Stuffed Caramel Apple Cookies Are Irresistibly Gooey

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published about 4 hours ago

Caramel Apple Cookies Recipe

Everything you love about caramel apples, but in the shape of a cookie.

Serves24

Makes24 (2.5-inch) cookies

Prep50 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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A caramel apple cookie on a marble surface pulled apart in half with gooey caramel connecting the two halves of the cookie.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Nothing says fall quite like a day spent apple picking. Between the crisp air and that incredible aroma of fresh apples, it’s just too easy to go overboard out there in the orchard and find yourself in possession of a bushel of apples. These fall-forward cookies, which are inspired by caramel apples, is one new and exciting way to use up this gorgeous abundance of fruit. 

While caramel apples are always fun, they can be a bit challenging (and messy) to eat. These treats are basically everything you love about a caramel apple, but in the form of a cookie. Here, soft and fluffy vanilla-scented cookie dough is packed with diced fresh apples and wrapped around a soft caramel center. Once pulled apart, the warm, gooey inside will remind you of a caramel apple.

Key Ingredients in Caramel Apple Cookies

  • Apple pie spice mix: For this recipe, you can use either apple pie spice mix or just ground cinnamon if you prefer. I love the balanced blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice that’s in apple pie spice. Plus, it’s so convenient. 
  • Soft caramel candies: Be sure to choose soft caramels for these cookies rather than a hard caramel candy. Both Kraft and Werther’s make delicious options that can be found in the candy or baking section of most grocery stores.
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix: This is a bit of a surprising twist for a cookie recipe. I find that adding a package of pudding mix to cookie dough makes them uniquely soft and tender. 
  • Honeycrisp apples: These sweet apples are full of flavor and perfect for baking.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

  • Unwrap the candy in advance. I suggest unwrapping all of the caramels before assembling the cookies for baking. This way, if your hands are a bit messy from rolling the dough, you aren’t struggling with the wrappers for the next one. 
  • Use a measuring spoon or scoop. For uniform cookies, use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon or small scoop to portion the dough to wrap around the caramels. 
  • Keep the dough chilled. Because the cookies need to cool on the baking sheets, I suggest keeping the remaining dough chilled in the refrigerator between batches. 
  • Reheat in the microwave. If you want the caramel center to be as warm and gooey as when they were first baked, pop the cookie in the microwave for about 10 seconds before enjoying. 

More Apple Dessert Recipes

And if you still need to use up even more apples, here are some recipes that are definitely worth making. 

Everything you love about caramel apples, but in the shape of a cookie.

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)

    unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    apple pie spice mix or ground cinnamon, divided

  • 21

    soft caramel candies, such as Kraft Baking Caramels

  • 3/4 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box

    instant vanilla pudding mix

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1

    large or 2 medium honeycrisp apples

  1. Place 12 tablespoons unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened. Meanwhile, make the sugar coating: Place 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the apple pie spice mix or ground cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine.

  2. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Meanwhile, unwrap 21 caramels.

  3. Add 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

  4. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and remaining 1 teaspoon apple pie spice mix or ground cinnamon in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 1/2 minutes.

  5. Peel and core 1 large or 2 medium honeycrisp apples. Dice into 1/4-inch pieces until you have 1 1/2 cups diced apple (reserve any remaining apple for another use). Add the apple to the cookie dough and beat on low speed until just combined.

  6. Scoop out 1 tablespoon cookie dough. Place 1 unwrapped caramel in the center of the dough. Cover the caramel with another 1 tablespoon cookie dough. Shape and roll the dough around the caramel until the caramel is completely enclosed. Roll the ball of dough in the sugar mixture to completely coat on all sides. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough until there are 6 cookies on each baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Refrigerate the remaining dough.

  7. Bake for 9 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back and between racks. Bake until the cookies are set and lightly browned on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes more. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat baking the remaining dough on cooled baking sheets, you can reuse the parchment or baking mat.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cookie dough can be ahead. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cookie dough to prevent browning, then refrigerate for up to a few hours. Let sit at room temperature until soft enough to scoop easily. Shape the cookies and bake as directed.

Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. The caramel will be soft and chewy when the cookies are still warm from the oven. To soften the caramel again, microwave for 10 seconds before eating.

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