Chewy Chocolate Carmel Cookies

This is a decadent, gooey, chewy cookie-a favorite for all!

Chewy Chocolate Carmel Cookies

1 1/4 cups butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional:  1 bag of carmel candies, or 2 cups of chips (peanut butter, butterscotch, chocolate-whatever you like)

(This recipe yields approximately 54 cookies, unless you like giant cookies like I do.  Also, I typically half this recipe because 54 of these delicious beauties would be a very bad thing in my house.)

Begin by preparing the caramels.  I've found the best way to do these is to make them like a round disc.  So I start by kind of squeezing in all 4 corners, then flattening the whole candy a bit.  This is not a huge deal or anything, however I have found that doing this helps ensure that the candy stays inside the cookie and that the corners don't poke through while they bake.  Next preheat the oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet.  In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients and blend gradually with the creamed mixture.  Stir in your chips now if you're using any.  For these carmel cookies, take a good sized spoonful of dough.  Bury the carmel in the center of the dough ball and work it in between your hands to shape it into a ball.  If this is too difficult try to refrigerate your dough for a bit (I never do this because I can't wait that long, but you could if you have more self control than myself) or lightly butter your hands.  I usually am pretty messy when I'm done with all the cookies, but nothing too difficult at all.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, keeping a close eye on them.  You definitely don't want to over bake these.