Bob’s Red Mill’s United States of Cookies: Caramel Mocha Cookies (DE)

Delaware’s cookie is full of chocolate chunks and drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.

Recipe source:

Anyone with a toddler knows that any intensive cooking project can be impossible to complete without interruption from said toddler. Luckily this was one of the cookie recipes that calls for the dough to chill “at least two hours” so it was easy to split the project up. You also have to make caramel sauce from scratch, though, so that requires full attention for 8-10 minutes.

So Delaware’s cookie has coffee in it because of all the coffee shops in Delaware? Is that really the defining food trait of Delaware? Delawarens please weigh in on this.

Honestly, though, chocolate, coffee, and caramel? I’m not going to argue.

For some reason they didn’t specify to use an electric mixer, and didn’t want me to cream the butter and sugar, so I went back to my roots and did it by hand. Remind me never to do that again.

They also said the butter should be “partially melted” which, how do you even do that?
Ignore the box of corn muffin mix behind. I planned to make them with chili later and they snuck into the shot.

Somehow I managed to get an even mix, many hand-cramping minutes later. Does anyone sell an ergonomic wooden spoon with a really chunky big handle?

They said to “make sure not to overmix!” after adding the eggs, vanilla, and instant coffee. Considering how much I had to wrestle with the dough, not sure it’s possible to avoid.

Sweet Jesus, I forgot about flour. Half the reason I got a KitchenAid was to avoid mixing in flour by hand.
Chocolate CHUNK!

Every time I buy a bar of baking chocolate, I come home to find I still had enough from last time. This was bittersweet chocolate. I thought of buying Ghirardelli but it was like 20¢ more so I said “nah” and got Baker brand instead.

I started chopping this with a bench scraper but it got everywhere, so instead I used my chef knife.

“Fold in” the chocolate chunks, chips, and sea salt. But don’t overmix, right? Yeah. 
One of these days I need to buy sea salt that isn’t in a grinder thing.

It was only a teaspoon, so I cranked it out. As I struggled to fold it in evenly, I imagined someone biting into a pocket of salt.

Once again I chilled the dough before scooping, but I’m not sure it was the best idea, because it was very stiff. Oh if only I had more fridge space.

I don’t know why there are glossy spots but it looks nice.

Now we come to making the caramel sauce. They say to do this while the dough is chilling, but why? True, you can reheat it after it stiffens, but I waited until the cookies were baking because you are supposed to drizzle them after they are completely cool. I ended up only having to put the sauce back on the heat for the last sheet of cookies.

I used to be pretty daunted by caramel, between the chefs warning us that a single rogue sugar crystal could crystalize the whole thing, and how quickly the sugar darkens after waiting seemingly forever, and the threat of horrible burns from molten sugar. I was so afraid to overcook it that I often undercooked it. Now I’m the other way: the last two times I made caramel, it’s been on the dark side of “amber.”

Here’s the sugar and water mixture bubbling.
It’s hard to tell from a photo instead of a video, but when the bubbling starts to slow and the bubbles get bigger and seem more thick and syrupy, you’re getting close.
Here you can see the color developing. It’s not always even. I’ve found it’s pretty safe to stir it if you need. But you have to work quick with either adding things or putting the bottom of the pan into a water bath to stop the cooking before it gets too dark.
This is right after I removed it from the heat, after adding butter and then heavy cream.

This is the sauce once the bubbles died down.

I hate to say it, but the color of the caramel reminds me of cafeteria beef gravy or something.

Overall Impressions

I tried the cookies before and after the caramel drizzle. OMG yes chocolate chunks. The mocha is really subtle. I used pretty generic (and probably past its best by date) instant coffee. I bet real espresso powder, especially something like King Arthur Flour puts out, would be better. When I added the caramel, the slight bitterness of the somewhat dark caramel seemed to enhance the coffee flavor. Yum.

By the way, be advised the caramel does “set” but doesn’t harden, so the cookies are still sticky. Good excuse to have two, right? ;d

Tips and Suggestions

  • Try real espresso powder
  • Pull the caramel slightly before it gets as dark as mine did. It continues to cook. Or you can plunge the bottom of the pan into an ice bath to stop the heat. The heavy cream will also decrease the heat but the ice bath will really stop the source of the heat (the hot pan).

Next Time

They’re cheating by putting Washington D.C. next (or maybe not, if you just call it the District of Columbia) and cheating at chocolate, because Cherry Chocolate Stars use white chocolate. There also seems to be some unnecessary nuts to ward off my husband.

BUT there is an interesting variation that says to soak dried cherries in brandy overnight instead of using maraschino cherries. I do have a nice bottle of real German kirschwasser… A cup of dried cherries won’t be cheap, but it’ll be worth it. I’d better make sure to get real white chocolate with real cocoa butter too, which means a bar. Ghirardelli uses palm kernel oil in its chips but cocoa butter in its bars.

All photos by Amber Sutton

Originally published at

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