Ever since the seasons changed, I've been seeing snickerdoodle recipes pop up left and right. I couldn't get the image of a snickerdoodle out of my head. So one day, on the way to work, I stopped by a market and bought a bag of cookies. Sadly, the cookies were beyond mediocre. Weeks later, my craving still not satisfied, I forced myself to make a batch of these cookies. Since I was going to bake a fresh batch, I decided to make them extra special by turning them into apple cider caramel stuffed snickerdoodles. What a glorious decision because these cookies definitely hit the spot!
Apple Cider Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles
Apple cider caramels
- 1 cup apple cider
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ¾ cup butter softened at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Bring 1 cup apple cider to a boil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the apple cider until it has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 20 minutes.
- Line an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Combine the reduced apple cider with ½ cup heavy cream, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup corn syrup, and 2 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium and cook until a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon allspice, and ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger.
- Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared baking pan and let cool completely. Once cooled, cut the caramel into ½ inch squares.
- Prepare the snickerdoodles. Cream together ¾ cup softened butter with 1 ½ cups sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and pale in color, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients including 2 ¾ cups flour, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until well-combined. Portion the dough into 24 balls. Make an indentation in the center and insert a caramel. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Combine 3 tablespoon sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Coat the cookie dough in the sugar cinnamon mixture and lay on a lined baking sheet. Chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Arrange the cookies to fit about 6 on a baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between the cookies. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
These apple cider caramel stuffed snickerdoodles are a little trickier to prepare because of the caramel; however, if you have a candy thermometer you can't go wrong. I cannot stress the importance of having a thermometer when preparing this caramel since it will be difficult to tell at which stage the caramel is.
Before we make the caramel, we have to reduce apple cider. By reducing the apple cider, we are concentrating the flavors, making it as pronounced as possible. Keep an eye on the cider because it can easily burn once it starts to get thick.
Once the cider is ready, combine it with the other ingredients including heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and continue to simmer the caramel until it reaches 248 degrees F. You want it to be at the right temperature since this will determine how soft or hard the candy will be. Here are the stages of candy development to give you a better idea:
- Soft ball stage (235 degrees F): the syrup can easily be formed into a ball when in cold water, but flattens once removed
- Firm ball stage (245-250 degrees F): the syrup is formed into a stable ball but can easily be manipulated into different shapes
- Hard ball (250-266 degrees F): the syrup firmly holds its shape but is still sticky
You want to cook caramel candies until they reach between 245-250 degrees F when they can be shaped but are still pliable.
Let the caramel cool completely before cutting it into shapes. If the layer of caramel is too thin, you can fold the caramel in half and gently press down; the two layers will combine to form one thick slab. This one slab does make quite a bit of caramel candies which means extra to snack on!
Now it's time to prepare the cookie dough. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined. The dough will look crumbly but it'll still be easy to form into balls.
Form the dough into 24 dough portions and stuff each with a piece of apple cider caramel. Roll them into a ball and coat the outside with cinnamon and sugar. We're going to take an extra step and chill the dough to prevent the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
Spread the cookies out on a baking sheet and bake them at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes. Your oven temperature may differ from mine but I found that 8 minutes was the perfect amount of time.
The apple cider caramel alone is phenomenal but stuffed inside a snickerdoodle? Words cannot express my happiness. The apple cider caramel tastes exactly like apple pie filling and even smells like the pie. The snickerdoodles are incredibly soft and not too sweet, making it just the right amount of sweetness with the caramel. Delicious!
For more cookie inspiration check out these kaya linzer cookies!