3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (135g) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 soft caramels, cut in half
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1) Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
3) On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour* and up to 3 days.
4) Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
5) Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
6) Combine the topping ingredients. Set aside.
7) Scoop a scant 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough. Break in half. Make a thumbprint into the bottom of one half and press a caramel half inside, as shown above. Place the other cookie dough half on top and roll the dough between your hands to make a smooth ball. Make sure the caramels are completely wrapped inside. Roll into cinnamon-sugar topping and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies.
8) Bake the cookies in batches for 11-13 minutes, or until very lightly browned and crisp looking on the edges. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. I suggest freezing the cookie dough as a whole (for up to 3 months), then thawing overnight in the refrigerator before rolling/shaping. The caramels do not freeze very well.