Caramel Crunch–Chocolate Chunklet Cookies From Dorie Greenspan Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Genius Recipes



43 Ratings

  • Prep time 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 22 minutes
  • makes 24

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Author Notes

As Genius guest host Samantha Seneviratne tells us, "The caramel alluded to in their name comes not from adding caramel to the dough, but from the delicious caramelization of the sugar and butter on the edges of the cookies themselves. Dorie’s genius hack for baking these cookies in a muffin tin instead of on a baking sheet ensures that both the sides and the bottom develop a toasty browned edge that’s full of flavor."

From Dorie, "You won’t find caramel in the ingredient list, yet it’s the flavor you catch with the first bite. The alchemy happens in the oven. Because these slice-and-bake cookies are baked in muffin tins until their bottoms and sides are deeply golden, the butter and sugar brown so completely that they produce the full, nutty, edgily sweet flavor of caramel. A treat! But not the cookies’ only treat. Their texture is a delightful mix of crisp and tender, the sign that they’re shortbread at heart. And the addition of chopped walnuts and small chunks of chocolate means that they could rightly be called chocolate chip cookies, though perhaps ones that lived briefly in France."

Recipe adapted very slightly from Baking With Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple (‎Harvest, October 2021).

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

Hear more about this recipe from Sam Seneviratne on our podcast The Genius Recipe Tapes.Genius Recipes

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

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Caramel Crunch–Chocolate Chunklet Cookies From DorieGreenspan

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • ½ cups(100 grams) sugar
  • ½ cups(60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoonsfine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups(272 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces(85 grams) dark or milk chocolate chopped into small chunks
  • about ½ cups(60 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted or not (or more chocolate chunks)
  1. Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars and the salt together on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  2. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add the flour all at once. Pulse the mixer a few times, just until the risk of flying flour has passed, and then, working on low speed, beat until the flour is almost completely incorporated, a couple of minutes. Don’t beat too much—you want the mixture to be more clumpy than smooth. Still working on low speed, mix in the chocolate and nuts. Then finish incorporating the chunky ingredients with a flexible spatula.
  3. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead it to bring it together. Divide the dough in half and shape each hunk into a 6-inch-long log (the rolls will be a scant 2 inches in diameter). Wrap each log well and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. (You can refrigerate the logs for up to 3 days. Or you can freeze them, wrapped airtight, for up to 2 months; let stand at room temperature for about an hour before slicing and baking, or defrost in the fridge overnight.)
  4. WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. (If you can’t fit two muffin tins on one rack in your oven, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds.) Butter two regular-size muffin tins—you can use bakers’ spray, but butter is really nicer for these.
  5. One at a time, mark each log at ½-inch intervals and, working with a chef’s knife, cut into rounds. Place each puck in a muffin cup.
  6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the pans if necessary, or until the cookies are golden on top, browned around the edges and slightly soft in the center as they’ll firm as they cool. Transfer the pans to racks and let rest for 3 minutes, then gently pry each cookie out with the tip of a table knife and place on the racks to cool. You can serve the cookies warm, but their texture shines brighter at room temperature.
  7. STORING: Kept in an airtight container at room temperature, the cookies will be good for at least 5 days.
  8. A NOTE ON MUFFIN-TIN BAKING: You might be tempted to use a baking sheet, but I hope you won’t—the texture is really best in the muffin tins.
  9. PLAN AHEAD: The dough needs to be refrigerated for 2 hours


  • Cookie
  • American
  • Chocolate
  • Walnut
  • Butter
  • Vanilla
  • Bake
  • birthday gifts
  • mother's day gifts
  • christmas gifts
  • father's day gifts
  • Holiday

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Danni Eldred

  • Deborah

  • Smaug

  • Emily Dee Willis

  • SirVeyza

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

Popular on Food52

41 Reviews

Nicole H. August 15, 2023

These were great but I made a couple of changes- I didn’t knead the dough, shape into logs (too much trouble for a non-professional baker), or add nuts. Instead I used my cookie scoop so they were all equally sized, scooped them into muffin tins, and pressed them down with the back of the scoop. Et voila! Perfect chocolate chunk shortbread cookies with caramelized bottoms and sides. I think this is a great base recipe that could be easily changed to suit different flavor profiles!

