Surprise! It’s Valentine’s Day again! Usually V-Day for me plays out in one of the following ways:
“Who needs a man when you have awesome girlfriends? Girls Night!”
“PRESSURE!! Must. Be. Romantic. Wonder what he is planning?”
“Eh, how about I cook, and you can do the dishes… just like most other nights, but sexier ‘cus it’s Valentine’s Day.” (that part sounds very Jessica Rabbit-y in my head)
I can always try to pretend like I forgot it’s coming, but I usually cannot stop myself from daydreaming of all the romantic possibilities the day may bring. Flowers? A candlelit bubble bath drawn just for moi? What’s that… a PUPPY?!? Even with all these whimsical fantasies, I like to think I am pretty easy in wooing department… Feed me. Then roll me home. Swoon!
Lucky for me, I have found a man that loves food as much as I do. Even more, he loves dessert as much as I do. While I may never be able to count on still having that chocolate bar hidden in the pantry when I get home, his sweet tooth does make the gift giving fairly easy. This year, my love, I present to you Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Sweeter words have never been spoken. Say it again...
Let me just start by saying the recipe is pretty straightforward. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, though. These bite-sized delights are elegant enough to be served piled high alongside a frosty [wine] glass of milk at the end of any candlelit dinner. I do make my own salt-ribboned caramels in this recipe to achieve the perfect level of briny flavor I was aiming for; however, you should feel free to use a soft caramel candy of your choosing (I experimented with the Werther’s Soft Caramels and had great success). Be sure to sprinkle on a little extra Fleur de Sel if you use store-bought candies to get that exact salty-sweet balance your partner loves about you.
I can only think of a few things in this world I love more than a delicious chocolate chip cookie…xoxo Happy Eating!!
Click here for the Fleur de Sel Caramels with picture step-by-step guide... then follow the prompts below for the cookies
Bits and Bobs
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp; 1 cup = 2 sticks)
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (~1 standard bag)
1 batch Fleur de Sel Caramels or 1 bag store bought soft caramels (like Werther's)
If making your own caramels, do so first to allow ample time to cool and set: Fleur de Sel Caramels
Whisk (or if you are like me, stir with a fork) together flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
Cream together the butter and both sugars, beating until light and fluffy. If your butter is still cold, whip it alone for a few minutes until it is soft, or warm in microwave for a few short seconds. Beat in eggs one at time, scraping the bowl down after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract.
Add the flour in three turns: beat in one scoop of flour for a few seconds, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, then repeat with two more scoops. Finally, stir in chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Scoop tablespoon portions of the dough out onto a sheet pan. I like to use my silicone baking mat to line the pan to protect my cookies from becoming part of the pan. Press your thumb into the middle of each scoop to create little pools for the caramel to swim in.
Roll caramel (either the pre-made Fleur de Sel Caramels or store bought soft caramels) into marble-sized pieces.
Bake cookies in preheated oven for 5 mins. Put one marble of caramel into the thumb print of each cookie. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the melted caramel center with a little more Fleur de Sel. Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to allow the caramel to finish setting.
Yields about 3 ½-4 dozen cookies.