Ever since the seasons changed, I’ve been seeing snickerdoodle recipes pop up left and right. The images of snickerdoodles were so deeply engraved in my mind that one day, on the way to work, I had to stop by a market and buy myself a bag of the cookies. Sadly, the market did not carry the one item I desired. Weeks later, my craving still not satisfied, I finally forced myself to whip up a batch of these cinnamon sugar cookies. Since I was going to bake a fresh batch of snickerdoodles, I decided to make these extra special by stuffing them with apple cider caramels.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
When trying to come up with these cookies, I actually was very much reminded of the brown butter Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies that I made last year. Both are equally delicious in their own way, one filled with chocolatey goodness, the other with warm caramel and fall flavors.
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 at.
Unlike other caramels where the sugar is either melted with water or by itself until caramelized, this specific one requires you to make a syrup base first which is then slowly cooked with the seasonings to make a caramel. Why the different technique? Because rather than simply making a caramel sauce, you are preparing caramel candies. The temperature at which the caramel is cooked until will determine the consistency and texture of the candy. Below is a list of the stages of the candy developing at specific temperatures:
- 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 it shape but is still sticky
The ideal temperatures for caramel candies are between 245-250 degrees F when it can be shaped but is 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. The one slab should yield about 32 caramel candies, which means extra to snack on!Now time to prepare the cookie dough. After mixing all of the ingredients together, the dough may look crumbly but it can easily be formed into balls.
Chilling the dough will make it easy to shape. As you continue to touch the dough, the heat from your hands will warm up the dough and make it stick to your hands. Return the dough to the refrigerator if it becomes too difficult to handle.
Stuff with the caramel and coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes and let cool before diving into these sinfully delicious treats! The 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. My craving is finally satisfied!
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