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Salted Caramel Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Coffee in a chocolate chip cookie? Yes please! These salted caramel mocha chocolate chip cookies are a latte-lover’s dream dessert. The gooey caramel center makes these cookies extra special.

salted caramel mocha chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet with a small plate in the background

Have you ever had a salted caramel mocha? They’re so good. When I’m in the mood for a fancy flavored latte, caramel is my usual go-to flavor because caramel makes just about everything more exciting. This is how the caramel candies made it into my cart at the shop the other day, and later into these coffee chocolate chip cookies. You need to bake this recipe ASAP by the way.

We were hosting our big college football kick off pig roast this year, and I was concerned we might be a bit short on dessert. This was not the case, but my fellow feeders will totally understand the worry. Anyway, a quick glance around the kitchen landed eyes on chocolate chips, caramel squares, coarse sea salt, and instant coffee. And the answer to the imaginary dessert shortage was right there.

caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies resting on a baking sheet lined with parchment

Do you know why I’m telling you these are the BEST chocolate chip cookies and you need to make them now? Because I baked the cookies during the party and people were walking into the kitchen grabbing still hot cookies off the pans. Anyone who waited to try them once cool, didn’t get one. Plan accordingly.

You’ll also want to plan a bit because chilling the dough really gives you the best results.

Why? First of all, chilling cookie dough in general allows the flavors to deepen. You want there to be a nice balance of coffee cookie dough for the caramel and salt. Give the dough a few hours to rest and the espresso powder a chance to really blend with the other flavors for a good, but still subtle and balanced, coffee flavor.

overhead shot of the caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies, with one broken open

And second, chilling the dough a bit helps prevent caramel leakage. Of course, the best prevention is to make sure that you have a nice seal over the caramel center. But by chilling the dough before baking, you prevent the edges from spreading to quickly, breaking the beautiful seal you created around the candy.

Tips for making salted caramel mocha chocolate chip cookies…

Other than chilling, I have a few more tips for you to guarantee cookie success. They’d make the recipe card entirely too long, so I’m going to write them here for your first.

You’ll notice in the recipe that I tell you to cream the espresso powder with the butter and sugar. If you wait until later in the recipe, it won’t have a chance to properly dissolve. If it doesn’t dissolve, you’ll have flecks in the cookie dough and the flavor won’t be evenly distributed. You don’t have to limit yourself to instant espresso powder. If you are using instant coffee, I’d recommend a bolder roast, or add a bit extra powder. You will not get the same results adding brewed coffee. Instant/powdered is best in this recipe.

I also recommend using a cookie scoop to get equal sized cookies. When you are making stuffed cookies, you’re introducing an additional variable to the baking process. The best way to know you’re getting even “cookie stuffing coverage” and that all the cookies on the sheet will bake at the same time is to start with equal amounts. If you don’t already have one, a cookie scoop is a worthwhile investment. I use it to portion other things in the kitchen, and occasionally it doubles as an ice cream scoop.

landscape picture of chocolate chip cookies on a plate with caramel

If you’d like to freeze the cookies, you can double the recipe! Freeze the cookies in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Once the cookies are frozen solid, store them in a freezer bag or container up to 3ish months. Bake straight from the freezer, adding an extra minute or two to the baking time. Easy, and perfect to have on hand when you want a quick, pre-portioned dessert.

And my last tip really isn’t about cooking at all. It’s about eating chocolate chip cookies. Because of the caramel center, these cookies are best enjoyed slightly warm. Out of the oven is great, but for those you want to eat a day or two later, pop them into the microwave for 8-10 seconds to heat the center a bit. Perfection!

close up of a broken open mocha chocolate chip cookie

I hope you enjoy this recipe for salted caramel mocha chocolate chip cookies! One can never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes. 😉 Enjoy, darlings!

Salted Caramel Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time (optional, but recommended): 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Coffee in a chocolate chip cookie? Yes please! These salted caramel mocha chocolate chip cookies are a latte-lover's dream dessert. The gooey caramel center makes these cookies extra special.

Ingredients

  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, dark or semi-sweet
  • 24 caramel squares
  • fleur de sel or coarse sea salt

Instructions

    1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars, and espresso powder together for about 30 seconds on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
    2. Stir in the egg, scrape the sides of the bowl again. Add the vanilla extract.
    3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches. Stir each until just combined, you don't want to over mix the dough.
    4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    5. Use a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tbsp) to create evenly sized cookies. Take each cookie scoop and place a caramel candy in the center. Shape the dough over the caramel to form a tight seal. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
    6. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, up to 24. This helps prevent leaking and allows the flavors to develop. You may also freeze the cookie dough at this point for baking later.
    7. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 F. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until cookies are starting to turn a light golden brown along the edges, rotating the pans once halfway through baking.
    8. Remove from the oven and allow to set on the baking sheet 5-10 minutes before using a spatula to transfer to wire racks for cooling. Eat one slightly warm. 
    9. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for one week. To enjoy with a melty caramel center, microwave the cookie for 8-10 seconds before eating.

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