Recipe: Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic, but nothing says that when you reinvent a classic, you won’t end up with something that’s even better than the original. When I saw a recipe the other day for popcorn chocolate chip cookies, my wheels started turning. I decided to put my own little twist onto this fun recipe and here’s what I came up with:

I opted for caramel popcorn to give the cookies another dimension of flavor and crunch, but you could definitely use plain buttered popcorn or experiment with other fun flavors. Want a hint of cinnamon? Use our Cinnamon & Brown Sugar kettlecorn. A flavor that reminds me of Girl Scout cookies sounds pretty great – use our Mint Cookie Mayhem popcorn! Or how about White Cheddar popcorn? Or you could jump on the bacon chocolate craze and use our Hickory Maple Bacon. The possibilities are endless!

I also subbed in espresso powder for the suggested cocoa powder – I thought the combination of caramel, coffee, and chocolate sounded heavenly. I also really enjoy vanilla so I added in some vanilla bean paste along with the homemade vanilla extract to up the flavors even more. The original recipe called for crushed pecans or walnuts, but because I’m allergic to nuts, I left those out but they’d be a welcome addition for any nut lover. Enjoy this easy recipe that’s completely customizable depending on your tastes! And don’t forget to check out our gourmet popcorn gifts!

Caramel Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from gourmetgiftbaskets.com

Ingredients:

• 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon espresso powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• Pinch of kosher salt
• 2 cups caramel popped popcorn, lightly crushed
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat, which will prevent the cookies from burning. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can just place the cookies on lightly greased cookie sheets.

Cream the softened butter and sugar together using electric mixer set to low. You want the consistency to be light and fluffy (this will take a couple of minutes). Raise the speed to medium and beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and beat until well combined. Stir in the popcorn and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Drop batter in tablespoonful rounds onto the cookie sheet, about an inch and a half apart. Bake until the edges of the cookies are just starting to turn brown, about 10-15. Be sure to rotate the pans halfway through cooking time. I ended up needing 3 cookie sheets – I baked 2 at a time for 12 minutes and the last one for 10 minutes. It all depends on your oven.

Transfer to wire cooling racks and enjoy!