3 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
8 packets of Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix, NOT SUGAR FREE (there are 10 packets in each box, but that is a bit overwhelming)
1 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (12 oz) bag Caramel Bits (or 14 oz bag of regular Caramels, unwrapped and cut in half)
1 1/2 teaspoons whole milk or cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line at two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. If you use a substitute, keep in mind that the caramel may leak out and get very stuck.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, if you are so blessed to have one, sigh...) and, using a hand mixer, beat together drink mix powder, sugar, salt and butter until fluffy. (I always get a cloud of the drink mix at this point, which isn't a big deal, just letting you know). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula (or turn your stand mixer to low) incorporate your flour mixture into your butter batter. Stir until all traces of flour have disappeared. You should have a dough that is crumbly, but sticks together when you pinch it. If dough is fairly sticky and difficult to handle, place in the fridge for about 1/2 hour or so.
Spoon out a walnut sized amount of dough and flatten in your palm. Place 5 - 6 caramel bits (or half a caramel) in the middle. Fold the dough over the caramels to cover completely and roll into a ball. Place on prepared cookie sheets about 2" apart.
Bake in preheated oven for 12 - 14 minutes. Cookies will be slightly browned around the edges. (It is better to err on the under-cooked side with these). Carefully slide the parchment with the cookies onto cooling racks and allow the cookies to set up for about 5 - 10 minutes, then gently twist and pull each cookie off the parchment and onto the cooling rack. (If you waited too long and the cookie sticks to the parchment, place in the freezer for a few minutes and try again). If caramel has leaked out the bottom, turn the cookie upside down to finish cooling.
You should have about half of the bag of caramel remaining after all of the cookies. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the remaining caramels with milk. Stir occasionally until the caramels melt completely, taking care not to cook for too long. Place the cookies back on the parchment and drizzle them with the caramel. Let cool and enjoy!
*Recipe adapted from Scrambled Henfruit