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Caramel Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Caramel Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are one of my all-time favorites. The buttery, nutty oatmeal cookie dough always seems like the perfect place for a generous amount of chocolate chips – and I don’t mind if there are a few nuts thrown in for texture, either. Thanks to the whole grain oatmeal, oatmeal cookies tend to seem a bit less sweet than some other styles of cookie, which made them a perfect place to try out the new caramel chips from Ghirardelli and bake up some Caramel Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

The oatmeal cookies use white sugar, light brown and dark brown sugar to bring a caramel note into the cookie dough itself. The dough is thick and packed with oats, chocolate chips and caramel chips, so it will require quite a bit of arm strength to completely incorporate everything. I actually recommend working with a stand mixer or dividing the mix up into two bowls (just before adding the chips, but after adding the oats) so that you can get a little bit more leverage. The cookies should be shaped into generous 1-inch balls and placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

The cookies spread a bit as they bake, yielding a finished product with a beautifully crisp edge and a tender center. The caramel chips blend with the brown sugar flavors of the cookie dough beautifully, and contrast well with the chocolate chips. Surprisingly, they’re not too sweet, but they still deliver a rich caramel flavor in every bite. If you want to get even more of an upper body workout, feel free to mix in an additional handful (up to 1/2 cup) of chopped pecans or walnuts.

These look at taste like classic lunchbox cookies. They’re not too thin or too thick, with just the right balance between salty and sweet, crisp and chewy. They’re easy to make and even easier to eat. The caramel chips will hopefully stick around for a while, as Hershey’s makes them in addition to Ghirardelli. Do not substitute caramel bits (which are simply small pieces of caramel) in this recipe, as they are likely to melt right out of the dough, but you can use butterscotch chips if you can’t find any caramel for similar results.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups oats (rolled or “quick,” but not “instant”)
1 cup chocolate chips (about 6 oz)
1 cup caramel chips (about 6 oz)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Either by hand or with the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour in to the sugar mixture until just incorporated.
Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and caramel chips by hand. Dough will be very thick.
Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.
Cool on baking sheet for at least 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

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