Friday, February 10, 2012

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies

So.. I know this is a travel blog, and my first post is about cookies...made right here in my homey kitchen with my family. NOT TRAVEL, you say.I can feel your skepticism, but I couldn't help but share these fabulous concoctions (recipe below). I'm justifying this post by using it as practice! Or you can pretend I found out about this marvelous treat in Germany..whatever makes you happy :)

 I found the recipe for these cookies on Pinterest, and the original source is by Scrambled Henfruit (here). I was craving something baked and delicious, and these turned out to be the perfect treat. The cookie has a tangy-sweet apple cider flavor (which is something I've never had in a cookie before), and the inside is gooey melted caramel. They were a humongous success with my family, even the uber-picky sister!

Most of the ingredients were found in my pantry. The only things I had to buy were the bag of Kraft caramels and the Alpine Spiced Cider, but hey, if I made these in October or November, I wouldn't have had to buy anything!

These were delicious with tea (or coffee if you're like my dad), and best eaten warm. In fact, if you aren't eating them out of the oven, I'd recommend a zap with the microwave beforehand.

 Hungry by  now? Here you go! Hurry! Run and make these!!!

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (I was out of parchment paper, so I just put them on a cookie sheet coated in cooking spray, although I would strongly recommend the paper if you have it!)
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient like me,you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with. I made the first batch of cookies at room temperature, but placed the bowl in the fridge while they were cooking. Normally I would ball the rest of the dough while they bake, but this helps because after the first batch, you can adjust the amount of dough to put around the caramel.)
  • When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. 
  • Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon and I used a little more than that.)
  • Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.) If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off. **since I didn't have parchment paper, I scraped them off the pan right away and let them start to cool on a plate, then when cool enough to handle, popped them onto my rack.**
  • Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.

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