Chewy Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies made in one bowl, bursting with dark chocolate chips and stuffed with gooey caramel candies.
Soft, chewy caramel chocolate chip cookies chock-full of dark chocolate chips.
Wrapped around heavenly caramel candies that melt into gooey caramel centers.
They’re like my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies but with caramel oozing from the middle as you bite into them.
Simple to make in one bowl using basic baking ingredients, plus caramel candies.
Which you can pick up from your local supermarket or online.
Homemade Cookies are perfect to enjoy for morning or afternoon tea time.
Or as a decadent dessert for after dinner. Ice cream caramel cookie sandwich anyone?!
Can I Use Toffee Candies Instead of Caramel?
Either actually! I recommend using Werther’s Soft Caramel’s.
I’ve also tested this recipe using Werther’s Chewy Toffees and they also work great!
Expect a buttery, nutty kick and a bit of crunch. Remember that toffee’s melting properties differ slightly from caramel’s.
For best results, position the toffee near the top of the cookie dough ball to prevent it sticking to the baking sheet.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- One bowl recipe.
- Stuffed with gooey caramel.
- Dark chocolate chips throughout.
- Chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside.
What Makes Cookies Chewy?
To get that perfect chewy texture in cookies, they key ingredients are baking soda, cornstarch, and brown sugar.
Baking soda provides minimal lift, resulting in a denser texture.
Cornstarch helps in softening the protein in the flour, contributing to a tender cookie.
The molasses in brown sugar helps retain moisture, enhancing chewiness.
Can I use Different Types of Chocolate Chips?
Yes, you can use either dark, milk or white chocolate chips.
You can even use a block of chocolate by roughly chopping it up into smaller pieces, like I do in my Bakery Style Dark Chocolate Cookies.
Or if you can find them, caramel baking chips would be amazing!
Can I use Baking Powder Instead of Baking Soda?
No, as baking soda contributes to the chewy texture of these cookies.
Baking powder makes cookies more cakey, airy, and fluffy, like my Chai Spiced Cookies.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
A comprehensive recipe card featuring all the ingredients can be found at the end of this post.
- Unsalted butter: Use butter that comes in a block. Can be substituted with salted butter, just remove the added salt later in the recipe.
- Granulated sugar: Use golden/raw granulated sugar. Substitute with white granulated sugar.
- Brown sugar: Use regular light brown sugar. This recipe has not been tested using dark brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Egg: As you’ll be adding the egg to the melted butter mixture, although it should be cooled down, ensure your egg is at room temperature before adding it to avoid it curdling.
- Vanilla Extract: Can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste.
- All-purpose flour: Is also known as plain flour in Australia. Make sure to accurately measure your flour and basic baking ingredients for the best results.
- Cornstarch: is also known as cornflour in Australia. This contributes to the chewy texture but if you don’t have it on hand, omit it from the recipe or arrowroot flour makes a good substitute.
- Baking soda: Do not substitute this with baking powder.
- Salt: Use fine salt. If using salted butter, leave out this additional salt from the recipe.
- Dark Chocolate Chips: Can be substituted with milk chocolate chips. Or use a block of dark chocolate, 1 cup/180g/6.3oz, roughly chopped into small chunks.
- Soft Caramel Candies: Werthers brand is ideal. Can be substituted with their chewy toffee candies.
Step By Step Instructions (with photos)
There is a full and detailed recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step one: Melt the butter then pour it into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes until it’s only slightly warm. Don’t let it firm back up again.
Step two: Add both sugars and whisk for 20 seconds until well combined.
Step three: Add egg and vanilla, and whisk until well combined, about 15 seconds.
Step four: Sift over flour, cornstarch, and baking soda. Add salt.
Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold and mix until a cookie dough forms, for about 40 seconds, it will be thick.
Step five: Add chocolate chips and gently fold through until distributed.
Step six: Chill cookie dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, or if the bowl is too large, wrap the dough and refrigerate without the bowl.
While dough chills, preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Step seven: Working one cookie at a time, scoop and weigh 50g (1.7oz) or 3 level tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball.
Flatten slightly in the palm of your hand to create a thick disc.
Step eight: Place one caramel candy in the center of the cookie dough disc.
Press dough around caramel to cover it then roll into a smooth ball.
IMPORTANT: Keep that caramel near the top of the dough ball. Otherwise, it’ll make a gooey escape out the bottom, sticking to your parchment paper.
Step nine: Place dough balls on the lined baking sheet, 4 inches apart and away from the tray edges. Bake in multiple batches for optimal spacing. Bake in multiple batches for optimal spacing.
Step ten: Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly golden. Centers may look slightly under-baked; that’s what keeps them soft and chewy.
Step eleven: Remove from the oven and tap the baking sheet on your bench top or stovetop 3 times to help slightly deflate.
Allow cookies to cool on the sheet for 15 minutes.
If caramel leaks out the bottoms, use a slotted turner to remove them from the parchment paper. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool, handling carefully to prevent breakage. Enjoy!
- Measure your baking ingredients accurately: Check out my helpful guide on how to measure basic ingredients.
- Melt butter first: Melt butter and cool for 10-15 minutes until slightly warm; if too hot, the egg may curdle when added.
- Room temperature egg: Ensure your egg is at room temperature before starting to prevent it from curdling when it’s whisked with the warm melted butter.
- Don’t overmix: Avoid overmixing after adding the flour to prevent tough cookies. Mix until flour is just incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chips just until distributed.
- Chill the dough: You only need 45 minutes to chill the cookie dough in the fridge. This makes it easier to roll the dough and prevent flat cookies.
