One trend that has sort of passed me by is stuffing desserts with other desserts.  You know, brownie-stuffed-this or Oreo-stuffed-that.  As much as I enjoy indulgent desserts, I just don’t feel the need to stuff something that is already good with something else to make it better.  However, some time about two years ago, a reader emailed and asked if I could make a homemade version of a cookie she had seen around the web that involved apple cider and some caramel filling.  It’s been quite a long time and though I have long since forgotten the details of exactly had asked for, the general idea has been simmering in the back of my mind. Cider.  Cookies.  Caramel.

When I recently had the urge to finally give apple cider caramels a try, the idea of the cookie resurfaced.  I thought a browned butter cookie dough would be a nice pairing with the apple cider caramel.  The resulting dough is the perfect combination of chewy with a slight crunch at the edges, and it the caramel filling without overpowering.  I knew for sure they were a success when I served them to friends and family over the weekend, and then watched as one person after another went back to have a second cookie.  (And some, even more.  Don’t worry, guys, I won’t tell.)


1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more sprinkling
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. greek yogurt or sour cream
20 apple cider caramels (about 1-inch squares), unwrapped


  • 01

    Place the butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter completely.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown.  Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

  • 02

    Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugars and the brown butter.  Mix on medium speed until well blended and smooth.  Blend in the egg and egg yolk, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and greek yogurt.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

  • 03

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Use a medium dough scoop (about 2 tablespoons) to scoop a portion of cookie dough.  Press an indentation into the center of the dough ball to create a bowl shape.  Place a caramel in the center and pinch together the edges of the cookie dough over the top to completely seal it in the center.  (I then like to sort of “rough up” the surface of my cookies by making tiny pinches in the top part of the dough.  It yields a more irregular, visually appealing finished product.) Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and chill the shaped cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  • 04

    Place the shaped cookies on the baking sheets lined with parchment paper, at least 2-3 inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are golden brown and set, rotating the pans halfway through, about 14 minutes total.  Let cool briefly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further.  Serve slightly warm for best gooey caramel effect.

  • Becca

    These sound amazing! Any thoughts or recommendations on decreasing the sugar in the dough? Most cookies are too sweet for me and the thought of caramels and cookie dough makes my teeth hurt and my dentist cringe. Thoughts?

  • annieseats

    I would recommend trying them as they are before making alterations. I was concerned they would be overly sweet, but they really weren’t. Also any changes to the dough will also affect the texture, so I wouldn’t recommend it for that reason as well.

  • HalfBakedHarvest

    These look so amazingly good! Browned butter and apple cider caramels sound so good together!

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I’m all over this. Love that cider caramel!…I bet it would be fabulous as a candy!

  • Mimi

    These are absolutely gorgeous! Best stuffed cookie I’ve seen yet!

  • Tracy

    These sound like a perfect fall treat! I think a little addition of cinnamon would be darling!

  • I don’t do “dessertduckens” either. Why mess with a good thing, you know? But caramel stuffed cookies are kind of a whole other beast of awesomeness. These are definitely fall in cookie form!

  • Bashful_Bao

    I just made cider caramels, and I think I know where a bunch of them are headed!!

  • Becca

    Thanks, If I actually get around to making these, I’ll try it.

  • Cooking Classy

    I need these in my life!

  • Meg

    Oh wow, Annie, these are phenomenal! The browned butter is absolutely perfect with the cider caramels. These taste like fall. Bravo! And for anyone who is wondering, it is so worth the effort to make the cider caramels for these cookies. I’ve never tasted a cookie quite like this before! Thanks for another great recipe!!

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed these so much!

  • annieseats

    HA! Dessertduckens. You are awesome.

  • Jess @ Floptimism

    These look and sound so delicious! I’ve bookmarked them to try out sometime, and included the link to this post on my blog’s Weekend Wrap-Up — where I share all of my favorite recipes, pins, and articles from the past week. Thank you for another great recipe, and I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

    Here’s a link to the wrap-up, in case you’re interested — I’d love you to stop by!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    My friend made these for our softball game today and they were one of the best cookies I have had. Amazing recipe!!

  • Rebecca

    These look scrumptious! I’ll be trying them this weekend and will report back on the result (which I’m certain will be excellent)!

  • Annie they’re gorgeous! That caramel filling looks beyond tempting! Pinned!

  • Julia

    These look absolutely amazing, I really want to make them for Thanksgiving! Do you think I could make them now, freeze them, and then thaw them before serving or would that not work because of the caramel filling?

  • annieseats

    I actually think these would probably be okay frozen. I recommend making them up through the shaping of the dough balls but leaving them unbaked, freezing in a single layer on a baking sheet, and then storing in a freezer container until you are ready to bake them. Then you can bake as many or as few as you like, directly from the freezer, just adding more time onto the overall bake time. (The exact time will vary, you just have to keep an eye on them.) I do this all the time with chocolate chip and other types of cookies.

  • Sandra

    I made these a couple of weeks ago and froze most of them prior to cooking and they were fantastic fresh and from the freezer. The only bad thing about them is that we finished them off last week and now I need to make more!

  • Erika Robinson

    do you sprinkle the extra sea salt after baking? or before?

  • annieseats

    Afterward. Enjoy!

  • Shari

    The caramels are so yummy, made a batch for the freezer. I was think ing for next time maybe add a tsp or two of cinnamon.