Happy mid-week everyone! As we close yet another summer month and welcome the (hopefully) cooler weather in September, let’s get in our kitchen and bake some cookies. Rightthissecond.
I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for months! So do you remember when I told you how grateful I am for the blogging community? Well here’s a recipe from another dear friend’s cookbook. Jamielyn Nye from I Heart Naptime is launching her new cookbook, The I Heart Naptime Cookbook, in just 1 week. I was lucky enough to preview it earlier in the year, but am so excited (1) that it’s finally here and (2) to show you why you need this cookbook in your kitchen.
Just as she does on her beautiful blog, Jamielyn shares expert tips, exciting crafts, gorgeous photography, and over 100 family-friendly, approachable, and quick recipes in her new cookbook. Each recipe can be made in less than 1 hour, which should seal the deal already. I mentioned this on the back cover of the book, but this is seriously the type of cookbook that will consistently inspire you. Also: the bright colors on each page will make you very happy. Win.
Let me share one of the recipes from her cookbook. I’ve actually made caramel snickerdoodles before and posted the recipe on my blog too. Can I admit that I like Jamielyn’s version better than my own? Her’s are sooooooo soft. Slightly chewy with lots of flavor. When I flipped the page, I suddenly craved cinnamon and caramel for dinner and was tempted to throw on a big chunky sweater and pretend it’s Fall. And totally would’ve done both if I didn’t already have salmon in the oven (damn you salmon!) and it wasn’t a sauna outside. But I did make the cookies regardless! And they rival any snickerdoodle my cookie sheets have ever seen.
So naturally, I had to share these caramel cinnamon angels with you.
Check out that cookie dough. Look how soft it is!
The ingredients are quite standard for snickerdoodles, but it’s the ratio that makes these snickerdoodles so utterly dreamy. Lots of butter, brown sugar for a little flavor, white sugar, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla… the cookie gang’s all here. All super basic ingredients. Don’t forget that cream of tartar though; it imparts the signature tang as well as the chew in snickerdoodle cookies. Ever notice that snickerdoodles and sugar cookies each have the same ingredients, but snickerdoodles are much chewier with a pillowy texture? It’s the cream of tartar. I found this article super interesting if you’re bored.
Also important: CARAMELS. ♥ ♥
I have a special request. Use very soft caramels in these soft caramel snickerdoodles. I’ve had trouble baking cookies like this in the past– the hard caramel dilemma I call it. If your caramels are pretty hard when you stuff them into the cookie dough, the caramel will come out hard and won’t be all soft and gooey like you want it to be (the caramel goo is the best). This sounds very weird, but feel your caramels through the bag before you buy them/cut them for the cookies. Press on them, make sure they’re soft. You may look like a caramel lunatic in the candy aisle, but we are all right there with you. And I promise it’s worth the 10 second public weirdness.
To get the caramel inside the cookies, you’ll stuff them inside the cookie dough balls before baking. To do this, simply roll 2 small balls of dough. Stick half of a caramel inside, place the other ball on top and roll it all up to make a perfect circle. Then roll into cinnamon sugar. That’s all! The cookie will bake around the caramel, while the caramel will melt down inside.
Jamielyn’s book will be released next week! You can pre-order at any of these locations or pick up a copy next week: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and IndieBound. When you get it, try her caramel frosted pumpkin cookies too. Doesn’t this make you so excited for Fall baking?!?!?
Soft Caramel Snickerdoodles
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (135g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 12 soft caramels, cut in half
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour* and up to 3 days.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Combine the topping ingredients. Set aside.
- Scoop a scant 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough. Break in half. Make a thumbprint into the bottom of one half and press a caramel half inside, as shown above. Place the other cookie dough half on top and roll the dough between your hands to make a smooth ball. Make sure the caramels are completely wrapped inside. Roll into cinnamon-sugar topping and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Bake the cookies in batches for 11-13 minutes, or until very lightly browned and crisp looking on the edges. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. I suggest freezing the cookie dough as a whole (for up to 3 months), then thawing overnight in the refrigerator before rolling/shaping. The caramels do not freeze very well.
*Jamielyn does not chill her cookie dough, but I always run into issues with cookie dough spreading! So I chilled mine for 1 hour. The cookies were thick and soft.
Check out my top 5 cookie tips before beginning. It includes how to prevent cookies from over-spreading and why room temperature makes a difference.
Excerpted from The I Heart Naptime Cookbook: More Than 100 Easy & Delicious Recipes to Make in Less Than One Hour by Jamielyn Nye. Reprinted with permission from author and publishing company.
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