Preheat oven to 375°F. Line sheet pans with parchment paper.
With an electric mixer beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar on high speed until pale, creamy, and mixture sticks to the sides of the pan, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl once or twice.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping down bowl after each. Mix in vanilla extract.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips.
Portion into rounded tablespoons (I use a #40 cookie scoop, 1 ½ tablespoon) and place on prepared sheet pan, about 8 cookies to a pan.
Press caramels into the center of each cookie round. Use your hands to push cookie dough completely over the caramel so it's covered and roll into a ball. Return to the cookie sheet.
Bake until tops just turn brown, 9-10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack too cool completely.
Repeat with remaining dough and caramels.
I have tested this recipe with several brands of caramel candy and they all turned out delicious with slight differences. Softer "old-fashioned" caramel will melt more into the cookie as it bakes, and harder Kraft caramels will retain their shape and cookies will have a slight domed top.
Caramels should be about 1/2-inch cubes. Cut caramels in half if needed. Roll them in your hands to round corners.
Serve warm for melty caramel centers. Cookies can be rewarmed in the microwave for 15 seconds or in a 350°F for a few minutes. Cookies are also delicious with cooled chewy caramel centers.