Tag Archives: sugar cookies

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.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Peppermint Sugar Cookies 


Every Christmas, my domestic side kicks into high gear and I make a ton of treats for friends, family & neighbors. I have a few old standards that I turn out each year (like my salted caramels), but this time I added a new treat to the mix: peppermint sugar cookies.

Like most of the things I make, it’s an easy recipe that tastes fancier than it really is. I used the basic sugar cookie recipe that I’ve been baking for years & just tweaked it a bit. The result: soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies with flecks of peppermint in every bite.

I’m including a recipe for a minty royal icing if you want to add a glaze to dress them up a bit. It’s not necessary and I skip it if I’m baking multiple batches (I’ve baked 30 dozen so far this year), but it does add some eye appeal and you can even sprinkle on a little more crushed peppermint before the icing hardens if you want to make them extra-fancy.

This recipe makes 5 dozen small cookies; if you keep them bite-sized then each cookie contains about 85 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 12.5 grams of carbs & 1 gram of protein.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened (not melted – that will change the texture)
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies (or 4-5 crushed candy canes) – I use a food processor or put them in a plastic bag & beat ’em up with a rolling pin
  • 1/4 cup Andes peppermint crunch baking chips  (if you can’t find them, just double the amount of crushed peppermint)

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 and extracts and mix until combined. A cup at a time, add the flour until just combined, then gently fold in crushed peppermints and baking chips until they’re incorporated into the dough. Don’t over mix!

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and evenly space apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (I can fit 15 – 5 rows, 3 columns – on each sheet).


Bake cookies for 10 minutes. They’ll still be light – browned edges mean they’re overcooked.

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


Minty Royal Icing & Crunch Topping (optional):

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies (or red sugar sprinkles  if you’re tired of crushing mints at this point)

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk sugar, water & extract together. Dip tops of cookies in icing or brush on tops of cookies with a pastry or basting brush, then sprinkle each cookie with a bit of crushed peppermint or sugar sprinkles & let the topping harden.

————-

That’s it! These cookies taste great with my peppermint cocoa, by the way. But that’s a post for another day!