Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

I don't like cookies.

It's one of my most unpopular opinions, but I stand behind it. Why have a wafer of crumbly sugar dust when you could have pie?

But these cookies. Ahhhh. These cookies. They almost make me change my mind.

Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies taste like fall smells. An oatmeal base (::cough:: whole grain) combines with butter, sugar, vanilla and two secret ingredients. First, you add tiny chunks of caramel to the dough, and then you top the cookies with a sprinkling of kosher salt right after baking.

I mean....

Also, please note: all that chewy goodness sticks like mad to a regular cookie sheet. For this reason, parchment paper is a MUST with these cookies. If you don't line your cookie sheets with parchment, your cookies will glue themselves to the baking sheet and you will end up with crumbs when you try to take them off. Which would turn these magical cookies back into regular cookies. Don't let that happen on your watch.

Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 pkg (11 oz) Kraft Caramel Bits
kosher salt for sprinkling
parchment paper

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Cream butter with sugars. Mixture will be fluffy in texture and light in color when combined.
3. Add in eggs and vanilla.
4. Add flour, salt, baking soda and oatmeal. Add caramel bits last.
5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or you will be kicking yourself in about 10 minutes). Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto sheets and bake, approximately 8-10 minutes. Pull the sheets when the cookies are golden brown on the edges and just starting to set in the center. They will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven.
6. Immediately after taking them out of the oven, sprinkle cookies with kosher salt. Allow to cool before removing from parchment paper.

1. That's right. Parchment paper is one of the ingredients. It's THAT important to this recipe.
2. If you are new to baking, you can always sift the flour, salt and baking soda together before you add it to the butter mixture. That ensures no lumps. But honestly, I've baked for decades, and I've never sifted my dry ingredients, and I've never had a lump. (And yes, I'm a questioner.)
3. I'm notoriously bad about letting my cookies bake one minute longer than they should. Then I end up with crunchy cookies. Gross. Don't follow in my footsteps. Pull these babies when they are just starting to set, and you'll end up with marvelously chewy cookies to accompany you throughout your week.
4. If you haven't seen Kraft's Caramel Bits before (#twss), here's a photo to take to the grocery store. I did not even know caramel bits existed until I was introduced to these cookies. Just imagine all the other uses for them.....