Salted caramel sprinkled with crushed peppermint and then poured inside a hot chocolate flavored cookie cup.
How good is melty salted caramel? Amazing right? Now try adding some crushed peppermint on top. Mmmmm.
I love caramel treats and caramel desserts, but sometimes, there is just not enough caramel. It’s like a tease of caramel and leaves you wanting more.
Well, good news. These cookie cups are chock-full of melted caramel. Right up to the brim. Or even sometimes over the brim. Which is always good. It’s like caramel nirvana in these cookie cups.
Also they are cute, and bite-sized which is always fun for Holiday desserts. You know, portion control.
Unless you have like 20 of these. Kind of defeats the purpose.
Once you have your cookie dough, these come together pretty quick. You can use whatever chocolate cookie dough recipe you like, but I recommend using my hot chocolate cookie dough recipe (and following all the tips and tricks) to arrive at the perfect chocolate cookie.
It’s my favorite dough and a tried and true favorite at some of the holiday parties I’ve gone to. Just an ever so slight hint of hot chocolate. If you do use that cookie dough, be sure to omit the chocolate chips. They won’t form the greatest cookie cup.
After your dough is all chilled and ready to go, you scoop the dough into a small ball and push it into a mini muffin tin (filling the cups about 1/2-3/4ths the way full). Push down the centers with a teaspoon measuring spoon and they are ready for the oven!
When they are finished cooking, press down the centers again with the measuring spoon and let cool. Pull them out and let the cookie cups harden before pouring in the caramel. To keep the cookies from breaking as I pull them out, I ease them out with a spoon about 1-2 minutes after they have come out of the oven. If they cool all the way in the muffin tin, they won’t come out as easily (or as pretty).
While they are finishing cooling and hardening, you can mix 10 caramels with 1 tbsp. heavy cream or milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then return mixture to the microwave for another 15 or so seconds or until the caramel is melted. Stir until the caramel is completely smooth and then spoon into the cookie cups. Immediately grind some coarse sea salt and garnish with crushed candy canes (that have been unwrapped and crushed in a food processor).
The caramel in these cookie cups don’t harden all the way. They remain melty and sticky. Melted caramel at its best!
Hot Chocolate Cookie Dough Recipe (minus the chocolate chips)
- 1 recipe for chocolate cookie dough (link above recipe box for what I used)
- 40 (~1 bag) soft caramel candies
- 4 tbsp. heavy cream, or sub 2% milk
- Coarse sea salt
- 2-3 candy canes, crushed
- Prepare the cookie dough according to directions.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Scoop out cookie dough with a cookie scoop and press into a ball. Place the ball in a non-stick mini muffin tin (or spray/line the tin if you don’t have a non-stick pan) press the ball down a bit and up the sides barely. I just use a teaspoon measuring spoon and press down in the center.
- Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until a fork/toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
- As soon as you pull out the cookies, press down the centers again with the teaspoon measuring spoon. After about 1-2 minutes, carefully coax out the cookie cups using a small spoon. Let the cookies finish cooling and harden all the way on a wire cooling rack.
- While you are waiting, you can unwrap the candy canes and process until they reach a fine crumb consistency in a food processor.
- Once the cookies are completely cooled and hardened, combine 10 caramels with 1 tbsp. of heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Return to the microwave for 15 more seconds if needed. Continue to stir until the caramel is completely melted.
- Pour the caramel into the cookie cups and then immediately sprinkle coarse sea salt and crushed candy cane on top.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 until all the caramel is used up and the cookie cups are all filled.