Have you ever noticed that we all have our own "movie snack" rituals? For me, I love nothing more than settling into my seat with a fountain Diet Coke, a small popcorn and a box of Milk Duds. Or sometimes it's Raisinets. Occasionally Sno Caps.
My point is that I love combining salty with my sweet.
Which is why I am over the moon with these caramel corn chocolate chunk cookies!
They are beyond delicious. And not at all difficult to make.
Simply whip up a batch of this no-fail caramel corn (Spoiler alert: there will be leftover caramel corn after you make the cookies. This is a good problem, trust me). Fold a few cups into your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough, replacing the chips with chocolate chunks (we're going big here).
And something kind of magical happens when these hit the oven. As the cookies bake, some of the caramel melts into the dough, creating little pockets that crisp up when the cookies cool. And you will not believe how game-changing this is.
Now I'm not saying that you should sneak these into the theater the next time you go to the movies.
But I'm not saying you shouldn't.
Caramel Corn Chocolate Chunk Cookies
4 dozen cookies
For the caramel corn:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the cookies:
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chunks
1. Make the caramel corn:
2. Grease a baking sheet, large bowl and two heatproof spatulas (or large spoons).
3. Place the vegetable oil and 3 popcorn kernels in a large lidded saucepan. Heat, uncovered, on high heat till the kernels pop. Add the remaining kernels, cover the pan and cook - shaking the pan continuously - until the popping stops. Transfer to your prepared bowl.
4. Place the sugar, butter, salt and water in a medium saucepan and cook over high heat without stirring. Continue to cook (without stirring) until the mixture turns a pale golden brown. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the baking soda (mixture will bubble up). Pour the caramel over the popcorn and, using your spatulas, toss to coat completely. Transfer to your baking sheet and spread out, breaking up the clumps into small pieces while still warm. Let cool completely.
5. Make the cookies: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the butter and both sugars till light and fluffy; add the vanilla and eggs and beat again. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and beat till just combined. Fold in 2 cups of caramel corn and the chocolate chunks.
6. Scoop tablespoon-size balls onto your 2 baking sheets (they can be close together) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
8. Place 12 balls on a sheet - well spaced apart - and top with a piece of caramel corn and a chocolate chunk, if desired. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or till deep golden brown. Let cool on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Store in an airtight container.