Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies
Loaded with chocolate chips and caramel chips, these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies bake up perfectly soft and chewy every time! If you’re looking to change up your chocolate chip cookie recipe, this one is a delicious twist on the classic. Great for any occasion from cookie cravings to an after school treat or a Christmas cookie exchange!
Just in time for cookie baking season, these chocolate chip caramel cookies will be the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray! With the perfect balance of sweet and salty, these cookies are always a hit and I can’t wait for you to try them!
To make these chocolate chip caramel cookies, we’re using my favorite base recipe for regular chocolate chip cookies (with a few minor tweaks). So, if you’d rather just make chocolate chip cookies, you can simply replace the caramel chips with more chocolate chips. I love that this cookie recipe is versatile enough to use whatever mix-ins you’re craving or have available.
I haven’t met a single person that didn’t LOVE these cookies. They are perfect for lazy weekends, parties, an after dinner dessert or your Christmas cookie jar! Now, let’s get to the delicious details.
The lineup of ingredients for chocolate chip caramel cookies includes all of the basics that you’d expect to find in most cookie recipes. It’s the ratio and treatment of ingredients that really makes these cookies stand out among other cookie recipes. My secret tricks? Extra flour, cornstarch, cold butter, cold eggs, more brown sugar than granulated sugar, plenty of vanilla and just enough salt to balance the sweetness. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour. Flour gives the cookies structure and depending on its ratio to the other ingredients, will make the cookies chewy, fluffy, cake-y, crisp, or crumbly. Today’s ratio of ingredients makes a soft, tender cookie with the perfect amount of chewiness.
- Cornstarch. This is my “secret” ingredient to give these cookies thickness and make them ultra soft.
- Baking powder and baking soda. The combination of these two leavening agents gives the best “lift” to the cookies while maintaining a pleasant flavor. Too much baking powder and you’ll end up with bitter cookies.
- Salt. A must for any sweet treat! Salt enhances other flavors in the cookies while also balancing out the sweetness from the sugars.
- Unsalted butter. Most cookie recipes call for softened butter, but to keep these caramel cookies from spreading too much, COLD butter is incorporated into the dough.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar. Both add sweetness. Granulated sugar promotes nice browning while the molasses content in brown sugar makes the cookies chewy and moist.
- Eggs. Two eggs give the cookies shape and structure. As with the butter, we’re using cold eggs to keep these cookies nice and thick.
- Pure vanilla extract. Adds flavor depth and a touch of sweetness.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips. The quality of your chocolate truly matters. These cookies call for standard-sized semi-sweet chocolate chips, but feel free to use chunks or mini semi-sweet chips. My favorite brand for chocolate chips is Ghirardelli.
- Caramel chips. I recommend using Hershey’s Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips to add the rich, indulgent taste of salted caramel to these cookies. Do NOT use these Caramel Bits, unless you want to crack a tooth. They are much too hard for these cookies.
- Maldon sea salt. Sprinkle the cookies with coarse sea salt right after they come out of the oven for a salted caramel cookies great salty crunch to contrast the sweet flavors.
HOW TO MAKE Caramel COOKIES
This caramel chip cookie recipe is simple, straightforward and will be your new go-to! Just follow these easy steps…
Please see the recipe card for the full, printable recipe with all of the details.
- Prep. Line your baking pans with parchment paper or a Silpat mat or other similar silicone baking mat.
- Dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Wet ingredients. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, cream the cold butter on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add in both sugars and beat to combine for about 2 more minutes. Scrape down the sides of your bowl as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one to combine. With the last egg, add in the vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients. On low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture about 1/3 cup at a time until well combined. Stir in both the chocolate chips and the caramel morsels.
- Scoop dough balls. Use a large spoon or cookie scoop to make dough balls (mine were about 2 tablespoons full). Place the cookie dough balls onto a cookie sheet and place the sheet pan into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 365ºF.
- Bake. Place chilled cookies in the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Do NOT overbake! Remove from the oven right when edges start looking set and golden. The centers may look slightly underbaked, but they will continue to cook even after they are removed from the oven.
- Cool cookies. While the cookies are still warm, press a few extra chocolate and caramel chips into the tops and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire racks to continue to cool.
TIPS FOR BAKING PERFECT caramel COOKIES
There are tons of tips and tricks for baking the perfect cookies, but follow the suggestions below and you’re sure to have some amazing caramel chip cookies!
