Friday, September 27, 2013

Deep Dish Salted Caramel Stuffed Spiced Maple Cookies

Pull out your whoopie pie pan and make these amazing spiced maple cookies stuffed with a big chunk of sea salt sprinkled caramel. 

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I've had stuffed cookies on the brain for  a while now, but I wasn't sure exactly what kind of stuffed cookies I wanted to whip up.
Until...I took a trip to Trader Joe's and was inspired by this.
Now, if you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, don't worry. You can totally sub with any other chai tea powder or even pumpkin pie spice.
I remember buying this stuff last fall and putting it in everything...and I plan to do exactly the same this season, so more to come ;)

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Ok, let's get back to the cookies.

For your ingredients, you'll need the cookie basics...flour, butter, brown sugar, an egg, and vanilla. On top of those, you will need some maple syrup (the real stuff please), pumpkin chai tea powder, caramel candies, and sea salt.

You will first mix up the base. This is where your whoopie pie pan comes into play, because next, you layer cookie dough, caramel, then top with cookie dough.
Before you pop them in the oven, you'll want to refrigerate the unbaked cookies for at least three hours. If you don't refrigerate, the cookies will spread and overflow the wells in the pan. Although there is cornstarch in this recipe, you pile the dough so high in the pan that there would definitely be overflowage. Is that a word?

You get my point, please be patient and refrigerate the dough. You won't be sorry.

When I opened my oven door, it smelled like I had a pumpkin and apple pie baking up in there. It smelled Ah-mazing!

The cookies are super soft with a big maple flavor that's balanced with the pumpkin spice chai mix. When you make your way to the gooey salted caramel center, you feel like you've reached nirvana. Yes, they're that good!

Ok, let's get to baking.

Deep Dish Salted Caramel Stuffed Spiced Maple Cookies
makes 6 deep dish cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp pumpkin chai powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
6 unwrapped caramels
flaked sea salt

Spray whoopie pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 
Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add egg and beat until incorporated. Next add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, chai powder, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of dough into the bottom of each well and spread to the edges.
Place a caramel in the center of each well and sprinkle on some sea salt (as much or little as you want!).
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Lastly, top these with two more tablespoons of the dough and gently press to seal the edges. They will look like big mounds of cookie dough when your finished.
This is when you'll put them in the refrigerator, for at least three hours. I left mine overnight and baked them the next day.
When your ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pull your cookies out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature while your oven preheats. Mine sat on the counter for 30 minutes.
Place cookies in preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are starting to brown on top. Mine were perfect after 12 minutes.

*Recipe Notes*
-If you don't have a whoopie pie pan, you can also use a    muffin top pan, or even try a standard muffin pan.
You could also try rolling the cookies into a ball and stuffing the caramel in the middle, making sure the caramel is completely sealed.
-If you can't find Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea mix, you can sub the same amount of pumpkin pie spice
-These cookies would also be great un-stuffed if you don't have any caramels on hand. In that case, I'd use an ice-cream scoop and scoop them onto a cookie sheet, refrigerate, then bake for 8-10 minutes.


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