It’s incredible what sugar and butter can do together. This recipe takes advantage of the dynamic duo in so many delicious ways. The cookie dough itself has butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Then you fold a caramel square into the middle of the dough, creating a gooey, decadent center. And then you sprinkle a cinnamon sugar mixture on the top. If this sounds intense to you, you’re in good company. I wasn’t sure if these would turn out too sweet for my tastes, or not. Ultimately, I did find them pretty sugary and rich- but in a good way.
I’ve dubbed these Caramel Doodles because they’re basically snickerdoodles- but the caramel center and brown sugar in the dough takes them to a different level entirely. I usually like my cookies cooled a bit but I loved these warm when the caramel centers were warm and gooey. Once they cool the caramel center becomes more like a core, regaining the standard caramel candy consistency.
This recipe is very easy to make but does require some extra steps so make sure you read all the way through before you start.
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod. I’ve added more instructions to their base recipe.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Suggested equipment: Mixer makes it easier
Total Time: ~1 hour, 15 minutes (3o minutes comes from chilling the dough)
Cook Time: ~10 minutes
- 1 cup unsalted butter, sliced
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (this activates the baking soda, so don’t leave it out!)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (you could use regular salt instead for the dough, but don’t use regular salt for the topping!)
- 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
Fillings and Toppings
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup caramel squares, cut into quarters (the original recipe calls for 1 cup but I didn’t use all of mine)
- Fine sea salt, for sprinkling on top of cookies
Step by Step Directions
Brown the butter
- Heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat.
- Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted
- The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma.
- Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly (take this instruction seriously, readers- I’ve burnt mine before simply because I looked away for a few seconds at that critical point where it shifts from “browning nicely” to “whoops it’s blackened).
- Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Make your cookie dough
- While the butter cools, get the dry ingredients ready. In a medium bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Once the butter is cool, use your mixer to combine the melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar
- Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until combined
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the dough overnight. Mine actually got too cold to scoop, so you probably want to take it out when it’s firm, but not too hard to scoop into
Add fillings/toppings and bake your dough
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- Mix your cinnamon-sugar mixture in a small bowl
- Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls
- Once you see how many cookies you need to fill, cut your caramel candies into quarters. I suggest doing it this way so you don’t prep too many upfront and waste them. I had prepped many more than I needed and immediately wished I’d done it in a different order since it’s a bit annoying to open/cut the candies
- Flatten each ball of dough with the palm of your hand and place a piece of caramel in the center of the dough. Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered with dough. Then, roll the ball of dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place it on your baking sheet. Make sure your cookies are about 2 inches apart
- Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt
- Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.