Chocolate Caramel Cookies are soft and fudgy chocolate cookies with a surprise caramel candy center. A delicious gourmet-style cookie that’s easy to make at home with these step-by-step instructions!
Bite into another delicious cookie that’s also out of this world by trying these Bakery-Style Triple Peanut Butter Cookies or Butter Pecan Cookies!
Impress yourself along with family and friends with a batch of these Chocolate Caramel Cookies! These surprise-filling cookies are complete with a topping of mini chocolate chips and coarse sea salt.
The combination of sticky caramel filling and fudgy chocolate cookie makes for a special treat that resembles a cookie from the bakery! Perfect for sharing on any occasion!
Biting Into A Chocolate Caramel Cookie
Taste: Fudgy chocolate cookies with a delicious depth of flavor surround a miniature caramel Cadbury Carmello candy. Each cookie is then topped with sweet mini chocolate chips and coarse sea salt to perfectly balance out the sweetness of these cookies!
Texture: Since these are made with instant pudding mix, you’ll find amazingly soft, chewy cookies that give way to a gooey, sticky center! Making for a texture-filled cookie that is actually quite easy to make right in your own kitchen!
Aside from the gooey caramel center, which you can choose your favorite chocolate caramels like Caramellos, Dove, or Rolos, there are several other key ingredients that make these cookies a standout treat!
First is malt powder, which can be found in most grocery stores near powdered drink mixes and hot chocolate or near ice cream toppings. The malt powder isn’t necessary for the cookie’s structure, but it gives them a unique flavor that helps these cookies shine! You could use powdered coffee creamer instead.
The second ingredient is a box of instant chocolate fudge pudding mix added to the dough unprepared. Adding pudding mix to these cookies elevates the chocolate and fudgy flavor and produces a perfectly soft and chewy cookie! Just be sure to grab a box of instant pudding, not cook & serve, as there is a difference between the two.
Cocoa powder gives you the chocolate flavor in these cookies; make sure to use regular unsweetened cocoa powder.
There aren’t any chocolate chips mixed into the dough, but dipping the balls of dough in mini chocolate chips gives them a gourmet finish. The chips will remain soft on top of the cookies for several hours after baking, so let them harden all the way at room temperature before packaging up or popping them in the fridge until firm again.
A sprinkle of coarse sea salt on each cookie is the finishing touch and elevates the flavor, but it is completely optional if salted chocolate and caramel aren’t your thing.
How To Make The Best Chocolate Caramel Cookies
- Measure Ingredients – For best results, use a kitchen scale to measure out the ingredients noted with weighted measurements. This will prevent too much of an ingredient from being added, which could alter the cookie’s taste, texture, and even structure.
- Portion Dough – Each caramel cookie needs about 2oz of dough. This is enough dough to properly cover the Carmello candy while also creating the perfect cookie-to-filling ratio. We use a slightly overfilled #24 cookie scoop and a kitchen scale to portion out the dough. (affiliate links)
- Sealing The Cookies – It’s important to seal the cookie dough around the Cadbury Caramello miniatures securely. A good seal will prevent the filling from seeping out of the cookie during baking! Work the dough up around the filling to get a good seal, and then pinch the seams together to seal. Afterward, roll the dough ball in your hands to smooth it out while sealing it all in.
- Chocolate Chips – To seamlessly add the mini chocolate chips as a topping, first add the chocolate chips to a small prep bowl. Then take the rolled-up cookie dough ball and gently but firmly press it down into the bowl of chocolate chips. This little trick will attach just the right amount of chocolate chips without pressing them on by hand, which tends to make a mess!
- Doneness – Since these cookies only bake for 7 to 9 minutes, they do look soft and underdone when they come out of the oven. However, this is normal for these cookies! After they rest on the baking pan and cool on the wire rack, they firm up to soft, fudgy perfection! Resist the urge to bake them longer, as this will result in hard, overbaked cookies!
It’s no secret around here that I love a good cookie recipe that has a surprise center, like these Chocolate Caramel Cookies! To make them enjoyable for the holidays, I created Cadbury Creme Egg Cookies, Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cookies, and even Peppermint Mocha Cookies!
All three have a delicious surprise filling! Another cookie with a hidden center that we love is these Churro Cookies. They have a dulce de leche filling that makes them taste like you just grabbed them from your favorite bakery!
Storage Instructions For Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies
Keep these cookies in an airtight container stored at room temperature and enjoy them for 3 to 4 days. I’ve found that much longer than that, and the cookies start to dry out.
How To Freeze: Let the cookies cool to room temperature, then flash freeze on a baking pan before packing them up in a freezer bag and squeezing out any excess air. Store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Why Do I Need To Use Two Baking Sheets For This Cookie Recipe?
I find that when baking any cookie recipe, it’s best to rotate between using two cookie sheets. This prevents dropping cookie dough onto a hot baking sheet that just came out of the oven.
