Oh, I have been experimenting with and tweaking this recipe for awhile now, and I think I’ve finally got it just right! Obviously my 15 month old does, too. Actually I was fending off both of my little guys during this “photo shoot,” and I laughed and laughed when I ended up with this chubby little hand reaching in to snatch a cookie in this picture. Seriously though, these cookies are one of the most unique, fun, and perfectly yummy treats I’ve had in awhile. They really are like caramel apple cider in a cookie. I’ve been making them all winter, and I kept thinking… oh, I am definitely making these when we carve pumpkins, or when we jump in (oh I mean rake) the leaves, or some other Autumn-ish activity. But Fall is my favorite season of the year, and every time I make these its like a little bite of Autumn… So I bet I make them summer, winter, fall and spring! Oh, and I tried generic caramels thinking it would make no difference, but they didn’t melt! There were just little square lumps in every cookie. I don’t know if I got a bad batch, but I’ve only used Kraft since and never had a problem. Enjoy!
Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 packets of Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix *Not sugar free* (half of the 7.4 oz box)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft Caramels (not generic caramels – they don’t melt properly)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.2. Cream together butter, sugar, salt, and 5 packets of apple cider mix until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, then mix in the baking soda and baking powder. Add the flour and mix until just combined.3. Use a standard (size 50) cookie scoop. Flatten the dough slightly in your hand and place a caramel in the center. Work the dough around the caramel sealing well. Place the cookies two inches apart on the sheets.
4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. If using parchment: after baking, carefully slide the parchment with the cookies onto the counter. Let cool until they are no longer soft but still slightly warm. Twist gently to remove, and cool the rest of the way upside down on the parchment or on a cooling rack. If using silpat, just let them cool on the cookie sheet and twist them when they are sufficiently cool.
*These cookies are best straight out of the oven… or microwaved on high for 9-10 seconds to remelt the caramel if any of these babies last long enough to completely cool off and harden.
Recipe Source: Adapted from The Cooking Photographer