Apples are one of my favorite fruits. I love Granny Smith apples with peanut butter and I eat Honeycrisp apples like they are candy (which is a good thing, I suppose, as they are super healthy). But let’s be real: this is a baking blog. Healthy flies out the window on a daily basis ’round here. Let’s add caramel! Caramel apples are delicious and a staple of fall. These cookies were easy to make — but are best served warm, so the caramel within the cookie can melt and remain oooey gooey!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (7.4 oz) box Alpine Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (do NOT buy sugar-free!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz) bag Kraft caramels, unwrapped
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. (note: these cookies can and will likely ooze caramel – be sure to use parchment so that the caramel doesn’t stick to the baking sheet!)
2. 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.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
4. Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of 2 Tablespoons. Flatten the ball of dough in the palm of your hand and press an unwrapped caramel into the center of the dough; seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Shape the dough into a ball and place on the cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake 12-14 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges. Don’t over bake!! Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment off the baking sheet onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment and then carefully twist off parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down.
Yield: About 4 dozen; likely less if you make large balls of dough/caramel.
Note: Be sure to cool these cookies upside down — they will leak and ooze out caramel if you don’t!