a Canon 7D, so your little notes of exactly what you’re using to take each shot are really helpful. I usually do pohotgraphy of events such as protests and parties, so this kind of carefully planned shot is almost alien to me :)

    Found you through Strawberry Sue, who is with us at Livefyre, and just clicked through to see what you were all about. Just wondering if you’d ever thought of using a social commenting system such as livefyre before? All our users really love the software and it does help increase engagement and share your cookies with the whole internet :) You can find us a livefyre.com or feel free to contact me personally :)

    Best,

    Matthew

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