Caramel Snickerdoodles

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Soft and chewy Caramel Snickerdoodles are the famous cinnamon sugar cookies you know and love, but with a melty caramel center.

Try some other popular cookie recipes like these chewy chocolate chip cookies, these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, or these oatmeal cookies next!

Image of Caramel Snickerdoodles stacked on top of each other with one broken in half showing the inside.

Ever since I added Rolos® to the center of these oatmeal caramel cookies, I’ve been anxious to put them in more cookies. There’s nothing like a caramel-oozing center in an already delicious cookie!

So when I made my famous snickerdoodles a few weeks ago for my boys, I decided to add a Rolo in the center. The boys have now informed me that from here on out, I can only make cookies with Rolos– ha! They’ll also tell you these are their absolute favorite cookie ever.

What’s the difference between a sugar cookie and Snickerdoodle?

There are two main differences between sugar cookies and Snickerdoodle cookies. First, Snickerdoodles have cream of tartar which gives them that signature tang to the flavor. Secondly, Snickerdoodles are rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture making them more cinnamon flavored. Sugar cookies rarely have cream of tartar and don’t contain cinnamon.

So you might be wondering…

Why are Snickerdoodles called Snickerdoodles?

The Joy of Cooking claims that Snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, but it’s also very possible that the name is simply a nonsense word without any particular meaning.

So while Snickerdoodles are a long-time crowd pleaser, just imagine what you’re folks will say when you introduce something even more amazing!

Caramel Snickerdoodles — here we come!

Process shots-- images of the dough being made, showing all the ingredients and them being mixed together.

How to make Caramel Snickerdoodles

The descriptions below correlate with the photo collages in this post.

  1. Combine the melted and cooled butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  2. Stir until completely smooth.
  3. Add in one full egg, one egg yolk (use the leftover egg white in this egg wrap recipe), and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir until ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Place dry ingredients in a separate bowl — the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Whisk together dry ingredients until combined.
  7. Add dry ingredients right on top of wet ingredients.
  8. Stir until a thick and soft dough forms and then cover the dough and chill it in the fridge for one hour.

Once the dough is sufficiently chilled, roll large balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons in size) and add an unwrapped Rolo caramel/chocolate candy to the center. Cover the Rolo with the dough and form a tallish ball of dough. Roll in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and then place the balls of dough on a sheet pan. Chill the dough once more for 10 minutes and then bake!

Image of the Rolos being added to the center of the dough balls and then the dough being rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked.

Caramel Snickerdoodles tips 

  • Correctly measure the flour. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop, you will pack in way too much flour (which will result in cake-like cookies and is not the texture we’re going for).
    • To properly measure your flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a butter knife to level the measuring cup at the top. (Video visual here)
  • Use room temperature eggs. This ensures the eggs disperse more evenly into the batter giving these Caramel Snickerdoodles a lighter texture (the eggs trap air).
    • Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, pull the eggs out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before use.

Overhead image of Caramel Snickerdoodle cookies with Rolos around them and milk.

More tips

  • Fully cover the Rolo. If the Rolo isn’t completely covered with dough, it will ooze out of the dough on to the sheet pan and burn.
  • Use a Silpat® liner. Not only do the cookies bake better, a Silpat liner also protects the pan in case a caramel does ooze out of the cookie.
  • Roll tall cookie dough balls. Roll the dough so it’s tall and skinny instead of in a perfect round ball. When the Caramel Snickerdoodles bake, you’ll get a perfect thick and chewy center with crisp edges. Using this technique, the bottom of the cookie cylinder bakes first, which will push out and become the crisp cookie’s edge. The top of that tall cookie dough cylinder then becomes the soft, less baked, chewy center. 

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Caramel Snickerdoodles

5 from 3 votes
Soft and chewy Caramel Snickerdoodles are the famous cinnamon sugar cookies you know and love, but with a melty caramel center.
Print Recipe

Caramel Snickerdoodles

5 from 3 votes
Soft and chewy Caramel Snickerdoodles are the famous cinnamon sugar cookies you know and love, but with a melty caramel center.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel snickerdoodles
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 34 minutes
Servings 16 large snickerdoodles
Calories 243kcal
Cost $4.23

Ingredients

  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup; 225g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup (135g) white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (120g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and 3/4 cup (337g) white all-purpose flour (See Note 1)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 16 unwrapped Rolo candies

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/4 cup (50g) white granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • MELT BUTTER: In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt the 1 cup butter. Let the butter stand at room temperature until cooled to room temperature. It is very important the butter isn't hot or it will melt the sugars and cause greasy cookies.
  • ADD SUGARS: Add the 2/3 cup white sugar and 2/3 cup brown sugar to the butter. Whisk together until smooth. Add in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (reserve the whites for a separate recipe or discard) and the vanilla extract. Whisk until just combined and smooth.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In another bowl, stir together the 2 and 3/4 cup flour, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Whisk together.
  • COMBINE: Add all of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix the dough. Cover tightly and place in the fridge for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • CINNAMON-SUGAR COATING: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl stir together the white sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon-sugar coating.
  • ADD ROLOS: Remove the dough and roll tall balls of dough about 2 tablespoons in size; If you have a kitchen scale, the balls of dough should be about 1.6 to 1.7 ounces (16 cookies total; they're BIG!). Fill the center of the dough with an unwrapped rolo and roll the balls of dough to completely cover the caramel. Then, generously coat the cookies with sugar by rolling them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • BAKE: Place dough balls on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pan-- only 6-8 cookies per sheet pan-- and chill in the fridge for 10 more minutes. Remove and bake in a fully preheated oven for 9-12 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid over-baking. I think slightly under-baked Snickerdoodle cookies are the BEST! (I bake for 10 minutes!)
  • COOL: Remove and let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing with a spatula to a cooling rack.
  • STORAGE: Cookies are best enjoyed within 2-3 days. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop you will pack in way too much flour (which will result in cake-like cookies that don't spread and is not the texture we're going for). To properly measure your flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a butter knife to level the measuring cup at the top. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 243kcal

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Nutrition facts in caramel snickerdoodles

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