I love salted caramel anything … lattes, ice cream, cake; it’s all delicious. So, when we received the invite for my boyfriend’s annual family gathering asking us to bring either a dessert or appetizer, I began looking for a yummy dessert idea that incorporated salted caramel. I found a couple that caught my attention, but I decided to leave the final decision to my boyfriend. He chose the salted caramel cookie cups. After baking them and trying one or two, I knew they’d be a hit … and they were. I even ended up bartering with Jay’s uncle; he offered four pieces of chocolate cake for a half dozen cookie cups. Not that I wouldn’t have let him have them for nothing, it was quite entertaining. The recipe I found for these called for peanut butter cookies, but I took a different route and used both sugar and chocolate chip cookie dough. I’m sure you could use any kind of cookie for the cup - I was thinking about making some shortbread dough, but being pressed for time, I just bought refrigerated dough at the store.
1 - 16 oz. package refrigerated sugar cookies
1 - 16-oz. package refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
2-1/2 cups caramels, unwrapped
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. milk
4 tsp. coarse sea salt for garnish
Heat oven to 350°. Spray 48 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Remove cookie dough from package. Place about 1 Tbsp. of the dough in each of the 48 muffin cups, 24 of each flavor cookie. Press the dough in the bottom and up the sides of each cup. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Using the end of a wooden spoon or rubber scraper, carefully press into center of each baked cookie to make 1-inch-wide indentation. Bake for a couple minutes longer if necessary. Allow to cool completely in the pan; when cooled, remove the cookie cups to a cake pans or large trays.
Meanwhile, in a medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and water on high for one minute. Stir; repeat until caramels are completely melted and can be stirred smooth. Stir in milk until combined. Spoon the melted caramel into the cooled cookie cups. Let stand at room temperature about one hour or until set. When caramel filling is set, sprinkle a few granules of coarse sea salt on top of each. Serve.