I'm a big fan of cookies. I'm a big fan of apples, too. But more importantly...cookies. When I set out a couple of weeks ago to make some fallish cookies, it occurred to me that I didn't want to go on pumpkin overload this year (honestly, I have an obsessive personality and can go on overload anything if I'm given carte blanche...pumpkin especially). I mean, I definitely love pumpkin, but I also want to bring in a few more fall flavors into my baking this year.
But, y'all...I make these pumpkin cookies that I found over on Heather Bullard's blog years ago (although, I think she has removed the link, because I absolutely can't find it anywhere...sniff, sniff) and I really love not only the taste...but also the texture. They're a big fluffy cookie with a luscious frosting that kind of makes my heart skip a beat. And of course...they are all pumpkin-y inside. I wanted to find another fall cookie with that type of texture, but an entirely different flavor. And these Glazed Caramel Apple Cookies are all of that...and more! Check out the recipe below.
This is a bit of an ongoing story from last week's Pumpkin Pull Apart Rolls (click here for those)...but a while back at the home improvement store, I found myself reading this awesomesauce Fall Baking magazine while standing in the longest checkout line, ever. Those magazines are well-placed for people like me to gawk at them for just enough time that they end up going home with me (of course, they do). One of the recipes was for Caramel Apple Cookies. While I definitely deviated from the original recipe in the magazine (I'm from Texas, we put pecans in the cookie...not on it, y'all), the flavors are all still there. And they're very similar to the pumpkin cookies I talked about above...nice and fluffy!
I ended up making the cookies three times...because I wanted to get the taste just to my liking. The only problem with that is the icing...everyone who tried it loved a different one. I prefer the softer-cake-like icing that I whipped up for a second batch. My husband (and some of his coworkers) love the harder glaze-like one that the magazine recommended. So, I ended up including both of those recipes below for you. The glaze is definitely yummy...more of a praline-like consistency, if you ask me. But I was drawn to a softer frosting to make them more like the pumpkin cookies I adore so much.
Another change I made was the size of the cookies...the original recipe called for 1/4 cup of dough. Oh, holy, y'all...that's a big ol' cookie. I scaled back to a heaping tablespoon of dough, which still provides a very large cookie. I also refrigerate my dough so it firms up a bit and doesn't spread as much when baked. This helps keep that nice, puffy, air-like texture in the cookie.
Glazed Caramel Apple Cookies
adapted from BHG's Fall Baking magazine
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. apple pie spice (I like this one here, affiliate)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, shredded (I use a food processor to shred mine)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cream butter on medium speed with a mixer in a large bowl. Add brown sugar, baking soda, apple pie spice, and salt and continue to mix for two minutes, scraping bowl intermittently. Add in beaten egg and apple juice and beat until just combined. Beat in flour, but don't over-mix. Fold in apple and pecans.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches a part. Bake for 13-15 minutes, checking to make sure they're not over-baked.
Cool on cookie sheet and then transfer to wire racks after two minutes.
Frosting Option #1 (harder, praline-like glaze):
Combine 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons apple juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Gradually, stir in 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar. Immediately spoon over cookies. Work quickly as it hardens fast.
Frosting Option #2 (softer, cake-like frosting):
Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup sifted powdered sugar. Cool frosting slightly and add additional powdered sugar to bring frosting to the consistency you prefer. Spread over cooled cookies.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.
What is your favorite flavor to bake with in the fall?