Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Special: Caramel-Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies

So not everybody in your family likes pie (gasp!) and now you're scrambling to find a dessert recipe that will please even your most picky eater.
We understand.
Here's a cookie recipe that will be sure to be a crowd-pleaser this Thanksgiving.

1½ cup all-purpose flour
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup + ½ cup white sugar (divided)
½ cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine! Just stay away from "pumpkin pie filling")
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. ground ginger
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. + ½ tsp. ground cinnamon (divided)
1 bag of soft caramels (you'll have leftovers)
1. As with most cookies, you'll want to cream your butter and sugar (1 cup) first to make them soft and fluffy. I used the back of a fork and sliced through the butter and sugar so that I could incorporate more air into the mixture. You can also use a hand mixer on medium-high speed for quicker results. For more process pictures, check out my Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!
2. The result will look something like this. It should be white and fluffy.
3. Then add your pumpkin puree and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture. Blend gently by hand until combined or use your mixer on low-speed.
4. Now in a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon (½ tsp.), ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
5. Then add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients. Mix until well combined.
6. Your cookie dough will look like this! Cover this with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to make the next few steps easier.
7. After the 30 minutes are up, remove the dough from the fridge and scoop out tablespoon sized balls for each cookie. Place them on parchment (or on foil, like me, if you don't have any leftover from all the holiday baking!) lined cookie sheets. Then place the cookie sheets in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
If you're planning on making these for Thanksgiving, it'd be a good idea to prep everything up to this step the night before or to do this all right in the morning and proceed with the remaining steps after your turkey's finished baking.
8. Preheat your oven to 350° FNow here comes the fun part. You can even get your baby nieces and nephews and baby cousins to help with this. Take a dough ball and make a thumbprint in the center as you would with thumbprint cookies. Then take a soft caramel and place it in the center! (My caramels were too long so I cut them in half.) Next surround the caramel with the dough so that people don't know about the surprise center until they bite into one!
9. To make your sugar coating, mix the remaining ½ cup of sugar and 2 tbsp. cinnamon together. Next you'll want to roll your cookies in this sugar mixture, but in batches. For example, when not working with the second batch place it back in the fridge so that the cookies don't become too soft (this makes it difficult to roll them and chilled dough will make for tastier cookies!).
10. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart and pop them into the oven for around 14 minutes. Don't roll the next batch in the cinnamon sugar until the batch before is nearly done in the oven.

Annnnnnd. You're done! Check out our pumpkin pie recipe here, and stay tuned for some more Thanksgiving ideas over the next couple days.

*Recipe adapted from Reeni''s "Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies" recipe. Her blog is the stuff that dreams are made of~

Writer: Princess
Photographer: Princess
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