Jon and I had been thinking about doing a salt-topped cookie for a while, but it wasn't until one of my readers (Hi, Alicia!) emailed to ask me if I had ever done a salted/salty cookie that my wheels started turning again on that topic.
I've had salt-topped chocolates before, and the flavor is just delicious. The saltiness and the sweetness bounce off each other in your mouth. If you haven't tried this flavor combination, you must!
For this cookie, I stuck with my signature chocolate base that I also used in my Fake-Out-Eos. The next layer I wanted to add was caramel because I wanted not only a contrast of salty and sweet but also a contrast of crunchy and chewy. Caramel was the obvious choice. Plus: who (other than Mumma) doesn't like caramel? I decided to do a thumbprint cookie filled with caramel sauce and topped with a pinch of sea salt.
I ran out of my favorite caramel sauce and couldn't find a replacement at the grocery store, so I tried using a thinner caramel sauce that Jon found at Williams Sonoma. I filled the thumbprint holes with a 1/2 teaspoon of the caramel sauce, but as the cookies baked, the sauce got absorbed by the dough and disappeared.
I thought about it for a while and came up with a sure-fire fix: Rollos! These candies are the perfect caramel delivery system because the caramel itself is creamy and stays semi-soft at room temperature, and the chocolate coating prevents the caramel from "bleeding out" into the surrounding cookie dough. I used Rollos to great effect in my Girl Scout Samoa knockoffs, so I knew they would work here.
Push a Rollo into each dough ball and then top with a pinch of sea salt before baking. For a gooier caramel center, pinch the Rollos to crack the chocolate coating before pushing into the dough balls. (Remember to unwrap each candy!) Makes about 4 dozen.
2 sticks butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
3 1/2 cups roughly ground Cocoa Pebbles cereal
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, microplaned
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, microplaned
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
|48 individual Rollo candies|
|1/4 cup sea salt|
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then add to the creamables. Mix together until smooth.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Shape dough into balls—about 2 tablespoons each.
- Push a Rollo candy into each dough ball.
- Place Rollo-studded dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Top each dough ball with a pinch of sea salt.
- Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.