Caramel Snickerdoodles

I wanted a caramel stuffed cookie, that is equally good at room temperature the day after, as it is, warm out of the oven.  The caramel needed to be soft enough to melt in the mouth without reheating, yet firm enough to not burst out of the cookie as it bakes. This is the cookie that people are going to ask you for the recipe for – the one that is going to make you friends at the holiday party. I know that these are big calls to make, but trust me on this, because these salted caramel snickerdoodles are all kinds of epic.

INGREDIENTS of Caramel Snickerdoodles

FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH:

  •  2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  •  3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  •  ½ teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  2 teaspoons cornstarch
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  1 cup packed soft brown sugar, light or dark
  •  1/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 large egg
  •  1 large egg yolk
  •  1 teaspoons vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons imitation vanilla flavoring
  •  1 tablespoon sour cream

FOR STUFFING THE COOKIES:

  • 1/4 homemade microwave soft caramels

FOR THE TOPPING:

  •  3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

How To Make Caramel Snickerdoodles

  1. If you are using homemade microwave safe caramels, make and cool the caramels according to this recipe, You can also use your favorite homemade soft caramel recipe instead or take a shortcut and use the sweetest store bought caramel you can find.
  2. Prepare them for stuffing by cutting 8 caramel rectangles in half. You will need 16 pieces for cookies. Using your fingers, mash and shape each piece of caramel into a 1-inch rounded square.
  3. You can make them slightly larger, if you want more caramelized centers, using up to 3/4 of a caramel rectangle for each cookie, but no more than that. Store in the freezer until needed. Freezing is not necessary, but it makes the filling of cookies much less messy.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon to combine; put aside. In a light-colored skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it melts, about 2 minutes.
  5. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping the pan constantly with a heat resistant rubber spatula until the butter turns dark golden brown and has a nutty and caramel aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the golden butter to a large heat-resistant bowl, scraping all the pieces of brown with a rubber spatula. In the bowl with the butter, add the two sugars and whisk to combine.
  7. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and whisk until the mixture is smooth and emulsified, with no sugar cubes remaining, about 30 seconds. Stir in sour cream until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined and no traces of flour remain.
  8. Do not over mix. Using a 3 tablespoon ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, scoop out the dough on the covered baking sheet, forming 16 equal dough balls. If the dough seems too soft or too hot to be dug, cover and refrigerate for about ½ hour until it can be dug.
  9. Using the back of a wooden spoon handle or your thumb, make a deep imprint in each ball of dough. Take the caramel candies out of the freezer and place one inside each imprint of each ball of dough.
  10. Gather the dough on the caramels to completely cover them. Roll the dough into smooth balls, making sure that the caramels are completely wrapped inside and that nothing peaks. Combine the topping ingredients (granulated sugar and cinnamon) in a small bowl. Roll the cookie dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar filling and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. You can bake cookies immediately with great results, but they will spread less and become even thicker if you cool them. To cool, loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 4 days, then cook immediately or transfer to a large zipper bag and freeze for 1 month. 
  12. Fifteen minutes before cooking, heat the oven to 350F / 180C and set the oven rack in the middle position.Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat. Place 8 cookie balls per sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
  13. Bake until the cookies flatten with a slight dome, no longer have a hump in the middle, and the outer edges start to set yet centers are soft and puffy, 9 to 11 minutes. The centers will feel undone, but they shouldn’t be shiny or sticky.
  14. DO NOT OVERBAKE or you’ll get hard cookies. The cookies will continue to bake after they come out of the oven from the residual heat of the baking sheet.Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before serving. Or cool completely then store in an airtight container.

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