I’m so glad I remembered these cookies last year! I first made them years ago totally forgot about them in all of my pumpkin craze. I’m not sure what sparked my memory, but I had my mom include a box of instant apple cider mix in my autumn care package (I say that like it’s a regular thing…nope, I just need one in the autumn!) along with a carton of Trader Joe’s chewy caramels, which are THE BEST. (For this recipe, I cut each caramel in half while still wrapped.)
I love making homemade apple cider when the weather starts to turn. It’s become one of my regular autumn activities. I mean, all those apples from the apple orchard aren’t going to eat themselves! We’ve turned warm apple cider into a delicious seasonal cocktail. But I’d actually pair these cookies with pumpkin juice (a la Harry Potter). Though, whatever your preference is, these are a fantastic autumn treat and they’ll definitely earn you some points with whomever you share them.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
10 packets instant apple cider
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24-30 chewy caramels
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (This is necessary for any caramel that might leak out.)
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt cinnamon, and apple cider powder.
With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
Slowly add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
Scoop out 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball.
Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the middle of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Shape it back into a ball.
Place on parchment or baking match covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
Bake 11-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. They may not look quite done in the centre, but you want a chewy centre.
Allow the cookies to cool on the parchment or mat (slide it off of the tray, if needed) so the caramel is hardened and the cookie will not fall apart when you pick it up. You’ll know it’s ready when you can twist the cookie off the parchment or mat and it comes off clean. Allow them to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter.
I was seriously impressed with how they turned out and I have to say they’re probably the prettiest cookies I’ve ever made. So of course I had to do a little photo shoot with them (last year). Sadly, I’m somehow missing 100ish photos from my hard drive that include my cookie photoshoot, so I had to scour my blog and social media for any photos that I had already shared before deleting them.
For another apple cider baked treat, try these apple cider donuts, which use actual apple cider, which might be easier to find—and certainly easier to make!