Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles: Taking your favorites one step further.

In the past, if I were to choose to make a batch of cookies, any flavor I wanted, I must confess Snickerdoodles would not have been at the top of the list. I mean, they’re fine, OK, pretty good.

And then PJ created her Superdoodles. I started to love Snickerdoodles more and more. But could I make them into a cookie I craved?

Enter the big block of caramel.

Whenever I see this picture of our caramel block, I hear the music from the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Duh….duh….da-duh! dum, dum, dum, dum. Yes, it’s a monolith of buttery goodness, my friend.

Now, what shall we do with it today?

If you regularly check the blogosphere, you’ll see that stuffing things inside of cookies has been a big trend over the last year or so. Cookies stuffed with cookies, cake stuffed with colored cake, cake stuffed with pie.

Yes, cake stuffed with pie. I didn’t really think we needed to go that far out, so decided on a simple stuffed cookie.

The chocolate/caramel/sea salt combo is popular and honestly quite delicious, but it has also been done nearly to death lately. I pondered caramel-stuffed Vanilla Dreams, but the glory of a Vanilla Dream cookie is in the crunch, and I thought caramel would detract from that.

It wasn’t until my daughter Shannon whipped up a batch of Snickerdoodles at home that the true calling for my caramel block was realized. I unashamedly stole the rest of the cookie dough and whipped up the first batch. The dough was a little too soft to create the perfect stuffed cookie but we were on our way.

I switched recipes to our Snickerdoodle recipe online and the cookies came out just right. Tender, chewy, fragrant on the outside with sweet, buttery caramel on the inside.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have lift-off.

Let’s make a batch of Caramel-Stuffed Snickerdoodles*.

*The link will take you to the regular Snickerdoodle recipe, or you can use your own favorite recipe for the base.

Using kitchen scissors or a bench knife, cut small pieces of caramel about as big as a malted milk ball. The ball should be smaller than a standard square caramel, but not by much. Roll the caramels between your palms to round them up a bit. You don’t want stray edges poking out the sides of your cookie.

Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of your favorite Snickerdoodle dough. A tablespoon cookie scoop works beautifully for this. Make a little hollow with your thumb and press in one caramel ball.

I like a softer cookie, so I made our Snickerdoodle recipe using vegetable shortening. Using butter will yield a crisper cookie, and using a combination will land you somewhere in between.

I also found that having a firmer dough made for a better stuffed cookie. If your favorite recipe yields softer dough, try adding just 1/4 cup extra flour to give it a touch more structure.

Pop the dough out of the scoop and feel the bottom to ensure the caramel ball isn’t coming out the other side.

Use your fingers to gently enclose the ball completely in dough. Roll the dough ball between your palms to smooth it out and to help center the caramel. Repeat with all the dough and caramel, placing the balls on parchment until they’re all rolled.

If it’s really warm in the kitchen, put the dough balls in the fridge, to keep them from getting too greasy.

Prepare the cinnamon-sugar topping. Whisk together 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Taste a little on your fingertip and adjust the cinnamon to your liking. If you’re a sweet/salty person, a pinch of fine sea salt could be added to the mix.

Drop each ball into the cinnamon-sugar and toss until well coated. If you really like the coating best, you can toss each dough ball twice.

Place the balls 2″ apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes for soft cookies, 12 minutes if you like crisper cookies.

As the cookies bake and the caramel melts, the centers will sink down some. There are also bound to be some breakthroughs and caramel-lava flows. This is where the parchment proves invaluable. If you get caramel on the paper, just peel it up. I won’t tell if you nibble it up.

Ohhhh, ahhhh, soft cookies with melty caramel goodness inside.

Now, here’s the trick. The caramel stays melted when the cookies are hot, but absorbs into the cookie more as it cools. It’s a fine line to walk.

Here’s what I found worked well. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 4 to 5 minutes. Break one open and check out the caramel. If it’s still rocket hot, give them 2 minutes more to cool, then dive in with a big glass of milk.

As the cookie cools you get melted pockets of caramel still, but also chewy patches of cookie-caramel blended together. I even tried one of these cookies partially frozen after baking, and it was a candy-filled cookie delight. Not sticky enough to pull fillings, but toothy enough to make one cookie last and last.

