Test Kitchen - Salted Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies

I tossed around the different ideas about using the black lava sea salt in a recipe seeing as it was last week's Test Kitchen ingredient but nothing stuck. Then I figured that I hadn't baked anything in a while so why not get back into it? Sea salt in desserts makes me think of caramel (whoever thought the two should be paired has created a storm of followers) but the black lava characteristic made me consider something a little more hearty and savory. Brainstorming leads to internet searching, and I found some guidance through this recipe here. Some adjustments were made and voila, a chewy and tasty soft cookie was born. These salted chocolate chip caramel cookies add a smidgeon of "class" to your typical chocolate chip cookies. It's also very salt-centric but not overwhelmingly so. (Psst, it's also National Chocolate Chip Day tomorrow!)

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 30-36 cookies)
  • 3/4 cup butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, loose
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon black lava sea salt + extra for topping
  • 1 cup dark chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup caramel morsels
Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
If you cannot find or buy caramel morsels for baking anywhere, you can chop up soft caramel candies. I did this and while it was a pain to do as I had to do each piece individually, the result is controlled amounts and sizes of the caramels. Hopefully you've let the butter soften by the time you start the recipe completely. Cream butter and sugars together well before adding in egg and vanilla extract.


Step 3: Adding in dry ingredients
You can either combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and sea salt in a separate bowl first or just put them all into the wet without mixing prior. I opted for the latter due to time constraints. Add into wet ingredients and mix thoroughly until a nice, soft dough forms. It will be airy. Fold in chocolate chips and caramel pieces.


Step 4: Forming
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. To make the cookie pieces, I used a tablespoon and scooped rounded balls of dough onto the baking sheets. These will expand so make sure to give about two inches' worth of space between the cookie dough. When done placing, scatter black lava sea salt on top.


Step 5: Finishing
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes which will get them brown around the edges but also staying soft. Let cookies cool a bit before cooling all the way on a wire rack. Enjoy!


This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: almonds
Uh, can you believe I haven't really used these in cooking before? I mean, I've added them to salads but haven't featured them as an important part of a recipe. Let me know what you think by commenting on the photo on Facebook later!

Photography by Minerva Thai.



  1. Those look amazing and something I will have to try at home. I want some now! :)