As if Chocolate Chip Cookies could get even better…
I am here to tell you – they can!
Making and Baking
We decided to make these during our mini-vaca in Wilmington. (By “we,” I mean “I,” but there were no voices of dissent.) My dear friend was hosting us for the weekend, and – to our delight – joined us in the kitchen for all the fun.
My part was really recipe management. Like a conductor, I just offered instructions as the guys took point on most of the action items. Where my experience and know-how took lead, I jumped in…otherwise, I just let them at it.
The kid was in charge of unwrapping all the caramels needed for the recipe (a sneaky way to include a little fine motor practice from this momma used to including occupational therapy methods whenever possible), and we all benefited from munching out as we worked.
So, really…we didn’t follow the EXACT caramel proportions as stated in the recipe. The chocolate chips proportions might have also been a little off. I mean, can you blame us?!
For the middle layer, we stuck with using a basic Mediterranean Sea Salt grinder (thankful for a host with strong hands who took lead on this task). But for the topping, we opted to use ALL THE SALTS. Breaking it up in quadrants (which just seemed to make the most sense since we were using a square pan), we dashed and sprinkled – what we thought – would be generous helpings on each fourth.
And that was that. Baked and out of the oven…really the part we struggled with was waiting for it to cool.
It seemed to take longer than the recipe suggested.
NOTE: This could be because it was the kid’s bedtime. We didn’t get started on this kitchen adventure until the other side of the day and the expectation was that he would be able to have some before going to bed.
I’m thankful that he’s a good sport. Instead of getting a neat little square, he got a lumpy pile of gooey delicious mess. (For the record, there were no complaints.) And he went to bed in a sugar-rushed bliss full of happiness. And seriously, in my world, I marked that down as a WIN.
The grown-ups were able to wait a little bit longer for the cooling process. But even with the time passed, the pieces I served were soft and messy. I will say, though, a perfect late night treat with cold milk.
We left the pan in the fridge overnight and everything set up for easy cutting the next morning. The kid and I took about half home, and we left the other half for our host. I tried to make sure that both portions had all four salt toppings for comprehensive taste testing.
And I noted that next time, we just need to be more realistic about the time it takes to cool down.
Salted Caramel Fiend
If you follow me on social media (if you don’t, you should – check out the links above and below [header and footer] and note that I’m most active on Facebook), you already know that I am raising a kid who is well aware of yummy-goodness.
Even with the challenges he’s faced with texture and flavor and noise (kitchen gadgets can be, you know?) and sensory issues yet undiscovered, he continues to push the boundaries of his own normalcy. And yes, he definitely spends time researching recipe videos on YouTube as well as getting in the kitchen with different family members to create food that’s good to eat.
To be honest…he tends to lean towards ALL THINGS SWEET.
I think that applies to all lot of us, though, so no judgement.
But then, the salted caramel craze hit…and he was all-aboard!
I mean, anything and everything that happens to be labeled “salted caramel” gets tried. We even have plans to make our own chocolate-covered salted caramels…(but that’s another post). Important to mention here, though, because for his birthday we visited the spice shop in downtown Asheville, NC and picked up a few different salts to try out: Cyprus Black Lava Sea Salt (already a favorite – and the reason we went back to The Tea & Spice Exchange), Himalayan Mineral Salt and Hawaiian Red Sea Salt.
Clearly, when we were considering this recipe, all those salty options came up in discussion.
AND WHY CHOOSE ONE SALT WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THEM ALL?
Gobbling It All Up
Our portion didn’t last long.
No surprise there, right?!
I mean, we started eating it on the way home.
To be honest, I am really proud that the last piece made it to Thursday. And yes, I ATE IT. The kid has known me long enough to understand that the really good stuff gets made again – so he’s not going to have to wait too long.
The balance between salty and sweet is…as the Brown-Eyed Baker puts it…heaven.
Our host, who made it through his portion (in probably a more respectable amount of time, seeing as he’s a level-headed kind of individual) and had this to say:
Best warm and gooey with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Very good at room temperature with a glass of milk.
Less messy as a cold treat.
Delicious in all three forms.
I asked him whether he could tell a difference in the salt toppings.
There were some bites that had a little more salty…they were preferred; but I could not tell you the color of the salt or its origin. I might have overdone it with the grinder, but IMO each bite was bliss.
We have no complaints on his use of the grinder. He can totally be in charge of that again next time.
Get yourself some.
Reminder, recipe link is above.
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