I had a cookie juuuuuust like this in New York a few weeks ago.
There are hundreds of bakeries in New York, but I went to my old stand-by: Magnolia Bakery. I originally went in for a chocolate cupcake with the prettiest purple frosting, but I came out with the cookie that everyone in line in front of me ordered. I mean, let’s be real: I also had the cupcake. When have I ever not had the cupcake? But, when everyone else orders a big chocolate chip cookie with a generous amount of salt plus caramel dots, you best follow suit! It was heavenly. I knew I had to recreate it at home for you.
I riffed on my usual recipe of 1 dozen chocolate chip cookies, but I left out the shortening so the cookies would spread more. The Magnolia Bakery cookies had crisp edges, which usually means all butter, no shortening. Plus, at least a dozen of you a day ask me if you can substitute the shortening in that recipe for butter, so YES YOU CAN. Your cookies will spread more and be crisper and flatter. I think it’s a good thing when it comes to these salted chocolate chip cookies. Another little change that I think will be permanent in my cookie skill set is to chop the chocolate chunks. When you chop the chocolate, tiny bits of it get dispersed throughout the dough. I think I like this more than a honking chocolate chip in every other bite.
One small detail with these cookies, though. You know those bags of pre-made caramel candies that you use for caramel apples? They get a little too hard in these cookies during baking. So, I suggest you use caramels that are not mass-produced with weird ingredients, if that makes sense. True caramels should be made of real ingredients found in your kitchen. I buy homemade caramels from a chocolate shop, or I use Trader Joe’s Fleur De Sel caramels. Anything but Kraft caramels. Sorry, but it’s true. If that’s all you have, you could lower the baking temperature to 350 and see if the caramel stays soft after baking? Or, just eat all 6 cookies right out of the oven before they cool. <–This is my favorite option. Tried and true. Worst case scenario: use jarred caramel sauce on the cookies right out of the oven. Me and my sticky fingers tested all of the caramel options for you.
Just snip each caramel into 3-4 little pieces before pressing them into the cookie dough.
This recipe makes 6 giant chocolate chip cookies. That’s three for me, three for baby. I mean, three for you. But if you also happen to be eating for two like me, please EAT ALL THE COOKIES. And then tell me all about it so I feel better about myself. Thanks!
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup chocolate chunks
- 5 caramel candies, cut into 18 pieces
- large-flake salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 375, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer of medium speed the butter and sugars. Once creamy, add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until just combined.
- Meanwhile, chop the chocolate chunks into smaller pieces, being careful to save all the fine bits. Add this to the dough and stir to evenly distribute.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, and make large balls of dough by rolling it between your hands. Space the cookies evenly on a baking sheet.
- Press 3 pieces of caramel candy close to the center of each dough ball. Be careful not to press the dough balls flat. Also, since the cookies will spread quite a bit, it's best to keep the caramel pieces very close together.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Sprinkle the cookies generously with salt. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Sprinkle the cookies
If you're looking for recipes to use the remaining egg white, try my list b][here[/b].
Another note: if you don't want to sprinkle salt on top of the cookies, make sure you add 1/4 teaspoon to the cookie dough--these cookies taste flat without salt!