Bite through a rich caramel coating into a crisp center, and you know the deliciousness of the sweet, buttery, tart caramel apple. I prefer mine dipped in peanuts, which adds a little salt to the mix too. These cookies capture all of the flavors of the quintessential fall treat, with the added bonus of giving you an excuse to whip up some delicious caramel sauce.
While caramel can seem temperamental, it just requires keeping a close watch. Golden sugar can quickly burn. Remove it from the heat once it turns deep, warm amber, and you will have been rewarded for your mindfulness. A generous drizzle adds the final touch to each caramel apple cookie.
1 ¾ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup diced baking apples
½ cup toasted chopped peanuts
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup whipping cream
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cardamom and nutmeg. Next, cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well-combined. At low speed, add the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the diced apples and chopped peanuts.
Scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough, and place them on baking sheets. Gently flatten the top of each cookie. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. Allow to cool for two minutes on the tray and then remove to wire rack.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the caramel drizzle. Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until it turns deep amber. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and cream until smooth. When you add the cream, the caramel sauce will bubble up quite a lot. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the caramel reaches a good consistency for drizzling. Keep in mind that the caramel will thicken and harden as it cools.
Once caramel is room temperature, drizzle it onto the top of each cooled cookie.
All the flavor of a caramel apple. No stick required.