14 Dec Caramel Peppermint Olive Oil Brownie Cookies with Vanilla Salt
Full Disclosure: Today’s post is sponsored by Nestle Toll House, but the following flood of warm and fuzzy words about their new DelightFulls Filled Baking Morsels is all my own.
I’m coming back at ya’ with another cookie recipe today. It feels a little out the ordinary to post on the weekend (something I have maybe never done) but the holiday season is passing us by quickly and there are Christmas cookies to be had! In fact, I’m not sure that I’ve ever baked as many different kinds of Christmas cookies as I’ve baked this year. I’m a machine. A madwoman. And I like it.
This recipe is based on one of the most popular recipes on Butterlust – my Olive Oil & Sea Salt Brownie Cookies. In fact, it’s likely that it may have been the very recipe that brought you here for the first time (and if so, thanks for coming back!). Not only are they a Pinterest fave, they’re also a favorite among my friends and family. These cookies, above every other cookie I’ve ever made, are consistently requested for work events, potlucks, and hell, just because. And for good reason. They’re rich, fudgy and topped with sea salt’s irresistible, potent crunch. They’re pretty damn close to perfect as is, but every great cookie can stand a little Christmas makeover, no?
Christmas is not the only cause for these O&SSBC’s close up. You see, the original recipe calls for plain (but-never-boring) semisweet chocolate chips. They’re your classic chocolate chip cookie chip – you’ve probably got a bag or two in your pantry right now, and if I had to guess, I’d wager that they’re probably in that signature yellow bag. Delicious, timeless, the same one’s grandma used. Not to be toiled with, right?
But you see, Nestle Tollhouse has decided to seriously up their chocolate chip game. They’ve taken their beloved chocolate morsels and elevated them to a so-good-they’re-baaaad kinda place. Y’all, they added filling. Cherry, mint, peanut butter, and caramel, stuffed into the middle of an only-slightly-larger-than-normal chocolate chip, taking cookies everywhere to the next freaky-good level. Proving ladies and gentleman, that without a doubt (at least in the case of cookies) more is more. [mic drop]
I chose to use Nestle Toll House’s Caramel Filled DelightFills for these cookies. I am immediately drawn to anything and everything chocolate + caramel and these chips do not disappoint. They’re very similar to a Rolo candy but with a softer caramel center — perfect against the background of a cookie’s crisp edges. As you bite into these cookies, the firm chips, which hold their shape nicely during baking, give way to a gooey caramel center (heavenly), with the crunchy peppermint bits and the vanilla salt adding a lovely contrast of both texture and flavor. If you are a mint fan, you could alternately use the mint DelightFills for a stronger peppermint punch. There’s a lot going on, sure, but the flavors and textures marry together beautifully to form one helluva good Christmas cookie! Read more about and discover great recipes featuring Nestle Toll House DelightFills here!
Happy Christmas Cookie Baking! XO, Katie
A Few Notes About This Recipe
For the vanilla salt, all you need is 1 vanilla bean and 1/2 cup of course-grain salt (I used Maldon). Cut the vanilla bean vertically down the center and scrape out all of the beans. Add the beans to the salt and rub, rub, rub until well dispersed. Store in an airtight container. You can also alternately use a plain course-grain salt for this recipe.
These cookies are best eaten right of the oven (aren’t all cookies?) and will soften up a bit as they sit. Crisp them back up by placing them in an over at 350F for about 5 minutes.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 package Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Caramel Filled Morsels
- 3 candy canes, finely crushed
- 2 tbsp vanilla salt (see notes)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the olive oil and sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each one.
- Add the cocoa powder, and flour and beat until a dough forms - it should be the consistency of brownie batter.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda into the hot water. Add dissolved baking soda and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Stir in the caramel-filled chocolate chips with a spatula.
- Refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a cookie scoop to scoop out heaping tablespoons onto your prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with vanilla salt and crushed peppermint candy canes. Avoid adding any large chunks of candy cane.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. If you are planning on storing the cookies for a few days, I recommend baking for the longer among of time, as the cookies do soften a little bit as they sit.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool.