Sea Salt Caramel

Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt Caramel Chips

I've partnered with The Hershey Company to develop this chocolate truffle cookie recipe to share and enjoy with friends and family over the holiday season. Chocolate and salty caramel is always a great combination for any occasion!

A few years ago, I used to be the kind of person who got insanely stressed out by the holidays and all that comes with them. The 'To Do' list overwhelmed me: the tickets to book, the friends and family to catch up with, the presents to buy. And, oh, the presents. I hated battling the crowds at the shopping malls and figuring out who needed or wanted what. What if I completely missed the mark and bought the wrong thing?! Oh no, oh no, oh NO.

These days, none of that stuff stresses me out anymore. I'm able to wander around the sights of New York City anxiety-free, admiring the cute little holiday shops and the figure skaters without a care. Instead of spending all my hours after work frantically trolling sites for flash sales, I kick off my shoes, pour myself a glass of wine, and re-watch the new episodes of my favorite shows for the fifth or sixth time.

Want to know my secret?

It's cookies.

I first got the idea a few years ago when I showed up to a White Elephant party with nothing but a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies. In a nondescript plastic bag that was slightly crushed from my bike ride over, I thought that they would be the least popular item. To my surprise, they were the most sought-after present, beating out crowd favorites like a cat calendar.

Of course! Everybody I know, even the most picky and discerning eaters, LOVES cookies. Because is there anything more enjoyable than a warm, homemade cookie and a glass of milk? I don't think so.

So now, every Christmas, my friends and family get a special shipment of whatever batch of cookies I've made for the holiday. Not only is it a way to share my love for baking with everybody, but it also gets rid of all my previous holiday stresses. There's no more making shopping lists, no more trying to figure out who gets what. Instead, there are just batches and batches of cookies with the smell of chocolate and butter wafting constantly through the house. Everybody gets a twine wrapped box of cookies, and they LOVE it. I get emails and text messages as early as October, asking me what cookies I'm sending out this year.

So this year's cookies? These beautiful, crackly chocolate truffle cookies studded with HERSHEY'S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips. These are really brownies, but in cookie form — they're incredibly chocolatey, chewy in the center but with a crisp edge almost identical to that of brownie edges themselves. To top it all off, each HERSHEY'S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chip adds a burst of delicious, salty caramel flavor to each wonderful bite.

Happy Holidays, y'all!

Thanks to The Hershey Company for sponsoring this post by providing the compensation and ingredients to make it happen! I was one of the bloggers who participated in HERSHEY'S Bake Happy Challenge, spending the last few months sharing chocolate-focused recipes and other tips and tricks to encourage all you lovely folks to bake. Be sure to check out the past recipes (this chocolate pretzel tart, these chocolate sugar cookies, and my personal favorite — a cake decorating tutorial!), and thanks for supporting Hummingbird High and all my wonderful sponsors!

Some baker's notes:

1) So, this dough is NOT your typical cookie dough; it will seem like it's too soft and liquidy at first, and will therefore be a little difficult to scoop and shape without it melting into a puddle. This is normal! Let it sit for 10 minutes before handling — in that time, the dough will harden and be easier to work with. But a word of caution; don't let it sit for too long. The longer you wait, the harder the dough becomes, and the more difficult it will be to scoop! I really recommend using a cookie dough scoop for this particular dough to help you shape the cookies.

2) For a more photogenic, show-stopping cookie, I recommend saving about a 1/3 cup of the caramel chips and placing them on the top of each cookie after you've shaped them. If you mix in all the chips, the dark chocolate batter will likely hide the pretty caramel color of the chips. Placing some chips on the top of each cookie before baking ensures that some chips remain visible and stand out in contrast. If you don't want to bother, though, just dump in the chips all at once! Your cookies won't be as pretty, but they'll still be equally as tasty!

Cookies Sitting on a Tray

Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt Caramel Chips

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 packages (4 oz. each) HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips
  • Additional 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together in medium bowl flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. Chop semi-sweet chocolate into fine pieces; place in heatproof bowl over saucepan of very hot water with bottom of bowl NOT touching the water.  Heat, stirring occasionally with rubber scraper until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Cool 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, beat butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment at medium-high speed about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. 
  5. Slow mixer to lowest setting.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping sides of bowl after each addition.  Increase mixer to medium-high; beat an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is very light, creamy and pale in color.  Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla, beating just until combined.
  6. Return mixer to lowest setting.  Add flour mixture all at once; blend just until combined. (Over-mixing will cause the cookies to be tough.)  Stir in 1-2/3 cups caramel chips.  Let cookie batter rest 5 to 10 minutes.  (Batter is very soft, but will start to firm as it sits.) 
  7. Drop cookies using # 24 scoop (or about 3 tablespoons batter) onto prepared cookie sheets spacing about 2 inches apart.  Press additional caramel chips into tops of cookies, if desired.
  8. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until tops are evenly cracked and cookies are softly set.  Remove from oven to wire rack.  Cool completely on cookie sheets before removing.  Makes about 3 dozen (3-1/2 inch) cookies.

Recipe created for The Hershey Company by Hummingbird High. To see the original post on Hummingbird High, click here.

Cookies and Milk


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