Delicious soft and chew sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting and a salted caramel drizzle
Hi everyone! Chelsea back from Chelsea’s Messy Apron and today I’m sharing one of my family’s favorite sugar cookies! A soft and chewy sugar cookie base with the most flavorful cream cheese frosting, a caramel drizzle, and some sea salt to finish everything up!
These cookies are inspired by a local cookie shop. They have the most amazing sugar cookie varieties and we make way too many stops there! This is a “copycat” of one of their most popular cookies. Honestly we think this version is even better!
These cookies do take a bit of work, but I promise they are well worth it! And as school comes back into session these cookies make the perfect treat for both you and your kids 🙂
Tips to make these Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies the BEST:
- Correctly measure the flour: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you will pack in way too much flour (which will result in cake-like cookies with the wrong texture). To properly measure your flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a butter knife to level the measuring cup at the top. You’ll have a perfect flour measurement now!
- Use a room temperature egg: This ensures the egg disperses more evenly into the batter giving these cookies a lighter texture (the egg traps air). Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, pull the egg out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before use. You also want to make sure the butter is at room temperature so it will cream with the sugars properly!
- Finally, it really helps to chill the dough. When you chill dough the butter solidifies which allows it to melt slower when it’s baked. This creates a thicker cookie which prevents the cookie from going flat and becoming crispy. Chilling the dough also gives the sugar time to absorb more of the liquid and become more concentrated. A more concentrated sugar is going to give you a chewier and sweeter cookie. While this recipe doesn’t require you to chill the dough, I like to pop them into the fridge for at least 10 minutes before baking!
More delicious cookies from Chelsea’s Messy Apron:
Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies
- 2/3 cup white sugar plus 3 tablespoons for pressing cookie dough balls
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 package 8 ounce full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use low fat
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 bags 5 ounces EACH soft caramel squares, unwrapped (I highly recommend Werther's Original SOFT caramels for these cookies)
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- Sea salt for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the 2/3 cup white sugar, powdered sugar, and room temperature butter until fluffy and light. Add the vegetable oil, vanilla extract, the egg, and heavy cream and mix until smooth.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Combine wet and dry and mix until just combined.
- Roll dough into balls the size of golf balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar to a small bowl. Dip the bottom of a glass into the sugar and then press the dough balls with the jar dipped in sugar until the cookies are about 1/2 centimeter thick in the center and the edges crack (like the pictures).
- Bake for 7-8 minutes. (The cookies look slightly undercooked, but are done!)
- Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Using a hand mixer, cream together the room temperature butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until completely smooth. Mix in vanilla extract, sea salt and cinnamon. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. Chill the frosting while the cookies finish cooling.
- Frost completely cooled cookies with cream cheese frosting.
- Unwrap the caramels and add them along with the heavy cream to a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until completely smooth and then set aside to slightly cool and thicken.
- Once thickened and cooled, drizzle over cookies and add a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Only add caramel and sea salt to the cookies that will be eaten immediately. Enjoy!