Deedupuis July 25, 2023

Taste great but—the middle of my cookies did not rise at all; the bottoms remained flat. I ended up with “cups” which might have been great if I wanted to fill them, but I wanted my cookies to look like the photo. Any ideas????

Randi G. May 28, 2023

Really, really good. The unbaked dough is very fragrant of butter and very easy to work with.

Use the weight measurements rather than volume and don't skimp on the chilling/resting step. The cookies crumble a bit when the rolls are cut, but they are easy to moolah together.

Smaug May 28, 2023

The volume measurements are fine, though if you have a scale it's better for the confectioner's sugar.

charlenesilver January 7, 2023

This sounded like an extremely new and interesting recipe to try for cookies. However it was underwhelming. The dough didn’t come together whatsoever into a “log”. Rested it for more than a couple of hours and even then slicing it only made the entire slice crumble.

Overall an interesting recipe but lacking in a flavor that balances out the sweetness. I may use this if I am out of eggs and want to make cookies (since this recipe uses none), but it doesn’t make a must have chocolate cookie.

charlenesilver January 8, 2023

I edited my rating of this recipe from 3 to 4 stars. I’m not sure why, but eat this cookie the day after baking it. Not sure if it is because of the shortbread consistency that it is just a cookie that tastes better the day after :)

A day later it reminds me most of Indian biscuits. A good chai time snack.

kyurman November 7, 2022

I made these last night and everyone in my house thought they were delicious. A keeper recipe for sure. I followed the recipe. Did half with milk choc and half with dark choc to please everyone. I used pecans because I prefer them to walnuts and toasted them first. I have a small offset spatula that I used to help lift them out of the pan.

I've read through the comments and may have to try the Lindt choc with a "touch of sea salt" next time. I was thinking that a bit of salt might be fun.

Great recipe. Thank you!

Danni E. October 30, 2022

These cookies look beautiful and will be decent with a cup of coffee or milk. The article made the recipe sound amazing, though, and I think they are just OK, caramel flavor absent. It is nice knowing that I could manage to make a passable cookie without leavening, though.

FireInside December 7, 2022

Most shortbread has no leavening, and shortbread is delicious! Way more than passable.

Shelley F. October 17, 2022

These were so delicious and quite easy to make. Loved using a muffin pan. Will be making these again and again

Deborah June 8, 2022

Everyone loved these. I doubled the chocolate. Skipped the nuts (didn’t have on hand) but will try them with nuts at some point. Made in both metal and silicone muffin pans—silicone ones less browned in same amount of time but still tasty. Made them about 1/2 the thickness the second time—easier to eat and made more cookies! Didn’t find them chewy at all but rather a good shortbread consistency. Didn’t bother to roll into a log. Let the dough rest in the fridge then divided dough by weight and pressed into prepared muffin pans (used baking spray then sprinkled with raw sugar). I think I’ll make the dough without the chocolate next time, chill, then divide and press into pans then add the chips so they are more evenly distributed (press them into the dough).

Annadotes June 5, 2022

This recipe is a pass. I wanted to like it but didn’t. I am an experienced baker and have made shortbread several times. Everything went fine until I went to flip them halfway through baking. They were burning. Not caramelizing. They were in the oven for only 10 minutes on 350. I would recommend a retooling of this recipe.

For a really good caramelized chocolate chip cookie, try America’s Test Kitchen’s Thick and Chewy.

Smaug October 31, 2022

Flip them?

sarah P. June 2, 2022

I don't know where I went wrong but I found these very greasy. All the butter baked out. I have a second log in the freezer and am going to try again tonight.

Trish May 21, 2022

Per instructions, I put the "logs" in fridge. Four hours later, tried to slice through and they crumbled. Perhaps mention 15- 20 min softening time when taking out of fridge? These are not chewy at all. I think more chocolate would be good too. Didn't use nuts. This recipe is not a keeper for me.

Smaug May 21, 2022

I would swear there was another comment on this but it seems to have disappeared; at any rate, the dough needs a "brief kneading" per the recipe; I used fraissage (a similar process that is good with reluctant doughs) and there was no trouble with slicing them.

[emailprotected] May 18, 2022

Step 9 should be step 1.

Smaug May 18, 2022

Does seem a little late to start planning ahead- always a good idea to read a recipe through before starting. Not that I haven't failed to do so on occasion.

Smaug May 17, 2022

I tried a variation on this without chocolate- subbed brown sugar for white, doubled the nuts (I used pecans), skipped the vanilla and added lemon zest and nutmeg. All in all a success; on the sweet side (good with coffee, but I think I'd cut the conf. sugar if I did it again), and a bit of chew that I attribute to the moisture in the brown sugar. If I do it again, I think I'll go for white sugar and maybe brown butter.

Emily D. May 11, 2022

Made it was rye flower and still it was amazing!

Emily D. May 11, 2022

Flour lol

Patsymc May 6, 2022

Made these even more genius by using a buttered non stick mandolin after making a batch with the muffin tins Great reviews

KJules May 3, 2022

I think I've been nominated president of a new fan club. I made these for my gym workers and by the time my workout was finished they were lined up, telling me that these were THE BEST shortbread cookies, disguised as chocolate chips cookies! I followed the recipe exactly as written (except for using salted butter) and I chopped up most of a Lindt Excellence Touch of Sea Salt chocolate bar. (I did weigh the ingredients.) The instructions were crystal clear and I'm very excited about the prospect of doubling the recipe next time so that I can put some of these magical cookie logs in the freezer. Thank you for sharing this recipe; it's definitely going to be a star in my cookie arsenal.

SirVeyza May 18, 2022

Hi. I'm relatively new to baking. I was curious, why you opted to go with the salted butter and salted chocolate off the bat? My first thought was that it would be too salty, but it sounded like they were a hit. (I may have to try the recipe as listed first and then with your saltier version!). Thanks for any insights : )

KJules May 18, 2022

I just find that I prefer salted butter…in everything. But I bet the original recipe will be equally delicious. The Touch of Sea Salt chocolate bar just has a hint and I often use it in my chocolate chip cookies because it tastes so much better than chocolate chips. I bake A LOT. It’s my love language. Hope it becomes one of yours too!

donnajo1 May 2, 2022

Something has to be missing from the recipe ingredients. These come out as hard shortbread cookies. They are nothing like described nor pictured. Food52 please fact check this recipe! Something is off.

Isabella April 28, 2022

Excellent shortbread choc chips. I used double the chocolate & lots of walnuts. To me much better than regular chocolate chip cookies, but I didn’t get the caramel much.

Smaug April 28, 2022

These were pretty good, if not game changing. I was expecting yet another revision of the Toll House recipe but they really don't come off that way. The small amount of chocolate comes across as more an add in than as central to the dish, And I'm none too sure they wouldn't be better without it (remember the Toll House recipe was a popular sugar cookie before someone started adding broken chocolate)- the caramelized sugar is really the star of this cookie- I may try it with more nuts in place of the chocolate. The texture is pretty much as advertised- short bread like and a bit crisp on the bottom. They released from the pan with no problem (I used PAM); I think the main effect of baking them this way is that they can survive the long bake time without burning on top, but small differences in thickness did have a large effect on the final color. I tried one as a lump of dough rather than a slice; it didn't spread nearly as much as I expected, and came out still a bit lumpish- it was quite good, though. The recipe is worth a try-- I now have a muffin pan to wash, but nothing actually stuck to it, so not too bad..

Jenna April 28, 2022

Thank you for the very insightful and detailed account of this recipe and cookie, including the clean-up!

Aditi April 28, 2022

Food52 editors, there's a typo in step 6: "slightly soft in the Makes about 38 cookies center"

Caramel Crunch–Chocolate Chunklet Cookies From Dorie Greenspan Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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