For the Cookies
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Caramel
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- Powdered sugar and coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- For the cookies, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter of medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and salt and beat until combined, light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until well incorporated, about 1 minutes.
- Add the flour and beat until combined. The dough will be soft and wet.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before baking. The butter needs time to rechill before it hits the oven.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop 1-inch balls onto the parchment paper, leaving about 2-inches between each dough ball. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie, creating a place for the caramel. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.
- If the center puffs up during baking, just re-press with the back of a spoon. Allow to cool on the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the pumpkin caramel, in a medium saucepan bring sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Just swirl the pan to stir.
- Boil gently, uncovered, until browned. Once browned to a medium amber color, about 5 minutes, remove front the heat.
- Immediately add heavy cream and butter and stir as it foams up.
- Stir in spice and pumpkin puree. Caramel might seem thin. That’s ok. It will thicken as it cools.
- Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and chill for 4 hours before assembling the cookies.
- Spoon the caramel in the center of each cookie.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and salt.