Pumpkin Cider Caramel Stuffed Cookies

It’s Thanksgiving week! In my opinion, it is one of the best holidays because 1) all.the.food! and 2) there are no gift expectations. Amen to that, am I right? My menu is already planned and prepping has begun, at least for the things that can be done three days ahead of time (which isn’t much but still) so that come Thursday, there are less things to stress about and more time to enjoy the delectable meal.

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These cookies came about after a baking fail I had over the weekend. I didn’t even take a picture for proof but the cookies I baked, did not look anything like the cookies pictured in the original recipe. Don’t you hate when that happens?! According to my husband and a few friends, they tasted delicious but if you want to know something about me, it’s that presentation is key. I’m a perfectionist especially when it comes to baking so I knew I wanted to remedy my presentation fail.

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Enter these cookies. The perfect marriage of two separate recipes, combined to yield one pretty cookie and tasty to boot. The combination of pumpkin and caramel is such a natural thing. Sure, this combo has been done millions of times before (just Google it) but this is my rendition of it, and I’m quite pleased with the results. Also, if you’re pressed for time and can’t make the homemade caramels (although it’s definitely worth it!) store bought caramels will do in a pinch.

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Try baking these a few days before your Thanksgiving meal! They can be stored in a container and all you need to do is place them on a cute plate and watch them slowly disappear.

Pumpkin Cider Caramel Stuffed Cookies
Makes: 18 cookies 
Prep time: 30 min 
Bake time: 10 min
Cookies adapted from here, Caramels adapted from here

115 grams (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted and cooled
50 grams (1/4 cup) light brown sugar
100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
86 grams (6 Tbsp) pumpkin puree
190 grams (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg*
1/4 tsp ground ginger*
1/4 tsp ground cloves*
1/4 tsp ground allspice*
18 apple cider caramels, cut to 1/2 inch pieces

In a medium bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft and thick. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. Chilling is absolutely necessary or else your cookies will spread all over your baking pans into a giant mess. (Yes, this happened to me the first time.) 
Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Roll the dough into balls, about 2 Tablespoons of dough each. With your thumb, make a small indentation in the middle and press a caramel piece inside, wrapping the dough around it evenly and rolling back into a ball again. Because of the caramels (it’s buttery!), the cookies will slightly spread in the oven. I went ahead and put the stuffed cookies back inside the refrigerator for another 10 minutes (or the freezer for 5 minutes) to avoid too much spreading. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Keeping them in the oven for longer may dry them out. The cookies will look very soft and under-baked. If they have caramel oozing out, use a knife to press the caramel against the cookies and maintain a round shape. As the cookies cool, they will firm up just right.
Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes (I waited about 20, because of the caramels) on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack. The longer the cookies cool, the chewier they will be. Cookies stay soft, moist, and chewy stored at room temperature for up to 1 week. Good luck if they last that long. 😉 Also, since these are soft, try to not stack them when storing them so they don’t stick together. 
Freezing directions: Roll the chilled dough into balls and freeze in a large Ziploc bag for up to 2 months. Baked cookies may also be frozen up to 2 months.

*Note: you may use 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend, instead of these separate spices. Either way works just fine!

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Who wants to come over and take these dangerous cookies off my hands? Even in the freezer, they’re not safe.

2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cider Caramel Stuffed Cookies

  1. monica says:

    These look soooo good! My kids would love them! And yes, I'm w/ you: Thanksgiving is the best. I should be prepping as well, but somehow I am….hanging Christmas lights!? Ahhh, what is happening to my world? 🙂

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