I hate Snickerdoodles. If you’ve been here awhile, you know I really don’t love many cookies. So if a cookie makes it to my blog, it’s GOOOOD. And if a variation of a Snickerdoodle made it to my mouth and then to the blog, it’s GREAT! So, hold on to your knicker-doodles (gosh, I’m sorry about that) because these are likely to knock them off! It’s the flavor layers in these that make them special.
Take a cinnamon-y, sugary, buttery-good cookie, fill it with caramel, flavor it with brown butter, and sprinkle it with flaky sea salt and you’ve got gooey goodness packed full of deliciousness.
Do you see that inside? What happens is that you bite into a warm, gooey cookie fresh out of the oven and first you get the hints of snickerdoodly-ness (cinnamon, sugar, and perfect cookie texture), but wait — there’s brown butter making the whole thing richer.
But then there’s the middle. There’s a soft, warm center of caramel in here, hiding just under the flakes of sea salt that make the whole thing pop! Is this cookie heaven? Perhaps. You’re about to find out! Just plan ahead a bit as the dough needs an hour to chill.
Your first job is to brown the butter. If you haven’t ever used/made brown butter, it’s super easy and adds quite a depth of flavor. All you do is add 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter into a heavy pan and heat it over medium heat. Stir occasionally and remove from heat the minute it starts to from and you see little golden brown specks on the bottom of the pan and the butter smells toasted.
It’ll burn quickly so watch closely! Set this aside and let it cool until it’s just warm and not hot while you work on the cookie dough. While the butter cools, you can do some prep work.
Unwrap around 15 caramels cut in half. Keep a few extra handy just in case your number of cookies ends up different than mine. Make up some cinnamon sugar. In a small bowl, mix 1/8 c. (heaped) of granulated sugar with 1 tsp. cinnamon.
Put some flakey sea salt in a small bowl for later.
In a mixing bowl, add the following:
Mix this all well. In a small bowl, mix the following dry ingredients:
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and put it into the fridge to chill for an hour or so. Chilling cookie dough with brown butter helps the flavor develop even further.
Now, get your scooper ready! I use this one for all of my muffins and cookie dough scooping. Makes life a lot easier and helps you get consistent amounts. So scoop out just under 2 T. of dough, and shape it into a ball. Flatten it into a disc shape, and put a caramel half in the middle and fold the dough around the caramel creating a ball and making it a little, fully-covered gift in the middle to enjoy later.
Preheat the oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or brush melted butter onto the sheet to grease well. Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar and place about 2 inches apart on the parchment paper. I got 9 per sheet. Dip each ball gently into a small bowl of flaked sea salt. Don’t go crazy with the salt — it’s just to enhance the flavors.
Bake these babies for 10 minutes or so (give or take a couple minutes depending on your oven and size of cookies) just until the edges are beginning to turn golden brown. They will look puffy until they cool.
Cool the cookies a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. But make sure you eat at least three while they’re warm. Have a seat while you do while your eyes roll back into your head. :o)
By the way, recipe credit goes to Two Peas & Their Pod for their amazing recipe to which I made just a few adjustments.
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