Not your average chocolate chip cookies, these come packed with crunchy caramel popcorn.
Some desserts are just so brilliant, that you almost want to smack yourself in the head and think “of course! why didn’t I think of that?”. The buttered popcorn cookies from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is one such recipe for me. One of my most favorite snacks, baked into a cookie. Genius!
Only, when I finally got around to baking a batch, I couldn’t leave it alone. So I added chocolate chips. And crunchy caramel popcorn.
And my tinkering paid off! These cookies are fabulous and incredibly addicting, so bake with caution. I love how the caramel popcorn enhances the butterscotch flavor of the cookies and the added texture is so fun. Some kernels seem to melt into the cookie, leaving behind a pocket of flavor. Others hold their shape and give a little crunch.
Who knew it would be so fun to bake with popcorn?
Caramel Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies
For the caramel popcorn:
- 1 regular size bag microwave butter popcorn, popped
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (190 grams) packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
For the cookies:
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (95 grams) packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup (155 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cup (25 grams) caramel popcorn
To make the caramel popcorn:
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Put the popcorn in a large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter and sugar together. Once melting, increase the heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 3-4 minutes, while continuing to stir.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla, salt and baking soda. Stir until smooth. Immediately poor caramel over the popcorn and stir so that the popcorn is covered evenly.
- Spread the caramel popcorn onto the prepared sheet pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
To make the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until pale and creamy. Add the egg, followed by the vanilla, mixing after each.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Add to the mixer and mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and caramel popcorn and gently mix in.
- Drop into rounds onto the prepared sheet pans and bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.