Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my tastiest and most sentimental recipes

Author’s note

I want to apologize in advance because I am about to get all cooking-blog sentimental on you when it comes to these cookies. The coarse salt sprinkled on top of them is extracted from my evaporated tears as I mourn the memories associated with said cookies.

Not really. That would be kind of gross, actually.

These Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies do have a special place in my heart, and the little pockets of caramel bits do taste like melted memories to me. 

For those of you who have never met me — which is most likely nearly all of you — I would like to give you some background. Saying that I moved a lot is an understatement. I went to four elementary schools, three middle schools and six high schools before I came to college.

I met a lot of people that I still care about deeply, and I have not seen most of them since I moved from where they are. However, there is one person in particular who I probably spent the least amount of time with, but meant the most to me. I met him when I was sixteen at my fourth high school. The last day I was at school with him was the day before Valentine’s Day, and he wished me happy birthday remotely the first day I was in my new house. 

There was a lot going on both when I left him, and when I first met him. I was coming back up from my all-time low, and I was often taking two steps back before I could even take one step forward. 

In the time I felt most alone and misunderstood by both other students and my own parents, he made the attempt to understand me. He never made me feel like a burden, and he was so good at making me laugh when it sometimes felt impossible to even smile. We were both pretty upset when I left just three months after meeting, and I miss him. 

We kept in contact for a while before life began to do its thing and get terribly busy. I went about a year without talking to him much, but we have recently reconnected. It has been both the most wonderful and most heart-wrenching experience because we are so far away from each other. 

Funnily enough, when we had met, I had just moved from Texas, and, months after I left, he moved to Texas. There are about 1,088 miles that separate us.

The last day I was at school with him, I made cookies for some of my teachers. They were some sort of mint chip cookies. But, for him, I made these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies because he had told me that this was one of his favorite flavors of sweets.

On Saturday, about two weeks after we had reconnected, I made them again. I made these cookies so that I could send them to him in an airtight container with slices of bread in it to keep them from getting hard.

I hadn’t made them since I gave them to him the first time; they were delicious, but I didn’t want to make them because I have been afraid to relive the hurt all over again.

Either way, I have been reliving it with every conversation I have had with him since. Yet, I would rather hurt and have him rather than try to spare my feelings and forget what we had.

It was a bitter loss, but after making them once more for him, I have found the sweet memory within them. I plan to make them again any time I want to remember and any time he may want them again.

I think this is the beauty of cooking and baking that is sometimes forgotten. We can get caught up in how difficult or time consuming it may be. We may become too hyper-focused on ensuring everything tastes perfect. We may not even take the time to explore the way making a certain food affects us.

Food can hold memories of the people you have shared it with. These silly little cookies could be one of the only things you can use to bridge a 1,088 mile gap. 

I hope you not only enjoy the flavor of these cookies but use them to connect to something or someone important in your life. Then, you can always find memories hidden within the things you create in the kitchen. 


Note: When I made these, I halved the recipe and still got quite a bit of a yield. I would say nearly two dozen. It also depends on how large you like your cookies. If you’re not emotionally prepared for a large quantity of cookies, though, I recommend half!

If you do half the recipe, some of the quantities are difficult to gauge because they are already pretty small, such as ¼ cup. To help with this, I want to let you know that 1 cup is equivalent to 16 tablespoons. Therefore, ¼ cup is 4 tablespoons and half of that would be 2 tablespoons.

  • 3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)

I highly recommend only using unsalted butter because you will be sprinkling the cookies with sea salt, and salted butter might make them too salty.

  • ¼ c. white sugar 
  • 2 eggs 

While not necessary, whenever using eggs in a recipe with melted or softened butter, it is helpful to use eggs that are at room temperature. If they are too cold, they may hinder the mixing process as they rechill the butter.

  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup

I did this because I didn’t have vanilla extract, and I LOVE the way it turned out, so I will continue to advocate for it.

  • 1 c. chocolate chunks or chips

I personally prefer the chunks because I LOVE chocolate 🙂

  • 1 c. caramel bits

These are just little balls of chewy caramel that are typically sold in a bag near baking chips! I would avoid tasting them individually because you might not be able to stop.

  • coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)


  1. Preheat your (or your dorm’s) oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together both sugars, the butter and the maple syrup until creamy. Add in the eggs and beat until well blended and somewhat fluffy. 
  3. Add in the baking soda. Then, add the flour bit by bit to ensure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Mix until completely combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips and the caramel bits, adding more or less as desired.
  5. Roll the cookies in to desired ball size and flatten onto a greased cookie sheet. I recommend parchment paper if possible because of the caramel. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt onto each cookie, and bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. 
  6. Allow the cookies to cool before you attempt to remove them from the pan or you will make them ugly, deformed and broken like I did to some of them. The hot caramel will want to stick to the pan, so if they aren’t cooled and solid, the caramel will rip the cookies apart.

Happy memory making!

“Do you ever think about being with someone but realize it’s impossible and then get really sad so you bake a pie instead?”― Ngozi Ukazu, Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey

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