{Blue Ribbon} Sea Salted Caramel Cookies

salted caramel cookie 3
Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my peach basil cream pie?  You know, the one I dropped off at the State Fair, hoping and praying I’d beat out all the best grandmas I was up against?  Well, I’ve got bad news and bad news…

Let’s start with the bad news.  I didn’t win the pie contest.  The lady who won also won about five other contests, so for the sake of my confidence, we’re going to assume she was paying the judges. OK?

The good news?  Well, despite my swearing off never entering a contest again after a tough pie loss, I put on my grandma big girl pants, preheated the oven, and baked a batch of cookies.  I brought my sea salted caramel cookies to “Cookie Day” at the fair, and what do you know?  They won best filled cookie! 
guac pasta salad (1024x683)
iPhone photo proof: my blue ribbon came in the mail the other day and I was thrilled!  I haven’t gotten a ribbon like this since random USA Swimming meets in high school.  (BTW, extra running time and coffee drinking before work > makeup).

In conclusion: It might be cliché, but if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!  Never give up on your dreams, guys! 😉
salted caramel cookie 1
According to the judge’s review card I received, the flavor of these cookies is incredible.  They said that!  And I didn’t even pay them like Ms. Pie Queen did. 

These cookies have three things going for them.  I add butterscotch instant pudding mix to the dough, which makes for a soft, flavorful cookie.  Each cookie has an entire soft caramel inside.  And in case that isn’t enough for you, they’re sprinkled with sea salt, which essentially makes everything taste better, in my opinion.

Oh, one thing.  If you make these, promise me you’ll eat them warm.  They’re still good at room temperature (as pictured here), but the melty caramel factor makes these about five times better if they’re eaten warm.  I promise!
salted caramel cookie 2
Sea Salted Caramel Cookies

Blue ribbon worthy!  Soft caramels are wrapped around butterscotch flavored cookie dough and sprinkled with sea salt for a soft, sweet and salty cookie.

Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) butterscotch instant pudding mix
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 30 soft caramel candies, unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Heat the oven to 375°F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla and milk; beat until mixed.

In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, pudding mix, and flour. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined.

Shape the cookie dough into one-inch balls. For each cookie, flatten one cookie dough ball in the palm of your hand; place a caramel candy in the center and wrap the cookie dough around the candy. Place cookies onto prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart; sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake 10 minutes or until the cookie edges are light golden brown. Sprinkle with additional sea salt immediately, if desired. Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.


10 thoughts on “{Blue Ribbon} Sea Salted Caramel Cookies”

  1. Hi Liz
    I am dying to make these…they sound absolutely delish… I am not usually a warm cookie person (I like to wait until the cookies cool off) weird I know…
    Anyways, please comment as to what you used for carmel candies ~ is it something like werthers originals or is it actually the little squares of carmel that come individually wrapped….
    Thanks so much.
    P.S I’m adding your blog site to my favorites since there are so many delicious recipes that I want to try.. I too am a baker but not so much a runner (was in highschool which is like forever ago, in any event I do enjoy working out as well as dabbling in yoga for relaxation….

    1. Hi Amy – I used the soft caramel squares that come wrapped – you can usually find them in the candy aisle. Glad you’re enjoying my recipes! I wish I had the patience for yoga – I always feel great afterwards, but I barely ever go!

  2. I made these yesterday….AMAZING! Absolutely love the salty sweet combo and the use of butterscotch pudding in the recipe. I will look into subbing pudding into more cookies, I pink puffy heart soft cookies and this may be a good tip for that! I’m going to try to review on my blog (which I am so bad about keeping up) and will link back here. Have a great weekend!

  3. Liz, I just HAVE to tell you how much I love these cookies! I first made them for Christmas 2011 and have made them countless times since. To top it all off, my mom (who is an excellent baker/cook in her own right) just asked me to make them for the ultimate suburban moment- the Summer Block Party! Thank you SO much for this winner of a recipe!!

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