Salted Caramel: Your Childhood Cookie Dessert Just Grew Up

By Dennis Prescott |

© Dennis Prescott

Homemade salted caramel makes just about everything better. It’s rich, delicious and a welcome addition to any dessert party. Here I’ve paired caramel with homemade cookies and custard for a decadent, over-the-top treat. 

This dessert takes a little pre-planning and a little patience but is well worth the wait. 

Salted Caramel Cookie Custard

Makes 6–8 desserts


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk 
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

Salted Caramel

  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3–4 bananas, thinly sliced (just before building your desserts)
  • 6–8 stemless wine glasses (or small mason jars)


First, make your custard. 

Pour milk into a medium-size sauce pan and heat over medium low. When the milk begins to bubble around the sides of the pan, remove from the heat. Crack the egg yolks into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar and flour together until smooth. One tablespoon at a time, and while constantly whisking, add the milk mixture to the egg yolks to temper. After 5 or 6 tablespoons, whisk in the remaining milk. Pour the milk mixture back into your saucepan and heat over medium. While constantly whisking, cook the custard until it begins to thicken (6 to 8 minutes). Pour the custard through a sieve to remove any lumps and stir in your vanilla. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight. 

Next, make your caramel. 

Heat the sugar in a heavy-based, high-sided pan, swirling (but not stirring) every minute or so. When the sugar has dissolved and begins to turn a golden amber color, remove it from the heat. While constantly whisking, incorporate the butter until fully melted. It will bubble up and splatter, and is extremely hot—make sure not to touch the caramel. 

Return the pot to the heat and add the cream immediately, still whisking away. When the sauce comes together and is nice and smooth, remove it from the heat and stir in salt. 

Allow it to cool completely. (This can be made 1 to 2 days in advance)

Preheat your oven to 375°

In the base of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment (or in a regular bowl, armed with a whisk and ambition), cream together the butter and sugars until they start to come together. Add the beaten egg and bring the mixture together into a smooth batter. 

Sift the flour and baking soda into a bowl and, with the mixture running on low, bring the dough together until all of the flour is incorporated. Pour in chocolate chips and mix together with a spoon. 

On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, add 1-tablespoon-size balls of cookie dough, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie (you should have enough dough for 12 cookies). 

Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bottoms are nicely browned and the tops are just about done. (You want them to be slightly undercooked on the top when you take them out of the oven. The internal temperature will continue cooking on a rack and allow you to get perfectly chewy cookies.) 

Allow the cookies to cool for 30 minutes on a rack.

To build the desserts, spoon 2 tablespoons of custard into the bottom of each glass. Top with 4 slices of banana and several cookie pieces. Drizzle over about 2 tablespoons of caramel. Repeat. Top with cookies and drizzle on a heaping amount of salted caramel. 

Related: 5 Flawless Ice Cream Sandwiches that Will Ruin You for Cones 
Yes, We Are Ready for the Funnel Cake Ice Cream Sandwich 
The Beer Float Guide that Will Transform Your Summer Drinking