Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

It was a "love at first sight" moment when I saw these cookies.  I mean, look at them.  Gooey caramel coming out of the middle?  Yes please.  Not to mention the fact that I love caramel apples (nowadays, they are usually sold covered in all sorts of other goodies too!). 

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time now, and Thanksgiving seemed like the perfect opportunity.  They ended up being a hit with our friends!  They are best when the caramel is warm/gooey, so try to eat them when they have slightly cooled but are still warm from the oven.  Otherwise, you can reheat the cookies for about 10 seconds in the microwave to get that texture back.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (7.4 oz) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (10 packets – found next to hot chocolate mix)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (14 ounce) bag of Kraft chewy caramels

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (you need this so that the caramel doesn’t stick to the bottom of your cookie sheet).
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
With an electric mixer, 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.
Scoop out a cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut (about 2 tablespoons).
Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel (I flattened the caramels slightly so they melt evenly in the cookie) into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely.
Shape the dough into a ball, and place on parchment covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
Bake 11-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. They may not look quite done in the center but that is OK.
Once the cookies are done, carefully 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 on the parchment or on a cookie rack. If they are not upside down while they cool they may drizzle caramel out the bottom.

Makes around 2-3 dozen cookies. Best when eaten warm from the oven or warmed in the microwave.

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