When I’m not hard at work with event planning tasks, one of the things I really enjoy doing is baking. I’d been looking for an excuse to try out this recipe for salted caramel dark chocolate cookies courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction, and that opportunity presented itself in the form of yet another Pintester Movement.
This is going to be a fairly long post, since I intend to document exactly what I did, with the goal of walking a less confident baker through the process. For the tl;dnr crowd, the dough was challenging to handle, but the cookies tasted fantastic (but weren’t nearly as pretty as the ones pictured in the original post).
First up – ingredients.
For what it’s worth, I bake often enough that the only items I needed to purchase were the Rolos and the dark chocolate morsels. (For the record, one bag of morsels would have been enough, but I erred on the “better too much than too little” side.) Well, I guess I also technically had to buy brown sugar, but that’s only because I foolishly left some of my ingredients out on the counter overnight, and my cat decided that what I had on hand was obviously a chew toy:
You might also have noticed that the pack of Rolos had already been opened. My husband was actually the one who went to the store, and the moment he brought the supplies inside, he helped himself to a couple. Luckily, that bag has more than enough candies.
I left the butter and egg on the counter for about an hour before starting the process, since having those ingredients at room temperature definitely makes a difference in how the final product turns out. After creaming the butter for about 20 seconds (NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, all mixing was done at medium speed), this is what it looked like:
Once I scraped down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, I turned the mixer back on and slowly added the sugar and dark brown sugar while the mixer was running:
That plastic thing on top of the mixer bowl makes it WAY easier to add dry ingredients while the mixer is running without everything going everywhere. After the sugars were mixed in, this is what “light and fluffy” should look like:
I scraped the bowl down again and added the egg and vanilla. After that was adequately mixed, my dough looked like this:
When it came to mixing the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt), the original recipe said to sift it. I just stirred it with a fork. However, when measuring the flour, don’t just scoop it out using the measuring cup. Use a smaller scoop to transfer the flour from its container to the appropriate sized measuring cup. This will make sure the flour isn’t packed too tightly, which could cause you to use too much flour. Here are the fork-stirred dry ingredients:
I added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients the same way I added the sugars to the butter, with the mixer running. I didn’t get photos of this because that would have required I have three hands. Alas, I do not. This is what it looked like once the dry ingredients were added and mixed together:
Even with the plastic shield, adding the dry ingredients was a bit messy:
I suspect there would have been a giant cocoa powder cloud had I not used the shield.
Once the dry ingredients were mixed in, I added the milk and mixed it in with the mixer on low. Going any higher than low would have resulted in milk splashing everywhere. Even at the low speed, I had to pulse it until the milk was mixed in a little, as there was a lot of sloshing. I stirred in the dark chocolate morsels using a spatula, not the mixer:
The original recipe says to refrigerate the dough for at least 1-2 hours to make it easier to handle. I left it in the fridge for two hours, and working with it was still very challenging. There may have been swearing involved when rolling it into little balls:
Note how they aren’t exactly cute and round. The dough was sticking to my hands like crazy. Rinsing my hands off using cold water and starting fresh worked for maybe one or two balls, and then the dough started to stick again. I finally finished this process and put half of them down on the cookie sheet. I used two cookie sheets, with 9 cookies per sheet. The white paper on the sheet is parchment paper. If you’ve never used this, start now. It prevents the cookies from sticking to the cookie sheet and radically decreases clean-up time. At the grocery store, parchment paper will be either with the baking products or in the same area as the aluminum foil, waxed paper, saran wrap, etc. I tucked the Rolos into the bottom ball:
And then did my best to cover it with the top ball, again coping with the fact that this dough is ridiculously sticky:
At this point, it basically looks like I’ve worked really hard to make little turds. But they are turds that smell like chocolate, so I’m winning. I didn’t measure exactly how much sea salt I used, but this is how much covered each cookie:
I like a lot of salt, so I was probably a bit heavy-handed. Feel free to be less enthusiastic. Or go all out, since salt is delicious.
I baked one sheet of cookies at a time in a 350F oven with the rack at the medium level, rotating the sheet 180 degrees halfway through, to ensure even heating. Here’s what the first batch looked like after six minutes:
And here’s what they looked like after I took them out at the 12-minute mark:
The edges have just barely started to set, but the centers are still really soft. While it may seem like they are way underdone, this is done. Honest. Despite my best efforts to seal the Rolo inside the dough, I had some escapee action:
After cooling the cookies on the cookie sheet for about five minutes, I transferred them to the wire rack:
And then wished I had left them on the parchment paper, as globs of caramel oozed out the bottoms of a few cookies:
For the second batch, I moved them from the cookie sheet to the rack after about five minutes, but left them on the parchment paper until they had cooled a bit more. My husband took the first bite and did not get the oozing caramel goodness that I was hoping for:
After another small bite, though, there was some glooping caramel action:
I made these cookies two days ago, and they’re still super soft and delicious. Overall, I would definitely make these again, but I’d leave the dough in the refrigerator for longer – maybe three hours instead of two. And for the recipe in its condensed form, check out the original blog post.