Caramel-stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies and caramel make a decadent combination. Stuff the cookies carefully, using mini chocolate chips, and freezing the dough overnight before baking.

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    What's better than a classic chocolate chip cookie? A chocolate chip cookie stuffed with caramel from Paris.
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The original recipe for these cookies called for dulce de leche but I had a jar of caramel that I had bought in Paris that I wanted to use. I'm no stranger to stuffing chocolate chip cookies with something gooey and I have a deep abiding love for caramel. Especially caramel from Paris.

I modified the recipe slightly to make stuffing the cookies easier. I chilled the jar of caramel first. You don't want it liquidy and soft or it'll just flow around and make getting the cookie dough around it more difficult. Use high-quality caramel, of course. And please make it real caramel, not caramel topping or butterscotch sauce. 

I also used mostly mini chocolate chips and only a handful of regular-sized semisweet chocolate chips. With stuffed chocolate chip cookies where you encase the caramel inside the dough, larger chips become a liability because they create potential gaps around the cookie dough that the caramel stuffing can escape from. You don't want that. In this case, you also don't want too many chips, regardless of size, for the same reason. If you're the type of person who likes enough chocolate chips just to barely hold the dough together, instead of making these as regular "drop" cookies, place the dough in a ramekin, drop a dollop of caramel over it, cover with more dough then bake. That way you don't have to worry about the caramel leaking out and hardening during baking on a cookie sheet.

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If you prefer the more traditional stuffed cookie, just make sure you use enough dough to cover your filling completely and seal all the cracks. Once I had the cookies all stuffed, I froze them overnight. Don't even think about baking these from warm dough or they'll spread too much and your caramel has a higher likelihood of leaking out. Even with those precautions, I only had a 50 percent success rate in the caramel not leaking out during baking. I think I should've skipped the regular-size chocolate chips and stuck only to the mini chocolate chips. Still, these were divine. The cinnamon added a slightly different flavor than the standard chocolate chip cookie and of course, I loved the caramel. From Paris.

Browned butter cinnamon caramel-stuffed chocolate chip cookies
From Cooking Classy 

1 cup butter

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups mini chocolate chips

1 cup dulce de leche or caramel, chilled

1. Brown butter in a medium saucepan until fragrant. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Pour cooled brown butter into the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using a rubber spatula to scrape out any excess. Add light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla. With the paddle attachment, whip on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until combined.

4. With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes until firm. Scoop 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough, flatten into a thin bowl shape and add a heaping teaspoon of dulce de leche or caramel to the center of the dough. Wrap dough around dulce de leche, fully enclosing within the dough. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place stuffed dough balls evenly spaced on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool several minutes on baking sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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