However you decide to eat them – warm, semi-frozen or somewhere in between – the caramel stuffing inside these cookies really takes the cinnamon-sugar goodness of a Snickerdoodle over the top, from familiar favorite to fantastic folly.

Just a reminder, there’s no printable version of this technique. Use your favorite recipe or give our Snickerdoodle recipe a try!

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. "Sarah d"

    mmm, I made these yesterday, and they didn’t really look like the ones in your picture – I was expecting more melty caramel. in mine, the caramel soaked into the cookie more, although i didn’t have any spilling out at least. not that I’m complaining- they taste delicious!!! they were going to be mailed out as a gift, but i don’t think there are enough left to send!

    Reply
  2. Tonia

    Made these with the middle school kids I teach baking to in an after school program — they loved them! Used the caramels that you unwrap then we cut them in half and used a generous tablespoon of dough. Didn’t roll the caramels in ball (no need and just one more step!) Also, made plain snickerdoodles and sandwiched two together with a left over can of Dulce de Leche — those were real good too!
    Thanks for the great idea; fun was had by all and everyone left with smiles and happy tummies! 😉

    Tonia, so glad we inspired you to take this recipe and share it with the kids. Happy tummies and smiles are a good thing! 🙂 PJH

    Reply
  3. Irene in T.O.

    I tried the classic banoffee pie filling once and it took WAY WAY WAY too long.

    Sensible caramel pie: 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup corn syrup (Lyles Golden works best). Heat in a large pan on MEDIUM heat until clear and light brown. May be darker if you like a more “burnt” taste. Let the pan cool down on the side of the stove to avoid steam burns.

    Add 1 can evaporated milk (or 1-1/2 cups cream) and simmer until the brown stuff all dissolves. Scrape up the goo from the bottom, it will dissolve if you keep stirring. You can add a tablespoon of cornstarch in milk at the end, if you want to be able to slice the pie. Add vanilla to taste after you remove from the heat.

    Reply
  4. Tonia

    My mom used to make a PB cookie with fun size (didn’t have mini sizes then) Milky Ways inside — they were enourmous and enourmously good! I was wondering what to do with my middle school kids I teach baking to after school tomorrow. . .now I know! I think I’ll use the wrapped caramels (give them something to do!) or maybe Rollos. . .Thanks for the great idea!! 🙂
    That does sound like a fun project. They’ll get a kick out of rolling the caramels into balls too, nice and sticky! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. Mary M

    Snickerdoodles, that cookie was the very first recipe I ever made, and what a neat adaptation as well. I’m going to have to give these a whirl. The reason for my comment however, is that gorgeous big hunk of caramel got me to thinking about a pie I love, but gave up making, because it called for caramelizing a can of sweetened condensed milk, and the consistency was never right, the pie never came out looking as it was supposed to and didn’t taste as good as it should. The pie is called banoffee, and it consists of a traditional prebaked pie shell (or you can use a graham, or English digestive biscuit crumbs to make a crust, the premise being the oaty and slightly salty cookies provide a nice, not too sweet contrast), a layer of caramel, that shouldn’t be too thick, or too thin. Topped with sliced bananas, and then topped with whipped cream sprinkled with crushed instant espresso powder. The flavors together are wonderful. What I’d love is a recipe to make a not too thick, not too thin caramel mixture to use to make banoffee pie, without having to go through the torture of caramelizing sweetened condensed milk, and I know KAF’s caramel would taste so much better. Any chance of one of KAF’s daring bakers coming up with a recipe for me? I will let them know, but here is a great caramel recipe.

    Reply
  6. glpruett

    Oh, my goodness…these look fantastic! I have one question: I purchased a bag of your Carmel Bits recently, and I’m wondering if they would work as the filling in these cookies? Seems a tad easier than cutting and shaping Carmel Loaf, but perhaps the Bits have a harder texture than the Loaf, and wouldn’t get all melty and gooey, which is, after all, the purpose of this recipe!
    At any rate, these sound wonderful and are on my to-bake list…SOON!

    You can try them but it won’t be the same. The Caramel in MJ’s recipe is a different consistency then the bits, but that’s not to say it won’t taste good!

    The bits don’t melt as much, but you do get a nice little lump of soft caramel in those bites, so definitely give it a try. ~ MaryJane

    Reply

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