Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Cookies

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Cookies
Each year when the snow starts falling we hurry to the store to stock up on hot cocoa. Stephen and I usually pick out a few new flavors along with the classics. One of our new favorites is salted caramel. We've tried both the Ghirardelli brand and the Starbucks, they're both really good! I'm kind of addicted to the combo now! I wanted to bake a batch of cookies the other day and just happened to have everything I needed to make these salted caramel hot cocoa cookies. I started off by mixing up a bowl of chocolate hot cocoa dough in my stand mixer. While the cookies baked I made a saucepan full of the most beautiful amber color caramel I've ever seen! As soon as the cookies came out of the oven I covered them in marshmallows, miniature chocolate chips, caramel and sea salt. They were warm, rich and gooey- my kind of cookie! Definitely perfect for dunking in a hot glass of cocoa! Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Cookies
1¼ c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ c. hot cocoa mix*
½ c. brown sugar
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tbsp. milk
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. vanilla extract

½ c. miniature marshmallows
½ c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips
¼ c. salted caramel sauce (recipe below)

Salted Caramel Sauce:
½ c. sugar
3 tbsp. butter
½ c. heavy whipping cream, room temperature
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat, set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together brown sugar and butter until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add vanilla extract, milk and egg, mixing until just combined.
3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, hot cocoa mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add dry ingredients. Mix until no flour pockets remain.
4. Remove bowl from stand and scoop onto prepared baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set on the edges and barely firm in the centers.
5. Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, add sugar. Heat until the sugar turns a golden brown color (the deeper the color the deeper the flavor) making sure to stir constantly so that the sugar does not burn or form a hard crust on the sides of the pan. Add butter once desired color is reached, whisking to incorporated. Remove from heat and add cream, salt and vanilla extract (note: when you add the cream it will "splatter"). Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
6. Remove cookies from oven. Immediately sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Allow to cool on the sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While cookies are cooling, drizzle caramel over top and sprinkle with sea salt.
Life Made Simple Original Recipe | Makes 12 standard size cookies


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