These Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Cookies start with a peanut butter thumbprint cookie, filled with chewy caramel, then topped with chocolate. You could almost call them snickers cookies.
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Cookies are a combination of 3 of my favourite things – Chocolate, caramel and peanut butter. I started out thinking I would just create a thumbprint cookie with caramel in the centre but you know how it goes. That evolved into covering it in chocolate. Then I decided I wanted to add peanuts which ended up happening in the form of my favourite peanut butter. It was a simple progression really that caused this metamorphosis.
It starts with a fairly simple peanut butter cookie, then a few extra step to achieve that chewy caramel before covering them in chocolate.
The cookie itself is soft in the centre but crispy on the outside and loaded with peanut butter in the dough, so all on it’s own it’s a total treat. Before you bake them, you make an indentation in the middle and you could keep it simple by just filling that dent with chocolate (like these Malted Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies). I decided to fill it with homemade caramel that sets nice and chewy.
Store-bought or homemade caramel is up to you
The chewy caramel you see here is my homemade caramel which I make regularly, most often of the salted variety. Here though, it’s just regular-out-of-this-world variety, sweet caramel. It sets to chewy caramel so there is no need to store these Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Cookies in the fridge. If you don’t have the time or patience to make it then, by all means, use a store-bought caramel or dulce de leche. I really encourage you to make your own caramel just once but a word of warning – it is highly addictive.
Finally, the tops are dipped in melted chocolate, sprinkled with chopped peanuts and left to set.
So with all that peanut, caramel and chocolate, you could almost call these snickers cookies. Hmm, now I just need to create some kind of snickers nougat and this recipe could totally morph again. Speaking of Snickers, have you ever tried a dessert dip? Try out this Snickers Dip for a fun dessert.
So, that’s it in a (pea)nut shell. A simple cookie with very classic flavours that quickly became a favourite around these parts.
For the Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) light brown sugar
- 56 g (1/4 cup / 2oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 195 g (1 1/2 cups / 7oz) plain (AP) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Chewy Caramel filling
- 1 1/2 cups caster (superfine / granulated)
- 1/3 cup water
- 113 g (1 stick / 1⁄2 cup) unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
- 1/2 cup thickened cream
- 125 g milk chocolate
- 2 tablespoons salted peanuts, roughly chopped
For the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced and line 2 large cookie sheets with baking paper.
- Beat the butter, peanut butter and sugar until lightened, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary. Add the egg. and beat thoroughly.
- Sift together flour and baking powder then add it to the butter mix in 3 parts. Keep mixer on low and mix until it comes together as a dough.
- Use your thumb (or the end of a pestle) to gently make a deep indent in each cookie making sure not to push a hole through the bottom. The edges of the cookies will crack but that’s ok, just carefully push together the largest cracks so you have a solid dam wall to hold the caramel in later.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes, turning the trays halfway through. They are done when you see the edges turning a little golden.
- Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
For the caramel (have all your ingredients ready before you begin)
- Place the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat and stir gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to the boil and stop stirring. Allow it to boil for around 7-8 minutes, without stirring. The temperature should reach 120C / 250F on a candy thermometer and it should be amber gold in colour.
- Add the butter. Whisk it in quickly until fully combined. Now add the cream (be careful as it may splatter and bubble up) and do the same until all mixed through. Allow it to boil for 3-5 minutes until thickened and glossy. It should be a deep golden brown colour.
- Fill the centre of each cookie with caramel just to the top of the cookie dam wall. Give it couple of minutes to cool, then add a little more. Allow to set completely before proceeding.
- Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring well between each, until just melted. It should take no longer than 1 1/2 minutes. Any more than that and you risk overheating or even burning the chocolate.
- Dunk the tops of the cookies into the melted chocolate, allow to set for a minute or so before sprinkling with the chopped peanuts.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
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