chocolate truffle cookies with sea salt caramel chips


I've partnered with The Hershey Company to develop this chocolate truffle cookie recipe to share and enjoy with friends and family over the holiday season. Chocolate and salty caramel is always a great combination for any occasion! 

A few years ago, I used to be the kind of person who got insanely stressed out by the holidays and all that comes with them. The 'To Do' list overwhelmed me: the tickets to book, the friends and family to catch up with, the presents to buy. And, oh, the presents. I hated battling the crowds at the shopping malls and figuring out who needed or wanted what. What if I completely missed the mark and bought the wrong thing?! Oh no, oh no, oh NO.

These days, none of that stuff stresses me out anymore. I'm able to wander around the sights of New York City anxiety-free, admiring the cute little holiday shops and the figure skaters in the ice skating rink without a care. Instead of spending all my hours after work frantically trolling sites for flash sales, I kick off my shoes, pour myself a glass of wine, and re-watch my favorite shows for the fifth or sixth time.

Want to know my secret?


It's cookies.

I first got the idea a few years ago when I showed up to a White Elephant party with nothing but a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies. In a nondescript plastic bag that was slightly crushed from my bike ride over, I thought that they would be the least popular item. To my surprise, they were the most sought-after present, beating out crowd favorites like a cat calendar and a book about surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Of course! Everybody I know, even the most picky and discerning eaters, LOVES cookies. Because is there anything more enjoyable than a warm, homemade cookie and a glass of milk? I don't think so.

So now, every Christmas, my friends and family get a special shipment of whatever batch of cookies I've made for the holiday. Not only is it a way to share my love for baking with everybody, but it also gets rid of all my previous holiday stresses. There's no more making shopping lists, no more trying to figure out who gets what. Instead, there are just batches and batches of cookies with the smell of chocolate and butter wafting constantly through the house. Everybody gets a twine wrapped box of cookies, and they LOVE it. I get emails and text messages as early as October, asking me what cookies I'm sending out this year.


So this year's cookies? These beautiful, crackly chocolate truffle cookies studded with HERSHEY'S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips. These are really brownies, but in cookie form — they're incredibly chocolatey, chewy in the center but with a crisp edge almost identical to that of brownie edges themselves. To top it all off, each HERSHEY'S Kitchens Baking Chip adds a burst of delicious, salty caramel flavor to each wonderful bite.

Happy Holidays, y'all!


Thanks to The Hershey Company for sponsoring this post by providing the compensation and ingredients to make it happen! I was one of the bloggers who participated in HERSHEY'S Bake Happy Challenge, spending the last few months sharing chocolate focused recipes and other tips and tricks to encourage all you lovely folks to bake. Be sure to check out the past recipes (this chocolate pretzel tart, these chocolate sugar cookies, and my personal favorite — a cake decorating tutorial!), and thanks for supporting Hummingbird High and all my wonderful sponsors!

Some baker's notes:
  • So, this dough is NOT your typical cookie dough; it will seem like it's too soft and liquidy at first, and will therefore be a little difficult to scoop and shape without it melting into a puddle. This is normal! Let it sit for 10 minutes before handling — in that time, the dough will harden and be easier to work with. But a word of caution; don't let them sit for too long. The longer you wait, the harder the dough becomes, and the more difficult it will be to scoop! I really recommend using a cookie dough scoop for this particular dough to help you shape the cookies.

  • For a more photogenic, show-stopping cookie, I recommend saving about a 1/4 cup of the caramel chips and placing them on the top of each cookie after you've shaped them. If you mix in all the chips, the dark chocolate batter will likely hide the pretty caramel color of the chips. Placing some chips on the top of each cookie before baking ensures that some chips remain visible and stand out in contrast. If you don't want to bother though, just dump in the chips all at once! Your cookies won't be as pretty, but they'll still be equally as tasty!


Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt Caramel Chips

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Ingredients

For the Chocolate Truffle Cookies:
(makes around 36 3 1/2-inch cookies)

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Recipe

For the Chocolate Truffle Cookies:
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Prepare two full sheet pans by lining with parchment paper, and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Natural Unsweetened Cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.

  3. Place 20 ounces finely chopped HERSHEY'S Kitchens Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar in a double boiler (or, in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of very hot water, with the bottom of the bowl NOT touching the water), using a rubber spatula to stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Once the chocolate is completely melted, remove heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

  4. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until well combined and the mixture has turned light and fluffy, around 5 minutes.

  5. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, slow the mixer to its lowest setting and add 6 eggs, one at a time, only adding the next egg until the previous egg before it has been fully incorporated into the batter. Once all the eggs have been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is very light, creamy, and pale in color.

  6. Once the mixture is very light and creamy, add the melted chocolate (from the 3rd step) and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Once combined, lower your mixer speed to its slowest setting and add the flour mixture (from the 2nd step) all at once. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERWORK THE BATTER AFTER YOU ADD FLOUR, or your cookies will be tough and I will cry for you. Simply keep mixing on the lowest speed until the dry ingredients have just been incorporated — it's okay to have one or two flour streaks left. At this point, add 1 2/3 cups HERSHEY'S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips and continue mixing for about 30 seconds, just until the chips have scattered and incorporated themselves into the dough.

  7. Let the dough rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start scooping out cookies. The batter is very soft at first, but it starts firming up quickly as it sits, which makes it more difficult to portion. I used about 3 tablespoons of cookie dough (measured out by a cookie dough scoop) for each cookie. Scoop each portion onto the prepared baking sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart. (If you've reserved 1/4 cup of HERSHEY'S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips for a more photogenic cookie, sprinkle each of the scooped cookie dough mounds with a teaspoon or two of caramel chips; you can gently press the chips into the dough if they bounce off the mounds.)

  8. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until they are evenly cracked all over the tops and softly set, about 14 to 16 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets with a metal spatula.
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