Cashew Caramel Cookies

published Dec 12, 2021
Cashew Caramel Cookies Recipe

These cashew cookies are salty, sweet, and filled with a chewy caramel center.

Makesabout 20 large cookies

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cashew caramel cookie
Credit: Chelsea Kyle

These cashew cookies are salty, sweet, and filled with a chewy caramel center. The trick to getting that perfectly pullable caramel interior is to use two soft caramel candies that have been smashed together and rolled into a ball. I find that using store-bought caramels rather than making your own results in chewier cookies — a shortcut I fully support. I recommend eating the cookies while they’re warm so the caramel center is still molten.

Welcome to Jesse’s Cookie Club, where Studio Food Editor (and resident cookie expert) Jesse Szewczyk shares a brand-new monthly recipe that transforms a classic cookie into something new, bold, and exciting. For the next few months the column will highlight recipes from Jesse’s brand new book Cookies: The New Classics. First up: these crumbly, butter sandies.

Cashew Caramel Cookies Recipe

These cashew cookies are salty, sweet, and filled with a chewy caramel center.

Makes about 20 large cookies

Nutritional Info


  • 2 sticks

    unsalted butter (8 ounces/226 grams)

  • 2 cups

    toasted salted or unsalted cashews (260 grams)

  • 36

    soft caramel candies (about 1 1/2 cups/293 grams total), such as Kraft

  • 1 1/3 cups

    packed light brown sugar (267 grams)

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar (67 grams)

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 3 cups

    spooned and leveled all-purpose flour (384 grams)

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon


  1. Arrange two racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, line 3 baking sheets (or as many as you have) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Melt 2 sticks unsalted butter in the microwave or on the stovetop and set aside to cool slightly. Coarsely chop 2 cups toasted salted or unsalted cashews. Unwrap 36 soft caramel candies.

  2. Place the butter, 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cashews, 2 large eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and whisk until ribbony and smooth. Add 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stir with a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.

  3. Using your hands, take 2 caramel candies, press them together, and roll them into a smooth ball. (Depending on the brand and freshness of your caramel candies, they might be too firm to press together. If so, arrange the caramels in a single layer on a large microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds until the caramels are warm but not melting. If you accidently microwave them too long and they start to melt, just let them cool for a few minutes.)

  4. Using a large 2 1/3-inch (#16) cookie scoop or 1/4-cup measuring cup, portion out the dough and roll into large balls. Flatten the balls slightly and press a caramel ball into the center of each one. Tightly form the dough around the caramel and reroll into a ball again. Make sure there are no cracks so the caramel does not ooze out during baking. Place the dough balls 3 inches apart on the baking sheets (6 to 8 per sheet).

  5. Bake 2 sheets at the same time, swapping the top sheet to the bottom rack and bottom sheet to the top midway through baking, until the tops of the cookies are lightly browned, 14 to 17 minutes total. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for at least 30 minutes before moving. (If you try to pick up the cookies while still hot, the caramel will fall out—and potentially burn you—so be patient.)

  6. Bake the remaining sheet on either rack. If reusing a baking sheet, I recommend leaving the cookie dough at room temperature as the first batch cools.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: If wrapped tightly in plastic, the dough can be stored in the refrigerator for several days before baking. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, until it’s warm enough to easily form into balls.

Storage: The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Reprinted with permission from Cookies.Copyright© 2021by Jesse Szewczyk. Photographs copyright ©2021 by Chelsea Kyle. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.