Cookies that taste like caramel apples?! These are packed with oats, and freeze dried apples to get that wonderful apple flavor and in the center a big puddle of chewy salted caramel. The only cookies I will insist you make this season.
Caramel Apple Cookies
Inspired by these amazing cookies we had at a local orchard, these cookies are .. dare I say.. better? Mine are smaller and you’ll sadly be having them at home rather than atop a gorgeous orchard mountain but mine are much chewier and have a big puddle of caramel in the center. That homemade touch, if you will.
To make these I built off my one yolk oatmeal cookies (nobody ever makes those as is, doubled is always necessary because they are gone in a flash) and incorporated freeze dried apples and swapped quick cooking oats for rolled oats. Once scooped, smush a chewy caramel in the center and shape the dough around it so it doesn’t seep out in the oven. These are good right out of the oven (don’t burn your tongue!), 10 minutes later or days later. They are SO CHEWY and full of flavor.
How to make Recipe for Caramel Apple Cookies, the quick guide
- Beat butter & sugar
- Beat in the yolks, soda and flavorings
- Fold in the oats, flour and apples.
- Portion the cookies and shape the balls of dough around a caramel.
Ingredients for Recipe for Caramel Apple Cookies
Butter: Should be at room temperature so it beats well with the sugar and absolutely don’t use salted butter here. Controlling the salt level is important!
Brown sugar: Light brown is what I used (sometimes dark brown can throw off the spread because of it’s higher molasses content but it could work).
Baking soda: Not to be confused with baking powder.
Vanilla: For flavor, don’t skip it.
Rolled Oats: Old Fashioned Rolled oats are flat disks, and are unlike quick cooking which has undergone more processing so you don’t see the whole ‘groat’ that has been flattened.
All purpose flour: Any protein level should be fine, I used KAF’s AP in mine.
Egg yolks: Large yolks from large eggs. If you use smaller egg yolks the texture will change.
Freeze dried apples: These will come in pouches near the nut isle of the grocery store. It doesn’t matter what kind of apples you use,
Caramels: Soft, chewy caramels. Avoid the very popular brand that makes these in square shape and opt for something a bit more rectangular and tastier.
Salt: adjust this based on whether or not your caramels are salted. Less if they are, more if they are not. Fine sea salt is my go to.
FAQ on Caramel Apple Cookies
Where can I get freeze-dried apples?
Almost any grocery store will have them; check near the nuts. These are the ones I used.
How do I chop the apples?
This is an important question: chop them pretty fine I’d say. Some of it will become ‘apple dust’ and some will be about as small as a black bean. All of it should go in the dough to flavor it and get the right texture.
What kind of caramels should I use?
Soft, chewy caramels. You can get them salted or unsalted. If yours are salted like mine, keep the salt level low as I have. If yours are not and you’d like a saltier taste, you can double the amount of salt in the recipe and add flaked sea salt on top. These are the ones I used (TJ’s sells the exact same ones in a transparent tub like this).
Can I use a different kind of oat?
I’d advise against it. Different oats absorb moisture so quick cooking versus rolled oats tend to behave differently and I can’t guarantee a good spread and texture. Definitely don’t use steel-cut!
How can I make the dough and store it to bake later?
Once shaped with the caramel, flash freeze the dough balls on a plate (about 10 minutes) then transfer them to a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer (they’ll last months). When it’s time to bake them, either let the dough come to room temperature or add a couple more minutes to bake time.
Caramel Apple Cookies
- ½ cup butter unsalted and softened (113g)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour 100g
- Freeze dried apples chopped (22g)
- Chewy sea salt caramels
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon if desired
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat together the butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks and beat for a few minutes. Add the salt, soda, vanilla and oats and beat to combine.
- Fold in the flour and freeze dried apples.
- Scoop onto a cookie sheet, about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie.
- Press a chewy caramel candy in the center (smush it if it’s long) and cup & turn the cookie dough between your hands so that it stands tall and mostly covers the caramel (leave some peeking out the top).
- Bake for 10 minutes.