Kramer and I leave for Phoenix on Wednesday evening and I am so excited! We haven’t been home to visit in over a year and a half, so it’s going to be fun to see everyone and everything. I am especially excited to see my dog, Tessa – I hope that she doesn’t freak out too badly after not having seen me in so long! The only bummer about the trip is that my dad has to be away on a business trip in China, and he gets back in town the day that we head back to New York. Oh well – hopefully he will need to take another business trip to the East coast soon. We still have my mom and Kramer’s dad, Jill, and his mom to see. I plan on spending plenty of time by the pool, maybe going on a hike, and doing lots of shopping. I never go shopping in the city because it is just too crowded and too spread out. I used to work in a mall in college, so I never thought I would be so eager to get back to one!
I made these cookies on a whim because I had some caramels in my cupboard and wanted to bake something pretty simple. While they are indeed simple, they are also quite rich and full of delightful flavor. I am one of the many people who adore the classic sweet-and-salty combination, and these cookies definitely embody that concept. I used a dark chocolate cocoa powder and also added in some roughly chopped semi-sweet chocolate, so the surprise bite of caramel on the inside really shines through. The fleur de sel on top is not only beautiful, but helps to elevate the cookie to be a little bit more “grown up” and adds a little bit of a crunch when you bite into one of the delicate salt crystals. I think some instant espresso powder would make these even better, so if you have that on hand, I highly recommend adding a teaspoon or so to the dough for an even more sophisticated taste.
If your caramels are very soft, then roll them into a ball before wrapping the dough around them. However, my caramels weren’t that soft and it was really hard to get them into this ball shape, so I didn’t do it for many of them.
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup roughly chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate (do NOT use milk chocolate as it will be far too sweet)
- 25-30 small caramels
- fleur de sel, for sprinkling
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and/or line 2 large baking sheets. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. In a medium sized pot, melt your butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, turn off the heat and add in the cocoa powder mixture, stirring until well combined. Add in the sour cream and vanilla and stir until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mixture and beat until just moistened – finish it up by hand so as to not overmix the dough. Fold in the chopped chocolate. Roll the dough around each caramel, and place on your prepared baking sheets. Press down a bit with the palm of your hand, then sprinkle with some fleur de sel. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until mostly set (it’s better to under-bake these a bit than to over-bake them). Allow to cool on another surface and enjoy!