caramel apple spice thumbprints
apple pie spice coated soft cookies with salted caramel center
baked in September 2017
yield: 28 cookies
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
difficulty level: medium
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter, at room temperature and cut up into 6 pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the caramel:
- Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
- Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
- Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
- Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. A whisk helps if you find the butter is separating from the sugar.
- Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
For the cookies:
- Mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, apple pie spice, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.
- Roll balls of dough, a little less than 1 Tablespoon each (about 1 inch balls), and then roll generously into apple pie spice/sugar mixture to coat. Place dough balls onto a large lined baking sheet.
- Using your thumb or the end of a spatula, make an indent into each cookie. If you find that the balls are cracking when you make an indent, use your hands to push back together.
- Chill the shaped cookies for at least 2-3 hours and up to 4 days. Cover them if chilling for longer than 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove chilled and shaped cookies from the refrigerator. Divide between both baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of caramel into each indentation. If the indents have lost their shape or have puffed up, use the end of a spatula to make an indent again. Place cookies back in the oven for 1-2 more minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Caramel will set after a couple hours.
- Total calories: 5444
- Calories per cookie: 194