Chocolate Salted Caramel for the Holidays

Have you tried the salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks? Holy moly.

This treat is based on that spectacular combination of flavors. Squares of homemade caramel are sprinkled with coarse kosher salt, and drizzled with dark chocolate.

To make the caramel, I follow this recipe from Jacques Pépin. I prefer it’s smooth buttery flavor, rather than sugary sweet.

When making caramel, it helps to use a candy thermometer. The sugar heats up quickly, so don’t take your eyes off of it for a second. If it overheats and burns, it’s no problem — the process is quick, and the ingredients are inexpensive enough to try again if you need to.

David Lebovitz offers more tips to make perfect caramel.

When the caramel is firm enough to cut into squares, sprinkle a little kosher salt over the top.

Melt some chocolate chips in a ziploc bag in the microwave.  Trust me and use bittersweet or dark chocolate. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag, and then drizzle the hot melted chocolate over the caramel.

Keep chilled in the fridge. (Try not to eat it all by yourself.)

PhotobucketTuesday, Ann from Vintage Mommy and One Bag Nation is featuring Food Gifts for Holidays by Hand.

Holidays by Hand is Ann’s great idea, and I appreciate her inviting me to join in. I would also like to thank Kelly for her work in coordinating it. And all of you, for the projects you’ve shared!

I’m looking forward to seeing some delicious treats and food gifts this week.

I spent Sunday afternoon in bed watching movies and eating — I kid you not — a chocolate bacon bar. Awesome.

What favorite treats do you munch on during the holidays?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. big surprise here – but my favorite is an egg nog latte from Starbucks. It is so good.

  2. I love salt and sweet together so this recipe is a must-try for me! My holiday Starbucks drink is the Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. So good.

    Nicki´s last blog post..Reflecting on Peace

  3. Okay seriously? I’m drooling.

    I’m excited for the food edition of Holidays By Hand tomorrow!´s last blog post..Link Love: I’m Overwhelmed Edition

  4. that sounds SO good.
    i’m gonna have to try that out this week. :)

    my favorite holiday treat to make is peppermint brittle.
    i crush up a bunch of old (or new if i run out of old ones) candy canes or peppermints and mix them into melted white chocolate.
    then i pour the mixture on wax paper.
    let set until firm, and then break apart. :)
    it’s always a favorite with family and friends.

  5. Yes! I discovered the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate just last week – and have been to Starbucks 3 times since! The last time I asked if they’d make me a Caramel Macchiato with the salted caramel and they did… and it was divine…

  6. If I buy it, Moose Munch is a favorite. If I make it, chocolate peanut butter balls. The are fabulous. I’ve been blogging about them all week and I can’t stop eating them.

    Andrea´s last blog post..Day 7

  7. I haven’t tried the salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks yet. I didn’t think I would like it…but I think I’m gonna have to try it now.

    Jolene´s last blog post..Too cute

  8. Thanks for including the link to my No Spend Month post. I love Starbuck’s, and this time of year it’s difficult not to stop there every day!

    Joy (from Just Plain Joy)´s last blog post..Tips for a Happy and Healthy Relationship

  9. I’ve never had much luck making carmel (of course, I only tried once or twice). Thank you for the recipe and tips. You’ve inspired me to want to try again.
    But not try the chocolate bacon!

    Katie at´s last blog post..Handmade Penguin Ornament Winner(s)

  10. Now that’s just sinful! You should be ashamed of yourself, posting that recipe here, when some of us are trying to stay in our current pants. Lol.

  11. True, but I spared you the recipe for chocolate chip bacon cookies! (At least for now, anyway.)

  12. It’s definitely Reindeer Mix around my house this time o’ year for a handful of quick energy. Combine the following or make your own variation:

    dried cranberries
    chocolate chips

    Julie Marr´s last blog post..

  13. I love Jacque Pepin and that alone made me want to comment! If you ever get a chance to meet him, go for it. He is utterly charming and gracious (actually I told DH he’s sexy and didn’t even realize he was 70 at the time!)

    Mary´s last blog post..Consider adding a taste of Savannah to your Thanksgiving menu …

  14. Thanks for the link! And that recipe sounds soo delicious.

    Kelly from Almost Frugal´s last blog post..Becoming Frugal is Like Quitting Smoking

  15. I gave up cooking stuff for Christmas – we eat too much, however I will make the caramels! My favorite was an old, old recipe for “Cherry Mash” candies. It required cans of cherry frosting, which they no longer make, so now that recipe is only a fond memory for us.

    chris´s last blog post..Pugs

  16. Holy moly, I guess! I can’t wait to try this, thanks so much for sharing! (I can just feel my waistline expanding a little bit just thinking about it…)

    Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom´s last blog post..What to do with all those candy canes?!

  17. Yum! I’ve a current mini-obsession about candy making… Must try this.

    My favorite holiday treat-just one?? Well I’ll have to say it’s the family traditional treat. It doesn’t even have a name. You take a creme drop (found here: ) and smoosh it, place it on a soda cracker, top with a slice of cheese like cheddar and top with another soda cracker. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it…. The family story goes that my great great grandmother ran an old fashioned general store and sometimes couldn’t take time for lunch. So she’d cut cheese off the wheel in the store and grab some creme drops and crackers from the barrels and make herself a little “sammich”.

  18. My favorite candy, by far, are carmels. There’s just nothing better than a melt-in-your-mouth carmel. Jacques Pépin’s recipe sounds great, so I guess I’ll give it try.

    Geri´s last blog post..Alternative Facelift: The Yoga Facelift

  19. I once made a mistake cooking fudge, and ended up with the most *amazing* chocolate caramels. If only I could figure out what went wrong, so I could make more… but then I’d probably double in size from caramel consumption. Mixed blessing, I guess.

  20. Good grief!! I made these last night and they are absolutely amazing!!!! So much for trying not to gain weight this holiday season!

    Sharna´s last blog

  21. I made the caramels last night and did the salt/chocolate this morning… and oh my gosh, so delicious! The warning to try not to eat them all by yourself is definitely a valid one. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Dee Wilcox´s last blog post..Distractions

  22. Thank you thank you thank you for posting this caramel recipe. My husband and I have tried and failed miserably several times to make caramel. It was to the point that we’d just given up. I read Jaques’ recipe after you posted the link and knew immediately it was a winner. Much to our delight last night, we made a perfect batch of soft caramels that he was so excited to take to work and share with friends. (we had to give 3/4 of them away–or I would have eaten them)

  23. thank u niti!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!