Chocolate Chip on Top, Caramel Party on the Bottom: Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I found myself with some extra egg yolks on hand, I decided to try Erin Clarkson's recipe for "Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies." I was surprised when I read through the recipe to see that the cookies include chunks of homemade caramel, because usually that is the sort of thing that merits a caramel reference in the recipe name (like Erin's recipe for Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles or Edd Kimber's Brown Butter Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies, which both similarly include chunks of homemade caramel). This is a small batch recipe with a stated yield of only 12 cookies.

To make the caramel, you melt granulated sugar in a pan, cook it until it turns dark amber, pour it out on a silpat- or parchment-lined sheet to cool, and chop it into chunks. For the cookie dough, you brown butter and let it cool; whisk in brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla; add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt; and stir in chocolate and the caramel shards. I chopped a Ghiradelli 72% bar for the chocolate. I used a #30 scoop to portion out the dough and got 14 cookies from a batch. When the cookies were fresh out of the oven, I sprinkled on some Maldon salt.
From the top, these just looked like chocolate chip cookies, and I loved the way that that Ghiradelli chocolate melted into large puddles. But when I took a bite, I thought that the most prominent flavor was the caramel, with the chocolate taking a backseat. The caramel -- which was hard and brittle before being added into the dough -- became softer and chewy during baking, and the texture was incredibly enjoyable in the cookie (as was the caramel flavor, of course). I've included a photo of the undersides of the cookies below so you can see just how much caramel there was.
These were terrific cookies and I really liked them, but to me they seemed more like caramel cookies with chocolate chips, instead of chocolate chip cookies with caramel. My husband thought that this was just perfect, and objectively, there's nothing wrong with having caramel cookies with chocolate. But I felt there was too much caramel.

I think part of the reason the amount of caramel didn't delight me is that it didn't comport with my expectations -- going back to the fact that these are described as just chocolate chip cookies in the recipe name. Personally, I prefer Edd Kimber's Brown Butter Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are quite similar in many respects. But while Erin's cookies have a caramel to chocolate ratio of 6:5 by weight, Edd's have a caramel to chocolate ratio of 2:3. I liked having the caramel in a supporting role, and Edd's cookies also include salted peanuts, which makes the experience of eating one seem a lot like consuming a candy bar. I would definitely recommend both recipes, though -- you just have to decide what you want more of, caramel or chocolate!
Recipe: "Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies" from Erin Clarkson of Cloudy Kitchen. 

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