Apple Cider Caramel Stuffed Cookies

IMG_2955My attempts to make these caramels for holiday gifts, never solidified, no pun intended, so instead I decided to use the overly soft caramels to make these cookies.  If I’m not warming up to a mug of hot cocoa I’m doing so with some apple cider, which is a winning combination with the nutty flavor of brown butter. I mean I’ve got a serious fixation with salted caramel and brown butter between this or this pie, and then there’s my favorite ice cream! Which would be just as delightful with these cookies that are soft, comforting, and have all the warm fuzzy flavors the holidays bring. They aren’t the prettiest of treats, as the gooey caramel center has a mind of its own. I love the fresh crispness the apple brings, which mellows out the caramel’s sweetness. Served warmed or cooled, whichever way you decide to eat them, they are delicious! IMG_2906 IMG_2916

Apple Cider Caramel Stuffed Cookies

Ingredients {Makes about 2 dozen}

1 cup {2 sticks} –  Unsalted Butter {room temperature}
2¼ cups – All-Purpose Flour
1¼ teaspoons – Baking Soda
½ teaspoon – Sea Salt {extra for sprinkling}
1 cup – Dark Brown Sugar
½ cup – Granulated Sugar
1 large – Egg {plus 1 egg yolk}
2½ teaspoons – Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon – Greek Yogurt 
Apple Cider Caramels

Recipe {Adapted from Annie’s Eats}

Place the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, and melt completely. Cook, whisking frequently, until butter foams, and begins to brown evenly, being careful not to burn and turn too dark. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, in a bowl.  With an electric mixer, beat the sugars and the brown butter until well blended and smooth {about 2 to 3 minutes}. Add in the egg and egg yolk, mixing until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed, then add in the vanilla and greek yogurt. On low-speed, add the dry ingredients, in two batches, stirring just until incorporated.

Using a medium dough or ice cream scoop, place your dough onto your baking sheet 2 to 3″ apart {these cookies spread out a lot}. Create an indentation into the center of the dough, and place about 2 teaspoons of caramel in the center. Slightly pinch the edges up the center of the cookie, then take a small piece of dough, flatten in your palm and place on top, pinching the dough to make sure the caramel is completely covered. {as much as you try, some will still spill over}. Refrigerate cookies for 3o minutes. 

Bake cookies until golden brown and set, rotating pans halfway {about 12 to 14 minutes total}.  Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. 

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