I wasn’t much of a cookie girl before I met my husband, but I’m starting to feel like a convert. Once every other week or so Doug requests cookies, which means I get to cuddle up with my cookie and baking books and hunt for a new recipe to try. While Doug could eat these snickerdoodles every day of the week, I like variety, so I purchased Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Cookie Book back at Christmastime. However, this book shouldn’t be relegated to just the holidays. There are cookie recipes for every occasion—as well as for every sugary craving imaginable.
Flipping through the book I came across a beautiful picture of these Caramel-Frosted Brown Sugar Drops, and I knew I had to make them. And eat, oh, maybe two-thirds of the batch. These are by far my favorite cookie I’ve made in awhile. They’re soft with a hint of crunch from the pecans and boast a perfectly sweet creamy caramel frosting that’s hard not to eat out straight out of the pan.
Caramel-Frosted Brown Sugar Drops
This recipe comes from Nancy Baggett’s award-winning tome, The All-American Cookie Book. This recipe makes about 30 (2½-inch) cookies. Click here to download a printable PDF copy of this recipe.
2¾ cups all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Generous ¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped pecans (divided; optional)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1-2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted after measuring
1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease several baking sheets or spray with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until evenly incorporated. Lightly beat in half of the flour mixture. Add the sour cream and beat until well blended. Stir in the remaining flour mixture and a generous ¾ cup of the pecans, if using, until evenly incorporated.
- Using a heaping 1/8-cup measure or coffee scoop, drop the dough onto the baking sheets into evenly shaped mounds, spacing about 2½ inches apart. Using a grease hand, pat down the cookies until flattened on top.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 9 to 12 minutes, or until lightly tinged with brown at the edges and barely firm when pressed in the centers. Reverse the sheet halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully transfer the cookies to wire racks using a spatula. Let cool completely.
FOR THE FROSTING:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until it smells very fragrant and turns slightly golden, about 3 minutes; watch carefully. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in 2½ tablespoons of hot water and the corn syrup until the mixture is well blended and the sugar dissolves. Vigorously stir in the powdered sugar and the vanilla until well blended and completely smooth. Set the frosting aside, stirring occasionally, until it cools and stiffens just enough to spread, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Set the wire racks with the cookies over wax paper to catch drips. Using a small spatula or table knife, generously swirl the cookie tops with frosting. If pecans were added to the dough, sprinkle a few of the remaining ¼ cup pecans over the top of each cookie before the frosting sets. (If at any point the frosting seems too thick, stir in enough hot water to make it spreadable.) Let the cookies stand until the frosting sets, about 45 minutes.
- Store in a single layer or layered with wax paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.