Salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks. Salted caramel crunch cake at the Blue Bird Inn in Cornwall near Lebanon, Pennsylvania. And now, a salted caramel oatmeal sandwich cookie served at the Midtown Scholar made by independent baker Tiffany Foster of Hershey — currently the bookstore-cafe’s most popular sweet.
What’s the deal with salted caramel? I personally think it plays off of the sweet-and-salty addiction that most Americans have, manifested in our love of Reese’s peanut butter cups, caramel popcorn, or, my dad’s favorite, crumbled Kay and Ray’s potato chips on vanilla ice cream. (What’s next? Salt on our Cocoa Puffs? Call me in a year whenever I become right.) Poco dolce, an artisan chocolatier based in San Francisco, California, uses grey sea salt to enhance the flavors of their bitter dark chocolate (available in burnt caramel toffee, Aztec chile, ginger, and almond), but they’re not the only ones: Ghiaradelli sells salted dark chocolate, too.
As Tiffany Foster notes, salt — and, in her case, caramel — simply makes everything better, blood pressure aside.
Her sandwich cookie consists of a buttery, caramel-hinted filling sandwiched between two slightly-crisp oatmeal cookies that are hearty enough to merit your grandmother’s approval. The salted caramel filling is not fluffy, like the frosting of a Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pie, but creamy, making this cookie richer and denser than it appears. If you want a light afternoon snack, this is not it; it requires a cup of cold-brew coffee (or a glass of milk, if possible) to soften the oatmeal and cut the creaminess. But this cookie surely hits the spot!
Tiffany created this cookie to merge two trends: sandwich cookies and her own “recent obsession with salted caramel.” The Midtown Scholar typically sells out of these cookies within three days.
In addition to this non-vegan cookie, Tiffany also bakes the Scholar’s vegan ginger cookies, vegan cinnamon buns, and vegan jam buns. She hopes to attempt a vegan version of the salted caramel sandwich cookie in the future.
The Midtown Scholar
1302 North Third Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Blue Bird Inn
2387 Cornwall Road
Lebanon, PA 17042