I’m in a bit of a mood.
I make no apologies for it – a few days ago, I officially got older, soon it’s going to be that godawful Valentines Day – so let’s just say I’m perfecting the art of being a grumpy old spinster (to be fair, I’ve been practicing since high school, but that’s another story).
Grumpy old spinsters have cats. That’s perks enough for me.
So! Unto the first two weeks of February, I say a deeply heartfelt, “Get stuffed.”
It’s rude, I know, but I’m also deftly employing this curmudgeonly outburst to draw attention to these cookies.
Yep, you heard me.
And we’re not talking sandwich cookies, like custard creams or Oreos – oh, no.
These apple and cinnamon scented lovelies have a gooey caramel centre, only accessed by nibbling tenderly at their crispy edges and lovingly – er…
Yes, I’m going to find Valentines difficult.
You know what was also difficult? Finding caramels in London! Hard toffees galore, and a few caramel things covered in chocolate – or vice versa – but no bog standard, chewy caramels… So I bought a tin of Carnation caramel and a jar of creamy caramel dipping sauce, figuring I could spoon a bit of one or the other into my mini muffin try and freeze myself lovely little caramel rounds.
Yeah. Um, neither caramels wanted to freeze. Like, at all. Still, froze them I did, mainly to keep the caramel centres from heating up too quickly during baking.
Alchemy comes in all different shapes and sizes, right?
Anyway, these are best enjoyed slightly warm from resting on a mug of something hot, and if you’re somewhere cold and snowy (London joined the snow club last night – whee!) these should be just the thing, either for staring out at the white iciness, or coming in from it.
Caramel Stuffed Apple Cinnamon Cookies
Adapted from Scrambled Henfruit
Yield is about 24, depending on how big you like your cookies (Oh, you…)
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 105g Apple flavoured tea granules
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups Plain flour
- 1/2 bag caramels (or one tin/jar of caramel dip)
Line a cookie sheet (or sheets) with baking paper. (Unless you have a silicone baking mat.)
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter, sugar, salt, and apple tea powder until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg, then the vanilla and mix well.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
Refrigerate the dough for about an hour – this makes it much easier to mould and work with.
Preheat oven to 176C.
Once the dough has chilled, scoop out a ball roughly the size of a rounded tablespoon.
Flatten the ball of slightly in the palm of your hand and press a caramel into the centre of the dough, sealing the dough around it and covering it completely. Place this on the prepared cookie sheet and repeat the process until the tray is full, with each stuffed dough ball sitting about 2 inches apart.
If, like me, you’re stuck with the “frozen” caramel option, place a glob of the caramel on your flattened dough round, and mould the sides up around it like a bowl. Create another, smaller dough round and place over the top, like a lid, and gently pinch the edges to seal in the caramel.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until slightly browned around the edges. Once the cookies are done, slide the baking paper off the cookie sheet an onto the work surface. Allow the cookies to cool for a bit, until firm but still a bit warm, then carefully twist them off the paper and allow them to finish cooling upside down on a rack.
For the record, I did a taste-off between the tinned cooking caramel and the caramel dipping sauce.
The cooking caramel won, hands down.
It had a certain bite to it that the sauce didn’t have – and just look at that oozing action…
Tip: Before being transferred to the rack, if the cookies cool too much and stick to the paper, pop the whole lot in the freezer for a few minutes and the cookies should come straight off.
Can be stored in an airtight container.
Presuming you have the will power of a saint.
Personally, I’m about as far from saintly as it gets – at least when it comes to studiously ignoring a tupperware full of stuffed cookies – so I’ll be braving the Weather this evening, semi-frozen, armed with said cookies and a large, faux fur deerstalker, to watch films and eat pizza with some equally semi-frozen friends, upon whom I shall foist said cookies…
As evil plans go, this could use some work.
I’ll have to settle for being a small grumpy thing who gives nice people nice treats.
In the mean time, I have lots of caramel dipping sauce left over. And a spoon. Hm.
I’ll use my Caramel-Oriented Alone Time to come up with something excellent to blog about next.
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