Back in about 5th or 6th Grade, there was a major Caramel Apple Sucker craze. Every chance we got, my friends and I would each purchase one of these suckers. We would gather as we took the wrappers off to see who got the most Caramel, the most apple, best swirly design, etc.. Simple, I know. But hey, we were young and having fun.
I had kind of forgot about these suckers until the other night when a few of us were sitting around talking about Caramel Apples. They are so tasty yet so messy and difficult to eat. The conversation snowballed from Caramel Apples to apple slices dipped in Caramel to the famous Caramel Apple suckers, to many other Carmel Apple flavored foods and drinks. Spiced Apple Cider anyone? How about with a splash of Butter Rum? Hmmmm.... I see another recipe in the works. (After November of course because I have decided on an alcohol free month)
After all the Caramel Apple talk I fired up my Google search engine for Caramel Apple flavored recipes. I found one particular recipe in a few different places - (Cooking Photographer, Gimme Some Oven) - all with great reviews so I thought I would give er' a whirl.
I am glad I did because this was a delicious cookie, filled with the flavors of Fall. When Dan took some to work I asked him to experiment and toss a few in the microwave too. The guys liked them both at room temperature, and warm. I tried one warm out of the oven, and then again at room temperature the next morning I like them both also. The final yes vote for me was from my friend Christy. Her husband brought a cookie home for her and she messaged for the recipe the next day. She is the Queen Bee Food Blogger, so if she likes it too then I am a happy camper.
Well folks! Enough of my babbling, here is the recipe! Enjoy the taste of a Caramel Apple without all the mess:)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 (7.4 oz) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (10 packets)
1 full tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 full tsp cinnamon
1 bag of chewy caramels
-Preheat oven to 350°
-Line cookie sheets with parchment. (The melted caramel may stick to the bottom if you just use cooking spray on a plain baking sheet.)
-In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
-With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.
-Beat in eggs, one at a time.
-Add vanilla and mix well.
-Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
-Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut (about 2 tablespoons).
-Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely.
-Shape the dough into a ball, and place on parchment covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
-Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. They may not look quite done in the center but that is OK.
-Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter.
-Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down on the parchment or on a rack. If they are not upside down while they cool they may drizzle Caramel out the bottom so be sure to flip em on their tops:)