Chocolate Caramel Cookie Cups
Posted by aparriescaldwell
These little treats are incredibly easy and require few ingredients. I will say that they take a little time, but it’s only because they have to cool completely before you can move on. So, let’s get started!
- Pre-made Cookie Dough (Something without chips is easiest, but I’ve used chocolate chips in this one. If you want to make your own dough you can, just be sure to chill it a bit so it’s not too sticky and easier to work with. )
- 1/2 C Melting Caramels (you can use the squares, but the bits don’t have to be unwrapped)
- 1/2 C Heavy Cream
- *Optional- 1/2 C Chocolate Pieces (use chips or pieces like Dove, anything you can melt)
- Special Equipment: Mini muffin pan or a silicone candy sheet. Make sure whatever you use s heat resistant.
Roll cookie dough into a ball. Drop it into the center of the cup and push your finger in the middle. Make sure there is a whole in the middle, and the sides are fairly even. The sides should not be higher than the cup, but flush or slightly under is perfect.
Bake these for about 8 minutes. They should not be done all the way when you pull them out.
Once you pull them out, use the bottom of a wooden spoon or a metal spoon like in the picture, and just tap down the middle. Be gentle. You’ll notice that as soon as you touch most of the middles, they instantly deflate. Carefully tap down the inside and push the sides back a bit, creating your bowl.Put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes, until the tops are just barely brown.
Once you pull them out, you will notice that some of the holes may have filled in again. No problem. Use your spoon and push them back down. If you notice they are still tender in the middle, that’s fine. They will firm as they cool. If they are spongy and airy and wet, put them back in for another few minutes.
At this point, they need to cool for at least 30 minutes before you remove them from the pan. They have to completely firm up. If you want to speed up this process, you can put them in the fridge or freezer. Just make sure you have the cup area hollowed out, because once they are hard, that’s the shape they will hold.
While you’re waiting for the cookie cups to cool, let’s move on to the caramel. don’t care how many times I’ve made these, this is the part that frightens me the most. Actually, heating or making caramel in general scares the crap out of me. I saw my grandmother make it, and even helped her make it, growing up. I have years of experience helping her make caramel for popcorn balls, toffees, toppings, etc. Doesn’t matter. I still usually burn it and I’m still always scared. I have to admit, though, this recipe for caramel sauce scares me the least. 1- the caramel is already made! All you have to do is melt it. 2- you don’t need a thermometer, or have to put it in a cup of cold water to see if it’s ready (the super old school method.) You just look at it. When it’s melted, it’s done. Simple!
So, we put our cream and caramels in a small pot. Turn the heat to medium, and don’t you dare walk away. Stir the mixture continuously and gently until the caramel is completely melted and combined with the cream. The awesome thing about adding the cream is that once the caramel cools in the cups, it will remain chewy.
Now that our caramel is finished, let’s check on our cookie cups. First, let’s check the tin. Is it cool? Good, we’re off to the right start. If you’re using a silicone pan, push evenly on the bottom to remove the cups without breaking them. The smaller your cups the easier this is, but don’t get frustrated if you break some. I have at least 2 or 3 broken ones in every batch. If it needs longer to cool, LET IT! This is probably the most important part in making sure they don’t crumble. If they keep breaking because they’re too thin, well, now you know. No biggie. If you’re using a metal tin, gently slide an offset metal spatula or knife around between the cup and the tin. I find it’s best to place a cooling rack or clean, plastic cutting board on top and gently flip them over. Lay them on the counter and slowly remove the tin. If you used non-stick spray at the beginning, they should slide right out. You can GENTLY tap the bottoms to encourage them as well.
With our cups completely cooled and removed, we can now fill them with caramel. Now, if that last section took you as long to do as it took me to write, your caramel has probably stiffened a bit. That’s ok. Just Turn the burner on high for about a minute, again, stirring constantly, and melt it back down. Remove it from the heat and continue stirring it to cool t down just a bit. (PLEASE REMEMBER THAT CARAMEL IS HOT, AND WILL BURN YOU SEVERELY IF IT’S TOO HOT!) Luckily, this caramel cools enough to handle pretty quickly. Now, hold your cookie cup over the pot, and with a small metal spoon, take a spoonful of caramel and fill the cup. Simple. Keep going until they’re all filled. How easy was that.
Ta-Dah!!! How good are those? You know you already tried one. So yummy. Now, we can leave them like this, or we can go one step further.
One step further it is! Melt your chocolate in the microwave, the same way we did it for the Chocolate Croissants (I’ll give you a moment to slip over to that, remind yourself and slip back.) Now, just like we did there, drizzle it over the top to make cute little drizzly, see-I-worked-extra-hard drizzle designs. Or, you can place some chocolate chips or small pieces on top of your cups. Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, or use the low broil setting. Place the cups on a cookie sheet and set them in the oven until the chips soften, about 1-3 minutes, depending on the method. If you are using the broiler, keep a close watch on your desserts. Just because the chips maintain their shape, it doesn’t mean they haven’t softened. Pull them out and use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to smooth the softened chocolate over the top. Eat them immediately or save them for later. These are still wonderful a few days from now, so you can definitely make them ahead and store them in an airtight container. Enjoy these wonderful little treats. For more variations, use different chips like peanut butter or butterscotch. Or, for a hidden surprise, put the chips at the bottom before pouring in the caramel. As always, Happy Baking!