So you may remember these bad boys from a few weeks ago. My classic snickerdoodle recipe was a hit on the blog with my invisible friends and in real life with my REAL PEOPLE friends. No surprise there– they were slightly crisp on the outside, ever so lightly chewy on the inside, and coveredddd in cinnamon sugar. What’s not to love? You can’t beat a classic.
Unless, of course… You take that classic and stuff it with something amazing and sprinkle it with salt. NOW we’re talkin’ something to write home about.
Don’t get me wrong, I was/am/always will be totally in love with my classic snickerdoodle recipe, but there’s something to say about salted caramel. Add it to any dessert and that dessert is automatically infinitely better. Amirite? I’m right.
Let’s put it this way: if my classic snickerdoodles are my husband, these salted caramel stuffed variety are my hubbahubbahubby with his shirt off. I’m totally in love with the original, but absolutely smitten with the jazzed up version. Are you following?
If you missed all the science of snickerdoodles in the original post, read about it now. Or, if you could not care less, then don’t. Not all of us are food/cookie nerds, and that’s a-ok. We can all live in perfect harmony as we agree as a group that snickerdoodles (salted caramel stuffed or otherwise) make the world a better place.
So, about this salted caramel center…
I am still looking for ways to use leftover ingredients from writing my cookbook, and I had quite a large bag of caramels leftover that I was dying to put in something. I was keeping them shoved into the back of my baking cabinet so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them. That’s a really good way to forget you have something, but then also a great way to forget TO USE SOMETHING. Thankfully, individually wrapped caramels don’t go bad quickly at all, so when they resurfaced during a reorganization, I knew exactly what I needed to do with them.
I sliced each caramel into 4 pieces, and stuffed 1 into each cookie. In hindsight, I could definitely have put 2 pieces per cookie (or only cut each caramel into 2 pieces, and put 1 of those pieces in each– did I lose you?). Your call. Either way, a sprinkle of sea salt goes right on top of the caramel piece. In the oven, the caramel melts into gooey oblivion, taking on the saltiness of every single crystal of salt surrounding it. Umm… Perfection.
Let’s back up a bit, though. Does this look complicated? It’s not. Once you roll your dough into balls and before you roll them in cinnamon sugar, you’ll rip the dough ball in half, insert the caramel, sprinkle a teeny bit of sea salt, put the dough ball back together, and give it another quick roll to seal in that salted caramel goodness. Simple! I promise.
Juuuuust make sure you’re using sea salt. Or kosher salt. Any kind of large, flaky salt. Table salt will not do well here. Trust me. The granules of table salt are much finer, so a “pinch” of table salt winds up being much saltier than a “pinch” of flaky salt.
Sea salt, sea salt, sea salt. Or kosher. Just make it flaky!
Ok my people (invisible friends), if there is one cookie you must try right now, it’s this one. Yes, I would encourage you to try any of the cookies I have on my blog, but this one is out of this world good. If you eat one of these cookies while it’s warm, fahgedaboutit. You will wind up in a puddle on the floor because of how much your tastebuds enjoy that salted caramel, cinnamon sugary combination. It is heavenly.
If you don’t get to enjoy one right away, a quick 3-5 second zap in the microwave makes these cookies just like fresh out of them oven, so you’re never too far from an ooey gooey centered snickerdoodle! Unless, of course, you’ve stuffed one (some) in your purse and you’re eating one on the go or in your car or walking down the street. Then you might have some trouble getting it all melty inside, but I assure you, the flavor is still wow-worthy enough to impress your tastebuds.
Sweet, tangy, spicy, and salty. A jazzy remix of the classic. A dessert you can get smitten with. A must try!
- 1 and ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar*
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature**
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 caramels (such as Brach's MilkMaid Caramels), cut into 4 pieces (or 9 caramels, each cut in half)
- sea salt, as needed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until completely incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three parts. When all of the flour mixture has been added, beat on medium-high speed until dough is completely combined. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. If chilling longer than 1 hour, allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before moving on with the recipe.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and set aside. Toss together the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for the cookie dough coating in a small bowl and set aside.
- Using a cookie scoop, roll dough into 1" balls. Break each dough ball in half and insert 1-2 pieces of cut caramel into one half of the dough ball. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt. Put the dough ball back together, drop into the cinnamon-sugar coating, and roll around to coat completely. Place on baking sheet, no more than 12 per sheet (3 across the short side and 4 along the long side). Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until edges just turn slightly brown. Remove from oven and allow to rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Sprinkle more sea salt on the tops of the cookies, if desired. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 7 days. The caramel will not be as soft after about 3 days. You will definitely want to zap in the microwave for about 3-5 seconds if you're enjoying them after the 3rd day. Cookies freeze well, up to 2 months. Rolled cookie dough freezes well, up to 2 months. Thaw on baking sheet for 10 minutes, roll in cinnamon-sugar, and bake as directed.
**Room temperature eggs are preferred when using room temperature butter, as they incorporate into batter much more easily.
Check out more salty sweet treats!