Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Caramel Stuffed Cookies

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Gingerbread lattes are supposed to have a lovely dusting of cinnamon on them, correct? No? Am I imagining things? I feel like I am because I’ve gotten a Gingerbread latte three times now and not once has there been anything on top of my milk foam. I just don’t feel complete.

I know there’s supposed to be some kind of tasty, spicy topping on a Gingerbread latte; partially because my memory is pretty darn fantastic when it comes to coffee beverages and partially because I just Googled “does a Gingerbread latte come topped with cinnamon?”

Results indicate that it is actually a dusting of nutmeg on top. Whatever, close enough. I knew something had been missing from my drinks, but, what I don’t understand is why. I’ve never once had a barista forget the topping on a Pumpkin Spice latte. Never, ever. Which basically drives home the point that Pumpkin Spice is the best flavor around, and I’m not the only one playing favorites.

While I love the Gingerbread lattes, and look forward to their return with anticipation around Christmas time (along with the Caramel Brulee (SO GOOD!)), Pumpkin Spice is far nearer and dearer to my heart than any other. At least that’s what I thought.

One day I got the bright idea to combine two of my favorite drinks: a Caramel Macchiato and a Pumpkin Spice latte, a Pumpkin Macchiato, if you will.

The drink is equal parts pumpkin, caramel, creamy, coffee goodness. It is, if I may say, even better than a Pumpkin Spice latte. And certainly better than a Gingerbread Latte missing its nutmeg sprinkle.  Why it took me so long to combine caramel and pumpkin in a drink is beyond me. And why it took me even longer to figure out to stuff caramel into a pumpkin cookie is beyond beyond me.

These Pumpkin Oatmeal Caramel Stuffed Cookies are divine. They’re not too sweet, which makes the caramel center almost necessary. Cakey, light, and full of warmth, they’re the perfect treat for a fall afternoon.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Caramel Stuffed Cookies (makes about 32 cookies)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

¾ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 – 15oz. can of pumpkin puree

16 caramel squares (such as Kraft Classic Caramel Squares), cut in half

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add the egg and vanilla, mixing again until light and fluffy, about another 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix until combined.

With the mixer on low add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, mixing until not streaks of flower remain. Repeat two more times, mixing until everything is incorporated, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator 30 – 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Using a medium cookie scoop, spoon out dough onto prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Press half a caramel into the top of each cookie and pinch dough around it to completely cover the caramel.

Bake in preheated oven 12 – 15 minutes or until dough no longer looks wet and the edges are just beginning to brown.

Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for two days.

I’m a friggin’ genius. 

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