|The store version, about 3" wide|
So why not make my own? I wondered. They’re more or less a standard chocolate chip or chunk cookie with some caramel added, right? I went looking for a recipe—and hit a brick wall. I guess the phenomenon of sweet+salty is so new that the internet isn’t flooded with options. Worse, the few recipes I found weren’t quite right.
The problem was usually the caramel: a number of the recipes used the gooey kind, while the supermarket variety used a crunchy kind. The supermarket baker (bless him or her!) also used chocolate chunks, rather than the chocolate chips in the other recipes. One online recipe even ignored the salt part.
So I set off upon a quest to make my own version, with semi-sweet chocolate chunks and (drumroll) Heath pieces for crunch. And a sprinkle of coarse salt on top.
[I will confess that I made only a half-recipe, else my husband and I will soon resemble hippos. The half recipe made 24 cookies.]
Salted Caramel Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks (salted) butter, softened
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 cup toffee chunks
1-1/2 tsp flaky (coarse) sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (for two baking sheets). Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and fine salt in a bowl and whisk.
In a stand mixer, beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat just to mix in.
|I just love to take pictures of whirling mixers!|
Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. By hand, stir in the chocolate chunks and the toffee bits.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheets (leave about 2” between them). Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of the coarse salt.
|The salt (much enlarged!)|
|The cookie sprinkled with salt|
Bake the cookies about 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer on a rack to cool. (If you have dough left over, repeat the process.)
The results: Not bad. Not as big as the store-bought, but the flavor was right. Next time around I would go with more of the crunchy caramel bits, and larger ones if I can find them (or I could take a hammer to some hard caramel candies).
Dead End Street (Museum Mystery #7), coming June 2016.
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