Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mats.
Using a stand mixer (with the beater blade attachment), beat together the butter and sugars for two minutes on medium speed (4), scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add in the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix the mixture until it is well blended.
Add in the chocolate chips, pecans and caramel bits and mix until combined.
Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to scoop cookie dough balls onto baking sheets, leaving 2” between each cookie. You don’t have to roll them in balls if you don’t want to, but make sure they are a nice round shape with no scraggly edges.
Press half of a square caramel in the top of the dough ball. Don’t flatten the cookies too much when you do this.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. If you want the cookies to stay soft and chewy, do not overbake. We bake ours for about 9 minutes.
If you'd like the cookies to be perfectly round, use a large round cookie cutter (or a wide mouth mason jar ring) to place over the hot cookie. Use your hand to make quick circles on the pan, which will round out the cookie. You have to do this when the cookies are hot, so work quickly immediately after the cookies come out of the oven.
Melt the chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is completely melted.
Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over the cookies, then immediately sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.
Sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired.
Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
*To make my chocolate baked goods a deep chocolate color, I use a small amount of black cocoa powder along with regular cocoa powder. For this recipe, I used 1 tablespoon of black cocoa powder, then filled the remaining ⅔ cup with regular cocoa powder.**I often use 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of regular chocolate chips. This helps the chocolate be more evenly distributed so you get some in every bite.These cookies are best served warm when the caramel is soft. If you can’t serve them right away, warm them for a few seconds in the microwave before eating to soften the caramel.Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 9 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**