If cookie dough is dropped onto a hot sheet, it changes the structure of the cookie, causing it to spread and become thin. Therefore, to protect the structure of the cookies, I always suggest using two baking sheets or allowing the baking sheet to cool before adding another batch of dough to it.
Do I Prepare The Pudding Mix According To The Instructions First?
No, do not prepare the pudding mix. The dry pudding mix powder is added to the dough as is.
Can I Use Cook & Serve Pudding Mix Instead Of Instant?
No, instant pudding mix must be used in this recipe. If you can’t get your hands on chocolate fudge pudding mix, you can use just plain chocolate instant pudding mix instead.
How Come My Cookies Came Out Dry And Crumbly?
Dry, crumbly cookies are often the result of being overbaked or the dough accidentally having too much flour added to it. Be sure to stick to the 7 to 9 minutes of baking, pulling them out of the oven when the edges are just set.
The cookies should look more matte than glossy when they come out of the oven.
To prevent accidentally adding too much flour, learn How To Measure Flour correctly by choosing from two different methods!
Can I Use Regular Chocolate Chips Instead Of Mini For The Topping?
Yes, you can try using regular chocolate chips instead of mini ones. However, the mini ones work the best!
What Else Can I Use For The Filling In These Chocolate Caramel Cookies?
If you can’t find the Carmello miniatures caramel candy, you can use Dove Caramels or Rolo candy! Just place one unwrapped candy in the center of the dough as you would the Carmello miniature. The Caramellos are a bit more prone to leaking because of the square edges, but they’re my favorite, so feel free to use yours!
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Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Cookies
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour 220g
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 55g
- 1 (3.4oz.) box instant chocolate fudge pudding mix unprepared
- 2 tablespoons malt powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup salted butter 110g
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed, 115g
- ½ cup granulated sugar 110g
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 ounces whole milk
- 16 Cadbury Caramello Miniatures or other chocolate caramel candies
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips for topping
- coarse sea salt for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 (3.4oz.) box instant chocolate fudge pudding mix, 2 tablespoons malt powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda. Set aside.
- Cream together ½ cup salted butter, ½ cup light brown sugar , and ½ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream for 2 minutes.
- Add in 1 large egg and 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients and 3 ounces whole milk , alternating between them 3 times, beginning with flour and ending with milk. Mix for about 1 to 2 minutes The dough should be thick but soft, greasy but not sticky.
- Use the scoop to measure the dough into 15 portions (about 2oz. each).
- Press your thumb into the center of each ball of dough and then press one of the 16 Cadbury Caramello Miniatures into each well. Work the dough up and around the chocolate and seal well.
- Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to a small prep bowl and press the tops of the balls into the bowl to coat them with the mini chocolate chips.
- Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking pan at least 2 inches apart and gently press the chocolate chips into the top of the dough to secure any that may be loose. I can fit 12 of these cookies comfortably on a 12×17-inch pan for reference.
- Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with coarse sea salt.
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until the edges are just set and the dough looks more matte than glossy.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack with a spatula to cool completely. Bake the other pan of cookies. These cookies are very soft right after baking and will firm up while they cool.
- How To Store: Keep these cookies in an airtight container stored at room temperature and enjoy them for 3 to 4 days. I’ve found that much longer than that, and the cookies start to dry out.
- How To Freeze: Let the cookies cool to room temperature, then flash freeze on a baking pan before packing them up in a freezer bag and squeezing out any excess air. Store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- The malt powder isn’t necessary to the structure of the cookie, but it does give it a unique flavor. It can be found in most grocery stores near powdered drink mixes and hot chocolate or near ice cream fixings.
- It’s best to rotate between using two cookie sheets. This prevents dropping cookie dough onto a hot baking sheet that just came out of the oven. If cookie dough is dropped onto a hot sheet, it changes the structure of the cookie, causing it to spread and become thin. Therefore, to protect the structure of the cookies, I always suggest using two baking sheets or allowing the baking sheet to cool before adding another batch of dough to it.
- Do not prepare the pudding mix. The dry pudding mix powder is added to the dough as is.
- Do not use Cook & Serve pudding mix.
- Dry, crumbly cookies are often the result of being overbaked or the dough accidentally having too much flour added to it. Be sure to stick to the 7 to 9 minutes of baking, pulling them out of the oven when the edges are just set. The cookies should look more matte than glossy when they come out of the oven.
- To prevent accidentally adding too much flour, learn How To Measure Flour correctly by choosing from two different methods!
- You can try using regular chocolate chips instead of mini ones.
- You can use Dove Caramels or Rolo candy instead of Caramellos! The Caramellos are a bit more prone to leaking because of the square edges, but they’re my favorite, so feel free to use yours!
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Comments & Reviews
Audrey Magnuson says
I made these and they are awesome. They freeze well also. Next time I might try mint chocolate inside.
Rebecca Hubbell says
Great idea! Glad you enjoyed them!