Did the title of the post draw you in, or was is the sneak peek photo I gave you Sunday night? Either way, I’m glad you are reading this because these cookies and soft, fluffy and you won’t be able to eat just one after you get into the gooey caramel center. What do you expect from a baker when you give her apple cider in her Springdell farm share?
One ingredient I want to point out from this picture is “baking spice”. I love Penzy’s spice catalog and this is one of my favorites. Baking Spice is a sweet combo of cinnamon, cassia, ground anise seed, allspice, mace, and cardamom. I mean really, you can almost smell the goodness through the post right? If you don’t have baking spice or something similar you can use any of the ingredients on the list or a combination of what you have in your spice cabinet as long as the total is the equivalent to the amount of baking spice I used. Of course I used a gluten free flour mix in my house but you can use regular AP flour if you so choose.
- 1 1/4 cups apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking spice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 apple, peeled cored and shredded
- 1 dozen store bought caramels (or go crazy and make your own)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the cider in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Continue to cook until syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 10-12 minutes
- Set aside to cool slightly
- Whisk the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking spice and salt in a medium bowl until smooth
- Beat the butter with the granulated sugar and the light brown sugar in a separate bowl on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes
- Beat in the reduced cider and the egg (the mixture may look slightly curdled)
- Stir in the flour mixture and the chopped apple until combined
- Place the dough balls 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and put a caramel square in the center, covering the caramel completely with dough.
- Bake until the edges are just set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes
- Cool 2 to 3 minutes on the baking sheet, and enjoy!
An important part of this recipe is reducing down the apple cider. Don’t rush this one, you want it reduced to just a few tablespoons of thick, syrupy liquid. This concentrated flavor is where a good deal of the apple flavor comes from in the cookies. Here is what my reduction looked like after a good 10 minutes or so:
The dough turns out a bit on the thick side but the finished cookie is surprisingly light and almost cake like.
I use an ice cream scoop or a “disher”. This makes the scooping process so much smoother and my cookies are all the same size. Make sure you don’t see any caramel, otherwise it will ooze out of the cookies while baking. Pop them in and use all of your will power not to take them out too early just so you can dig in!
These cookies need to be eaten warm so the caramel is gooey in the middle, but on the flip side you don’t want the caramel too hot and burn your tongue, so be careful! If there any cookies left over (I bet not) you just pop them in the oven for a few minutes to reheat or the microwave for just 10-15 seconds. Enjoy!