From dainty cakes to small-scale batches of cookies to the perfect pies and tarts for two, Mike Johnson’s incredible collection of small-batch recipes is sure to be a staple in your household.
Whether you’re baking for a small household, trying to limit leftovers or are looking to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your baked confections, Mike has got a recipe for you with options like:
• Loaf Pan Funfetti Sheet Cake • Fluffernutter Blondies • Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie for Two • Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins • Maple Bacon Scones • No-Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars • Mini Mixed Berry Hand Pies • Carrot Cake Cupcakes • Garlic Knots for Two • Small-Batch Fudge Brownies
When you need a treat for an intimate gathering, have a last-minute craving for sweets or are just looking for the perfect bite (or two), this book is your one-stop shop for delicious baked goods that will satisfy any craving without leaving you with a surplus of snacks!
Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are the perfect cookies. They’re big, but not ridiculously so, packed with just the right amount of chocolate and caramel, and have the ideal texture: a little crisp at the edges, soft and chewy in the center. And, thanks to the egg yolk in the batter, they brown beautifully. These are definitely Instagram-worthy cookies that everyone will be drooling over.
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
MAKES: 6 cookies
¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup (55 g) light brown sugar
1 tbsp (12 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup + 2 tbsp (75 g) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp fine sea salt
½ cup (85 g) chocolate chips
6 soft caramels, see Ingredient Tip
Flaky sea salt, optional
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside the pan.
In a medium bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until the ingredients are incorporated. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed until they are just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips until they are evenly incorporated.
Using a large (3-tablespoon [42-g]) spring-loaded cookie scoop, portion out the dough into six rounded balls. Flatten each dough ball into a flat circle, place a caramel in the center of the flattened dough, and then form the dough into a ball around the caramel, making sure it’s completely sealed inside.
Place the cookie dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet 2 inches (5 cm) apart and refrigerate them uncovered for 15 minutes. While the cookie dough chills, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the dough balls for 9 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the tops are just set.
Remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle them with the flaky salt, if using, and allow them to cool completely on the baking sheet. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I love popping them in the microwave for about 10 seconds to warm them up and make them gooey.
Feel free to omit the caramels completely for an easy small-batch chocolate chip cookie recipe! Once you portion out the six dough balls, simply chill the dough in the fridge for fifteen minutes before baking it, as instructed in the recipe.
I have tested this recipe with several brands of caramel candy and they all turned out delicious with slight differences. Softer old-fashioned caramels, such as Werther’s®, will melt more into the cookie as it bakes; harder Kraft caramels will retain their shape and give the cookies a slight domed top.
Reprinted with permission from Simple Small-Batch Baking by Mike Johnson. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022.