a 3-tablespoon cookie dough scoop (see baker's notes)
10ouncesdark chocolate (between 60 to 65% cocoa)
1/2cup(4.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2tablespoonsnatural unsweetened cocoa powder
6tablespoons(3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4cups(8.75 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
1cup(6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
12soft and chewy caramel candies (preferably Werther's Original Chewy Caramels — see baker's notes for substitutions)
Place the dark chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the chocolate is chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Melt the chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium heat or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the chocolate occasionally. Cool on a wire rack to cool slightly as you work with the other ingredients.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes, using a spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the mixer to low and add eggs, one at a time, only adding the next egg when the previous one is incorporated. Add vanilla. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and beat until combined and the dough is a uniform, chocolate color. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Add the chocolate chips all at once and beat only until spread throughout the dough, about 1 minute.
Let the dough rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start scooping out the cookies. The dough will be very soft at first, but will firm up the longer it sits. Use a 3-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion a total of 24 cookie dough balls. Press a caramel candy directly in the center of 12 of the cookie dough balls. Press another cookie dough ball directly on top of the caramels, creating a sort of cookie dough ball sandwich with the caramel in the middle. Mold the dough down and around the caramel so that it gets covered completely with cookie dough. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough balls. You're basically making a cookie dough ball that's twice as big as what you scooped; each dough ball should weigh around 2.75 ounces.
Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared sheet pans at least 3 inches apart. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the top of the cookies are cracked and the edges have set. Cool cookies on their sheet pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies have set and feel firm to the touch. Serve the cookies warm, or at room temperature. The cookies can be kept at room temperature, in an airtight container or Ziploc bag, for up to 3 days.