Tag Archives: salted caramel

Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies

caramelcookies

 

It’s that time of year again – the baking season, wherein I make loads of cookies and force my loved ones to eat them. (I am such a weird dichotomy of “let’s run all the miles” and “let’s eat all the dessert.” Life is about balance though, right?)

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with salted caramel. I make several batches of caramels every year, usually to give alongside treats like my peppermint sugar cookies.  Out of pure curiosity last night, I decided to tweak the base for my basic sugar cookie recipe and use the caramel in it instead of peppermint.

After they baked & cooled I made a caramel icing glaze, drizzled them with melted caramel & topped them with sea salt. The result was gooey, chewy & bursting with layers of rich vanilla-caramel flavor topped off with a well-balanced salty-sweet crunch. I am in looooooove.

Here’s how I did it. Let me know if you try the recipe – I welcome feedback!

Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened (not melted – that will change the texture)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 batch of homemade salted caramels (or use Kraft caramels if you don’t want to add another recipe to the mix here – but trust me, this recipe is worth the effort)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F & line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set out cooling racks if you have them (the air circulation makes a difference in the texture of the finished product).

Cream together butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg, extract and salt and mix until combined. A cup at a time, add the flour until just combined – do not overmix.

Roll the dough into ½” balls and divide each caramel square into 4 pieces – you are going to stuff each dough ball with one of these caramel bits. To assemble, lightly flatten 2 dough balls, place a caramel bit between the two and press edges together around the caramel. You may need to roll the newly formed ball a bit more between your hands to completely seal the caramel inside the cookie. Place each ball on the lined cookie sheets, a couple of inches apart.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes (I tend to put the pans in for 5 minutes, rotate/turn them and cook for another 5 to ensure even cooking). They’ll still be light – browned edges mean they’re overcooked. You may have a little caramel leakage, but that’s okay.

Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then move cookies to your cooling racks until completely cool.

Caramel Royal Icing Glaze and Caramel Drizzle(optional):

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 caramels, melted (in a double boiler or in the microwave at 5 sec. intervals)
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk sugar, water & extract together. Once royal icing reaches a thick but spreadable consistency, add a tablespoon or two of the melted caramel and stir until well combined.

Dip tops of cookies in icing or brush on tops of cookies with a pastry or basting brush, then drizzle remaining caramel over cookies and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Let the topping harden completely before serving or packaging.

 

 

 

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Homemade salted caramels

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I’ve never grown out of the “I made something for you” phase of childhood – it’s still my favorite way to give gifts. Whether it’s layered soap bars or layered dessert bars, I derive so much pleasure from putting effort & love into handmade presents.

This Christmas, I spent a lot of time making treats to give to neighbors, church friends & family. The biggest hit was probably the salted caramels. They are super easy to make – it’s like culinary alchemy – and they store well in the fridge. They can be used in other recipes, melted into coffee or just devoured on their own.

I do recommend measuring your ingredients before you begin – the process relies on quickness. You won’t need a candy thermometer, but a candy mold makes it easy to portion them out.

ingredients:
1 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Sea salt to taste

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method:

Measure your ingredients & keep close by. I also recommend greasing your molds now by spraying lightly with cooking spray or brushing with oil (I use coconut oil & a pastry brush).

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Place sugar in a dry saucepan over medium-high heat and continuously whisk or stir with a spatula as it melts (this helps prevent burning).

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As soon as your sugar is liquid, light brown & just about to bubble, stop stirring.

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Add the butter & whisk until melted. It’ll foam up a bit, so watch your fingers!

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Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in the cream ’til smooth.

Now it’s time to pour the liquid into molds – I transfer my liquid into a measuring cup first for easier pouring.

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I use a silicone Wilton brownie bites mold & I fill each cavity about half full. (The liquid can also be transferred to a jar if you prefer to use it as a caramel sauce.)

Lightly dust the top of each caramel with sea salt.

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Place mold in fridge or freezer until caramels are firm enough to unmold. After unmolding, they can be individually wrapped in wax paper squares or pieces of Saran Wrap Press’n’Seal.

That’s it! Minimal effort for rich, soft, buttery caramels that kick the pants off of those pale processed Kraft cubes.

Please try them and let me know what you think! And if I ever bring you a bag of them, know that they are basically little chewy squares of my love for you. 😀