I have loved caramels since I was an itty-bitty child. Rich, luscious, sweet, creamy caramel. Heavenly! The first time I tasted sea salt caramels I knew the little girl in me was all grown up. I have been a salted caramel devotee ever since. It was only natural then, when this month's #lovebloghop theme of cookies was announced, that I began thinking about how to create a salted caramel cookie.
Fleur de sel literally translates as "flower of salt." It is a hand-harvested French sea salt with a high mineral content that is often slightly grey in color. If you do not have, or cannot find, fleur de sel you can substitute any fine sea salt instead. These cookies do have a lot of steps, but the end result is oh so worth it. Fortunately for my waistline these cookies can be frozen and baked off just a few at a time. If you've never made caramel before I suggest checking out this great tutorial by David Lebovitz before getting started.
Fleur de Sel Caramel Cookies ~ makes about 4 dozen
2.75 cups AP flour
1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
1.5 cups sugar, divided
.25 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling over cooled cookies
dark chocolate, melted, for drizzling over cooled cookies ~ optional
Into one bowl sift together flour, baking soda and fleur de sel.
In another large bowl (or stand mixer) add butter, half cup of sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat add one cup of sugar and let melt, swirling the pan a little, stirring just a little, until the sugar melts and turns amber. Remove from heat and using a wooden spoon add a scoop of the butter mixture and the quarter cup of heavy cream. The caramel will bubble up violently - this is normal. If using a stand mixer, turn on low speed and gently pour caramel down the side and into the butter mixture. If not using a stand mixer beat the caramel slowly into the butter mixture using a wooden spoon. Whichever method you're using - beat until all butter is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Add egg and combine well. Add sifted dry ingredients and incorporate completely.
The mixture will be extremely soft so you will need to put it in the fridge, in the bowl, for about an hour to firm up a bit. After it firms up form into a log, wrap in plastic and freeze for 30-45 minutes. The number of cookies you get from this recipe depends on the diameter of the log - mine was 2.5" rolled resulting in 3.5" diameter cookies when baked. A smaller diameter on your roll, smaller cookies but more yield. Thicker roll, larger cookies with less yield. It's up to you. No matter the diameter of the log you roll, cut the cookies off in 1/4" slices.
When you're ready to bake preheat oven to 350º F. Slice off 1/4" rounds and bake on a cookie sheet covered with a silpat (silicone baking mat) or parchment paper for 8-10 minutes. They will be super soft - let cool 3-5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool. You know how sometimes you change a recipe or skip a step? Don't change this part - really and truly - let cookies cool 3-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Once cooled the cookies are delightfully chewy. You can enjoy them as is or drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with additional fleur de sel. They are very moist cookies so I don't recommend baking them on a humid day. Cookies are best enjoyed the same day but can store in an air-tight container for 3-5 days in layers separated by wax paper or they may stick together. Enjoy!
December is #cookielove month!
All month long you can find great cookie recipes by hopping along the links below or searching the #cookielove hashtag on twitter. I am so pleased to be co-hosting this bloghop with the following amazing bloggers. Please be sure to visit their pages and follow them on twitter for all their latest news and recipes.
Badger Girl Learns to Cook ~ @BdgrGrl
Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves ~ Becky Higgins
BigFatBaker ~ @BigFatBaker
Bloc de recetas ~ @blocderecetas
Bon a croquer ~ @Valouth
CafeTerraBlog ~ @CafeTerraBlog
Cake Duchess ~ @cakeduchess
Creative Cooking Corner ~ @KarriannGraf
Easily Good Eats
Georgiecakes ~ @georgiecakes
Hobby And More ~ @betit19
knitstamatic ~ @knitstamatic
Mike's Baking ~ @mikesbaking
Mis Pensamientos ~ @juniakk
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ @TRCrumbley
Oh Cake ~ @jesshose
Queen's Notebook ~ @mango_queen
Savoring Every Bite ~ @Spicegirlfla
Simply Reem ~ @simplyreem
Soni's Food for Thought ~ @sonisfood
Teaspoon of Spice ~ @tspbasil ~
That Skinny Chick Can Bake ~ @Thatskinnychick
The Art of Cooking Real Food ~ @TAofCRF
The Spicy RD ~ @thespicyrd
The Wimpy Vegetarian ~ @chezsuzanne
Vegetarian Tastebuds ~ @vegtastebuds
Vegan Yack Attack! ~ @veganyackattack
I hope you'll join us and link up your own awesome cookie recipe during the month of December. Don't forget to link back to this post and tweet the #cookielove hashtag so your readers know to come visit the #cookielove event.