Salted Caramel Cookies

Salted Caramel Cookies

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chill Time: 60 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 40 servings
Yields: 40 cookies
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
97 Calories
4g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 40
Amount per serving
Calories 97
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 97mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 29mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There is something alluring about the flavor of salted caramel. In fact, the sweet and salty combination brings together two of the five flavor experiences (the other three being sour, bitter, and umami). This layering of flavors makes the confection even more dynamic and interesting to the palate. In addition, salt acts as a flavor enhancer in foods, so adding a dash to caramelized sugar makes it taste even better.

This recipe starts as a classic brown sugar cookie. Using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar in the cookie base further highlights that toffee flavor experience in every bite. It also helps make the cookies softer and chewier.

Once the cookies are cooled, they can be topped with the salted caramel topping. All you have to do is combine soft caramel candies with a bit of heavy cream and microwave until it is the perfect drizzling consistency. Then, each cookie is topped with an elegant sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Choose a salt with delicate, flaky grains, such as fleur de sel. It's not only beautiful but adds a wonderful texture as well as flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 8 ounces soft caramels (unwrapped)

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Flaky sea salt, for topping

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

    Salted caramel cookies ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

    Butter and brown sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well to combine.

    Butter and brown sugar mixed in a bowl with an egg

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and table salt.

    Dry ingredients mixed in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.

    Dry ingredients next to the wet ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F.

    Salted Caramel Cookie dough covered in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

    Salted caramel cookies unbaked on a cookie sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Cool completely on a wire rack.

    Salted caramel cookies cooling on a rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  9. Meanwhile, place the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and continue to microwave in 15-second intervals until melted and smooth.

    Heavy cream and caramels in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  10. Drizzle the melted caramel over each cookie. If the caramel begins to thicken as you work, microwave again in 15-second increments.

    Salted caramel cookies drizzled with caramel

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  11. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Cool at room temperature until the caramel sets. Enjoy.

    Salted caramel cookies sprinkled with salt

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days.
  • You can freeze the cookie dough for baking later. Instead of chilling the dough, transfer it to an airtight freezer container and press plastic wrap onto the top. Freeze for up to a month. To use, defrost overnight in the fridge before forming and baking.

Recipe Variation

If you love salted caramel but also are a bit of a chocoholic, you can certainly incorporate chocolate chips into this recipe. One way is to mix in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips into the cookie batter before chilling. Alternatively, you can drizzle the tops with both melted caramel and melted chocolate chips before sprinkling them with flaky sea salt.

What Is the Difference Between Salted Caramel and Caramel?

The only real difference between regular caramel and salted caramel is the addition of salt. While some caramel recipes call for a pinch of salt, salted caramel calls for more, making the mixture both sweet and salty. Flaky sea salt is commonly used for its texture and flavor.

Is Caramel the Same as Toffee?

Caramel and toffee have a similar flavor but are made slightly differently, resulting in different textures. Both candies are made by boiling sugar, with toffee cooking for longer to form a crunchy texture. Caramel candies also include milk or cream, further making them soft and chewy, while toffee is largely just sugar and butter.