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Salted Caramel Cookies

I have a few weaknesses. One of them is caramel. Caramel corn, caramel sauce, caramel candies, you get the picture. These cookies have been in development for several months. Creating a cookie that tastes like caramel is not easy. My first few attempts smelled like caramel, but tasted like flour. Finally, I think I got it. The key is replacing the sugar with ground up Werther's Original hard candies. This sugar substitute combined with canned dulce de leche, give just the right flavor.

Ingredients:
1 cup ground Werther's original candies (about 35 candies)
1 can dulce de leche caramel sauce
2 1/2 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick of melted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup of brown sugar

Begin by creaming the butter, ground candy and brown sugar until smooth and velvety. Add dulce de leche and beat for a few more minutes, until well combined. Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture until everything is combined. I do this at low speed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. scoop dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. I usually place 9 on a sheet. They will spread quite a bit. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven.
Roll Werther's soft caramels into a ball and place into the center of each cookie. Sprinkle with course salt, and return to the oven for 1 minute. Watch your time, or the caramel will sink to the bottom of the cookie. Just allow enough time to slightly melt. It will continue to melt after removed from oven. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Carefully remove, and place on a wire rack to cool.

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