Thursday, December 5, 2013

Caramel-Filled Brown Butter Cookies

Earlier this fall, when I made these apple cider caramels, my pal Annie and I were texting about their awesomeness.  Predictably, our texts turned to all the different treats we could make using them, and when Annie mentioned stuffing them into a browned butter cookie, I knew I'd be making them ASAP.

As a general rule, I'm not so much into turducken desserts, but I am head over heels in love with these cookies.  They are the perfect balance of sweet and salty, and chewy and crispy.  The center is obviously gooey and sweet from the caramel, and the edges are perfectly crispy.  The small amount of salt in the caramels themselves helps to balance out their sweetness and the sweetness of the cookie, as does a tiny sprinkle of sea salt over the top of each cookie.  The browned butter gives the cookies a slightly toasted flavor, and just a hint of apple cider comes through from the caramels.  Just a whisper of cinnamon comes through, giving them just a little warmth and spice.  These are the Mary Poppins of cookies:  Perfectly perfect in every way.

Caramel-Filled Browned Butter Cookies
slightly adapted from Annie's Eats and Ambitious Kitchen
  • 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 lightly packed cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 20 apple cider caramels (or other 1x1inch caramels)
In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisking continuously, continue to cook the butter until it begins to turn brown and smell nutty.  Immediately remove from heat and pour into a bowl.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and fleur de sel.  Set aside.

To make the cookies, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat at medium speed until well-combined.  Add the egg + egg yolk, vanilla, and sour cream and mix well.  Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Measure out about 2 tablespoons of the dough, and roll into a ball.  Flatten the dough ball in the palm of your hand, then place a caramel in the center.  Fold the edges over the caramel, enclosing it in the dough.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the dough balls about 2-3 inches apart.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 30 minutes.

Bake 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden-brown the the cookies are set, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle each cookie lightly with sea salt.  Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack (or before eating them!).

Note:  These are best eaten warm, and will harden the following day.  To enjoy, just reheat in the microwave briefly (about 10-15 seconds).


Joanne (eats well with others) said...

I'm not super into turduckens when you're stuffing a storebought candy into a cookie but when both the cookie and the caramel are homemade, I'm so into it! The brown butter is perfect here.

Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

Mmm these look freaking perfect!!

Lindsay Lockery said...

You need to make these for the Sunday school party tonight!!, YUM!!!!! :)

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