- Adding Caramels: Keep the caramel candies near the top of the dough ball. Otherwise, it’ll make a gooey escape out the bottom, sticking to your parchment paper.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: These cookies need space to spread out and strut their stuff. Give ’em room to groove!
- Do not flatten balls: No need to flatten the dough balls on the baking sheet. Keeping them tall allows them to spread naturally during baking in the oven and also keeps the caramel centers, well, in the center!
- Deflate cookies: Tap cookies on the bench top or stovetop to deflate them after baking; this creates the classic cookie top waves.
- Ice Cream Sandwich: Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two cookies for a decadent dessert that oozes with gooey caramel and melting chocolate.
- Gingerbread Latte: Pair your caramel cookies with a mug of homemade gingerbread latte during the holidays for a cozy evening by the fireplace.
- Rum Hot Chocolate: Make this rum nightcap for guests or just yourself, alongside a slice of these
- As a gift: Present them in a vintage cookie jar for that cozy, thoughtful homemade gift or as christmas cookies for friends and family.
- Coffee or Tea: For afternoon tea or as a relaxing dessert after dinner, enjoy it with a hot cup of tea, coffee or homemade hot chocolate.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Overmixing: Mix just enough, or you’ll get tough cookies, and nobody wants that!
- Not chilling: Skip the chill, and your cookies may spread like gossip. Chill for shape and flavor.
- Ignoring the Caramel Position: Keep that caramel candy near the top of the dough ball. Bottom placement = sticky mess, especially when using toffee candies.
- Overcrowding: Cookies need space to breathe and spread. Don’t let them become a cookie blob!
- Oven Temperature: Not all ovens are created equal! Make sure to preheat fully, 30 minutes prior to putting your cookies in and consider an oven thermometer if you’re unsure about your oven.
Store: Allow cookies to cool completely and store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week.
Freeze: Place baked and cooled cookies in a freezer-friendly zip-lock bag or container, layered with parchment paper between each layer of cookies to prevent sticking. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw: At room temperature for 1-2 hours until soft enough to eat. Keep in mind the caramel center won’t be as soft or runny. You can warm the cookies in the oven, microwave or air fryer until heated through.
Freeze Cookie Dough for Later Use
- Preparation: Form the dough into individual balls as instructed, do not add the caramel candies. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they’re not touching.
- Freezing: Freeze the baking sheet for 1-2 hours, or until the cookie dough is firm.
- Storage: Transfer the frozen cookie balls to a zip-lock bag or airtight container, layering with parchment paper if needed. Label with the date, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Bake from Frozen
Thaw Before Baking:
- Thaw the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight until soft.
- Once thawed, flatten balls into a thick disc and insert a caramel candy into the center of each dough ball. Wrap the dough around the caramel.
- Bake as per the original recipe, extending the baking time by an additional 2-3 minutes if needed, as they were previously frozen.
If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x
Chewy Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 160 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup golden granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, how to pack
- 1 large egg at room temperature, (weighing approx. 55g-60g in shell)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (225g) all-purpose flour, scoop & leveled
- 2 tsp cornstarch/cornflour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 16 soft caramel candies, one for each cookie, can also use chewy toffee candies
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, melt in microwave in 30-second intervals.
- Pour melted butter into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes until it’s only slightly warm. Don’t let it firm back up again.
- Add both sugars and whisk for 20 seconds until well combined. NOTE: The mixture will thicken gradually; avoid leaving it too long, as it will become harder to whisk the egg in the next step.
- Add egg and vanilla, whisk until well combined, about 15 seconds.
- Sift over flour, cornstarch and baking soda. Add salt.
- Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold and mix until a cookie dough forms, about 40 seconds, it will be thick.
- Add chocolate chips and gently fold through until distributed.
- Chill cookie dough in refrigerator for 45 minutes, or if the bowl is too large, wrap the dough and refrigerate without the bowl. *For overnight chilling, see notes below.
- While dough chills, preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- After 45 minutes, remove dough from fridge.
- Working one cookie at a time, scoop and weigh 50g (1.7oz) of dough and roll into a ball. NOTE: Without a food scale, use 3 level tablespoons per cookie.
- Flatten slightly in the palm of your hand to create a thick disc.
- Place one caramel candy in centre of cookie dough disc.
- Press dough around caramel to cover it then roll into a smooth ball. IMPORTANT: Keep that caramel near the top of the dough ball. Otherwise, it'll make a gooey escape out the bottom, sticking to your parchment paper.
- Place dough ball on lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookie balls 10cm (4 inches) apart to allow for spreading, and leaving gaps near tray edges. Bake in batches, as they won’t all fit on one tray.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Centers may look slightly under-baked; that’s what keeps them soft and chewy.
- Remove from oven and tap baking sheet on your bench top or stovetop 3 times to help slightly deflate.
- Allow cookies to cool on sheet for 15 minutes.
- If some caramel oozed out the bottoms, use a slotted turner to lift them off the parchment paper and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. They’ll still be soft and delicate so handle with care to avoid breakages.
- Adding Caramels: Place caramel near the top of the dough ball to avoid a sticky, gooey mess on your parchment paper.
- Deflate cookies: Tap cookies on the bench top or stovetop to deflate them after baking; this creates the classic cookie top waves.
- Chill dough overnight: To chill your dough overnight, make it per the recipe instructions, without adding caramel candy, and instead of chilling it for 45 minutes, leave it wrapped in the fridge overnight. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes prior to shaping the cookies to let them soften so you can add the caramel candies.
- Store: Allow cookies to cool completely and store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week.
- Freeze: Place baked and cooled cookies in a freezer-friendly zip-lock bag or container, layered with parchment paper between each layer of cookies to prevent sticking. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw: At room temperature for 1-2 hours until soft enough to eat.