Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chip Cookies

CATEGORIES: Cookies

Have you guys seen caramel chips popping up in your grocery stores?  The idea intrigued me so obviously I had to try them out in cookies.  Guys- THESE COOKIES.  I originally thought about putting them in a chocolate cookie, but my husband said I should go with a classic chocolate chip base all the way and I realized that was a much better idea because I wanted something mellow enough for the flavor of the chips to come through.  I knew the perfect compliment to these would be some finely chopped toasted nuts. (If you are an “ew, nuts in cookies” person, I’m telling you- chop them fine and TOAST them and it’s a total game-changer.) . The other magic ingredient is browned butter.  And lastly, I sprinkle with flaky sea salt for the ultimate sweet and salty combo.

best salted caramel cookies

I’ve seen a few different brands of caramel chips and wondered how they compared so I grabbed both Hershey’s and Ghirardelli to try them out.  Before I tell you what I think, let me say that I love this idea.  I think caramel flavored chips can be used in place of butterscotch chips in most recipes, so if you’re like me and don’t LOVE butterscotch chips, you might try these!  Normally I’m a Ghirardelli girl through and through, but I actually preferred the Hershey ones.  The Hershey’s were noticeably salty, which some people may not like, but I thought they were really yummy.  The Girardelli weren’t bad, but they tasted more like extra sweet white chocolate chips, not crazy caramell-y.

caramel chips

If you’ve never browned butter before it’s super easy and SO worth it.  Basically what happens is you melt butter in a skillet and the solids separate and brown and toast in the melted butter.  It gives this amazing nutty toasted component to anything you use it in.  You can read an easy how-to by clicking here!

how to make brown butter

You’ll mix the brown butter in with the sugars and then dry ingredients.

what to make with caramel chips

I like my nuts chopped about this fine, but it’s a personal preference.  You can buy them pre-chopped like this at the grocery store.  Just place them in a dry skillet (no oil in there or anything) and toss them around until they are golden brown on the white parts of the nuts.  They’ll smell divine.  Make sure to let them cool down before you put them in your dough.

how to toast nuts

Add them in there with your chips

salted caramel cookies

And then a little trick to getting a cook shape on your cookies is to make one large ball of dough and then break it in half and put the craggly side up.  I learned that tip from America’s Test kitchen, from their best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe this is based off of.

how to make best cookies

It will give the tops of your finished cookies some dimension.  I sprinkle these with a flaky sea salt right as they come out of the oven so it sticks!  Maldon is my very favorite salt for baking and I just buy it on Amazon.

salted caramel chip cookies

If you can’t find those caramel chips, you could make this recipe with any chips you like.  They’d be good with white chocolate, butterscotch, cinnamon chips, or chocolate!

best chewy cookie recipe

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Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 27 minutes

Description

The perfect combo of sweet and salty, these classic cookies are kissed with sea salt, and highlighted with brown butter, toasted pecans, and caramel chips. 


Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons butter, browned and cooled to room temp or slightly warm
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups caramel chips
  • 1/23/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted (see note in recipe)
  • sea salt

Instructions

If you haven’t browned your butter yet, start with that!  Click Here and follow these instructions and then set it aside to cool.  

You will also need to toast your pecans.  Simply place in a dry skillet on medium heat and stir often until toasted and browned.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, milk and vanilla.

*When measuring flour, lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level with the back of a knife.  If you scoop your flour, it will be too much.  Add dry ingredients to dough. Stir in chips and nuts.

Scoop cookies onto baking sheet.  Bake until cookies are set around outer edges start to firm up yet centers are still soft and puffy, 10-13 minutes (dependent on size).  Sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt right when they come out of the oven (so it sticks!)  Here is a link to my favorite brand.  Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in an airtight container.


36 comments

  1. I measured the flour by scooping and leveling but the mixture still turned out so crumbly and dry even before adding the nuts. I ended up adding 2 t of water. I still couldn’t just scoop with my cookie scoop but had to roll the dough in my hands to get the dough to stay together. I worried they wouldn’t turn out but they were amazing. So worth the extra work. It was my first time browning butter. I followed your recipe but used salted butter since I didn’t have unsalted like your recipe recommends and it turned out delicious. Thanks!

  2. Browned butter first timer here – I can’t believe what a difference in flavor it makes! These were divine! (I may have overmeasured the flour, though, because the dough was kind of crumbly/wouldn’t hold its shape very well – so just be aware of that, future cookie makers.) I grabbed the kroger brand caramel chips and I thought they tasted great (though I didn’t compare them to anything else, so take that for what it’s worth). Also, I didn’t have any sea salt for the top, so I just skipped it and the cookies still tasted delicious, just not as fancy.

    1. I’m make my these right now- second batch just popped into the oven. My dough also seemed a little short and was tough to stick together. The cookies are delicious, but I’m wondering why the crumbly dough? Never had this before with any of my cookies of dragons molar recipe.

  3. This recipe looks SO good! The funny thing is that I have started using your cookie recipe with the melted butter and browning the butter. It makes super good chocolate chip cookies! I have also done chocolate chunks, caramel filled chocolate chips and sea salt with the browned butter and that is SO dang good. For fancy sake I’ll even drizzle caramel on top with the sea salt. Oh so yummy.

  4. I thought this recipe sounded similar to the one I’d made from America Test Kitchen! They added a little water back into the butter after browning it. What do you think?

  5. It doesn’t look like the melted butter makes the cookies spread!? What sort of magic is this!? Haha! Definitely adding them to the list to make.

  6. You said to adjust racks to Upper and Lower middle positions. Does that mean you put two cookie sheets in at the same time? Is this for convection oven people?

  7. I just happened to make these last night, when I too grabbed up the ghiradelli carmel chips at the store, recently. My husband said they were the greatest cookies I’ve ever made. I thought they were really yummy too. Luckily, the kids didn’t like them as much because of the pecans. My husband and I were thrilled, more for us!!
    They can eat their halloween candy instead!
    These cookies are SOOO great for November and the Fall time. I highly recommend making them. Thanks for sharing the melted butter tip over the stove top! This will improve the recipe for sure.

  8. These look so so so good. I hope I can find those chips somewhere here, now that I can bake my heart out because electricity is backkkkkkkk!!!! 🙂
    Thanks for this recipe, these look incredible Sara! ?

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