- Measure flour correctly. Using a food scale is the most precise method for measuring ingredients, especially flour. If you don’t have one available, lightly spoon flour (don’t pack) into a measuring cup and without shaking the cup, use the straight side of a butter knife to level the flour across the measuring cup.
- Fresh baking soda and baking powder. Be sure that your baking soda and baking powder are fresh before using, so these cookies rise properly! They lose potency over time. When I open a new can, I always write the date on the lid with a Sharpie. Discard the opened can after 6 months.
- Chill the dough. I highly recommend taking the time to chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes. Chilling the dough keeps these cookies nice and thick as they bake and it also enhances the flavor of the ingredients in this cookie recipe.
- Bake on parchment or silicone. Parchment or, better yet, a silicone baking mat makes for the most perfect cookies. Greasing the baking sheet creates an overly greasy foundation, which will cause the cookies to spread too much. Silicone baking mats will grip onto the bottom of your cookies to prevent them from spreading too much. The mats also promote even browning.
- Don’t overbake. I recommend experimenting with a couple of cookies before baking the entire batch. This will help you find that sweet spot when it comes to bake time in your oven and your preferred level of doneness. Remember cookies continue to bake for a short time, even after they’ve been removed from the oven. And, as they cool, they will become more chewy than doughy.
- Flaky sea salt. Adding a generous sprinkle of flaky seas salt over your chocolate caramel cookies while they are still warm will really take the flavor to the next level.
STORING baked cookies
We’ve just baked the most delicious batch of cookies that are slightly crispy on the outside edges and soft & chewy on the inside, and we want to keep them that way! Make sure the cookies are completely cooled, and then store your batch of freshly baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Leftovers will stay fresh for about 5 to 7 days, but I can’t imagine them not being enjoyed before that! After a day or two, we like to microwave these until warm and they taste just like freshly baked cookies!
Do you want to save the cookie dough OR a batch of baked cookies for later? Freezing cookie dough or baked cookies works great! There are two simple ways to freeze cookies before or after baking them. Here’s how:
- Freezing cookie dough. I love having cookie dough already mixed up, so I can bake an amazing sweet treat whenever the cookie craving hits! Scoop out balls of cookie dough and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will flash-freeze the dough, so the cookie dough balls don’t stick together. Once the cookie dough balls are firm, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen cookie dough will keep well for up to 3 months. Be sure to label your bag of cookie dough with the date.
- Bake from frozen. Baking from frozen will work just fine. The tops of your cookies may darken a bit more, but they will still be fabulous. Follow all of the cooking instructions, but add a minute or two onto the bake time, as needed. Feel free to thaw and then bake, if preferred.
- Freezing baked cookies. You can totally freeze already-baked caramel cookies with great results. Be sure cookies have completely cooled and then place them in a freezer-safe container or baggie and freeze the cookies for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply thaw out at room temperature. Feel free to then microwave them until warm and they will taste just like they were freshly baked!
You won’t be able to eat just one of these amazing soft, thick caramel cookies, I promise you that. I apologize in advance, if your pants fit a little tighter! 😉
If you try this caramel cookies recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves these cookies as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies
- 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour , spoon and leveled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 226g) unsalted butter , cold and cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , cold
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup caramel baking chips
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand or electric handheld mixer, cream cold butter on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add in brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of your bowl as needed. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until just combined. With the last egg, add in vanilla extract.
- While mixer is running, add flour mixture 1/3 cup at a time until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Stir in both chocolate and caramel chips.
- Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, scoop out dough and place on baking sheet. I used 40 grams (about 2 tablespoons) of dough for each cookie. This will make medium-sized cookies, like the ones pictured. Place pan in fridge and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 365ºF or 185ºC.
- Bake chilled cookies for 10-12 mins. Remove from the oven right when edges start getting golden. They may not look done, but they will continue to cook even after they've been removed from the oven. If desired, while the cookies are still warm, press a few extra chocolate and caramel chips into the tops and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Let baked cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. We love these fresh out of the oven, but microwaved warm is delicious as well!
- Storage. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to one week.
- Freezing Instructions. Cookie dough will freeze well for up to 3 months. See post for more detailed instructions. Baked cookies will also freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw to room temperature before serving.
- Reheat cookies. Microwave until warm and cookies will taste just like they were freshly baked!