These cookies are a real dessert treat. A homemade caramel candy is nestled inside each cinnamon cookie and then baked, turning that centre into a gooey caramel sauce. Get the glass of cold milk ready!
Makes 12 large cookies.
For the caramels, grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Heat the milk, cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Add the granulated and brown sugars and whisk, bringing the mixture up to a full simmer. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to medium and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 248ºF (120ºC) on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the salt and vanilla. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and let this cool completely to set up (12 hours). Alternatively, you can use purchased soft caramel candies in place of the homemade.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and brown sugar together by hand, with electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and then beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt over the butter mixture and stir in. Mix until the flour is no longer visible – the dough won’t fully come together, but will hold together when pressed. Use a large ice cream scoop to scoop the dough. Flatten each piece of dough in your hand (it will not be sticky) and press a caramel piece into the centre and push the dough around it to cover it completely. Shape the dough into a ball by rolling between your palms and roll each cookie into cinnamon sugar to coat. Place the cookies onto the tray leaving 2-inch (5 cm) between them. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies brown just a little at the edges (don’t bake longer or the caramel may leak out of the centre).
Cool the cookies for 10 minutes on the tray before removing. The cookies can be enjoyed now, or cooled and reheated for 5 minutes in a 325ºF (160ºC) oven, or they can be assembled and then baked to order.