Monday, April 4, 2016

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chunk Cookies - Totally Amazing!

I know not everyone loves social media.  With all three of our girls at college in Texas, I LOVE Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!  I love connecting with my girls and their world.

I have been following a few great food bloggers on Instagram.  I enjoy reading the cookie recipes on Baker By Nature.  She really puts extra effort into her cookies and they all look fabulous.  I love how she takes a look at her cookies a couple of minutes before being done... and adds a few chocolate chips.... or M & Ms or whatever to the top of the cookie.... and puts them back in the oven to finish baking.  This helps to make the cookies look extra fabulous!

I chose to make her Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies for a party this past weekend.  They were simply amazing!

I have read many reviews on how "browned butter" adds so much flavor to a cookie, dessert.  I totally agreed.... I am sold.

I did go the extra mile with these cookies... but it was so worth it!!

Please visit Ashley at Baker by Nature - you will love it  - and learn a lot too!

 **Ashley at Baker by Nature made 2 dozen cookies.  I cut my caramels in half and made more cookies.  I needed more for an event.

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chunk Cookies (adapted from Baker by Nature)

2 sticks salted butter
20 semi-soft salted caramel candies (used Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel salted caramels)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt, kosher salt or table salt
1 cup + 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Maldon sea salt flakes for garnish (click link to find)

Place both sticks of butter into a small saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir constantly.  The mixture will foam, turn an amber color and will take on a slightly nutty aroma.  The browned butter will have lots of yummy brown bits. Remove from heat and pour into a heat proof bowl. Place bowl in refrigerator for about a hour or so.  **You'll know the butter is room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indention

While the butter is cooling, unwrap all of the caramels.  **I cut my caramels in half to make more cookies.  Put the caramels in the freezer until needed.

Once the butter is at room temperature, preheat your oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper;  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt - set aside.  Combine the brown butter, sugars, vanilla in a bowl.  Using a mixer, beat on medium-high until light and fluffy - about two minutes.  Reduce to medium and add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Let mixture rest for 5 minutes.  Gently fold in flour mixture with a rubber spatula, stirring until all of the flour is gone.  Fold in chocolate chunks.

Take a few caramels out of the freezer, pat enough dough around caramel half to seal in the caramel. Make sure the caramel is sealed in the middle so it doesn't leak out.  Pour some flaky sea salt into a bowl.  Tap the top of the sealed dough ball into the salt.   Place the golf ball size cookie ball on a baking sheet.  Put cookies in a preheated oven and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes.  Edges will be slightly brown but soft in the middle.  Allow cookies to cool five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

**I peeked at my cookies at 7 minutes and topped them with a few more chocolate chunks so they would look as good as they taste - then finished baking

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