Soft, gooey, chocolate-chip cookies are pretty darn awesome. Fact.
Soft, gooey, chocolate-chip AND salted caramel cookies are phenomenal. Trust me.
In fact, don’t just trust me; try them yourself with this recipe below. Don’t be put off by the salted caramel stage – if you really can’t bring yourself to hover over the stove for the 15 to 20 minutes that it takes to make this heavenly nectar then don’t sweat it, there are some good-quality versions that you can simply buy in a jar nowadays so opt for that instead. Remember, though, the cookie will only be as good as the ingredients that you put in. You have been warned.
Ingredients (makes around 10 large cookies)
Salted Caramel (makes way more than you need for this recipe but you’ll NEED at least this much in your life. You won’t struggle to put the remainder to good use/eat directly from the spoon. FYI: the caramel will keep in the fridge for weeks)
90ml whipping cream
½ vanilla pod
190g caster sugar
30g liquid glucose
150g sea-salt butter, cubed and at room temperature
To allow sufficient cooling time, make the caramel the night before.
- Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, adding the seeds, along with the scraped pod, to the whipping cream. Bring the cream and vanilla to the boil, cover with a lid to keep warm and set aside.
- Warm a large-ish heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat (the caramel mixture will rise up and splatter a little during cooking so use a pan large enough to prevent over-flow and burns – caramel is HOT!). Once the pan is hot, add the glucose and 1/3rd of the sugar. Allow the sugar to melt slowly and turn lightly golden.
- Add the remaining sugar and continue to cook until you get an amber caramel, stirring very gently on occasion to disperse the uncooked sugar. It’s best to err on the side of caution here – if you’re worried about burning the caramel then move onto the next stage sooner than perhaps you think you should. Pale caramel lacks a little in substance but at least is edible; burnt caramel is just nasty. Amber caramel should be produced after around 10 minutes on a medium heat.
- Once the sugar is cooked, remove the vanilla pod from the warmed cream and then add the cream to the molten sugar in three stages, stirring well after each addition. Take care with this stage as the mixture is now extremely hot and will rise up and spit in the pan, producing lots of very hot steam.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter a few pieces at a time until completely melted and well-incorporated.
- Set aside to cool at room temperature (this will take hours – the sugar is volcanically-hot molten liquid!), before placing in the fridge overnight to firm up.
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g golden caster sugar
50g dark muscovado sugar
1 medium egg
Few drops vanilla essence
140g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
75g rolled oats
200g chocolate chips (milk/dark/white – whatever tickles your taste-buds)
1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
3. Beat in the egg and vanilla essence.
4. Fold in the flour, baking powder, salt, oats and chocolate to form a dough.
5. Place the dough in the fridge for a minimum of 10 minutes to allow it to firm up enough for handling (it’ll still be sticky to the touch after this time but much easier to manipulate).
6. Take small chunks of dough and roll with your hands into plum-sized balls, reserving some dough for step 8. Place on the greaseproof paper (spaced well apart as the cookies will spread during baking), flatten slightly and make a small hollow in the centre.
7. Place small nuggets of refrigerated salted caramel (prepared the day before, or use firm shop-bought caramel) into the hollows of the cookies.
8. Cover the caramel with small dollops of remaining cookie dough and smooth with your fingers to seal the caramel in place.
9. Bake for 15 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the tray to firm up before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely (or not! Warm cookies are delish, so dive right in as soon as they are firmed up enough to safely transport from tray to salivating mouth with minimal loss).