Spiced Apple Cookies

I’ve been attempting to write 50,000 words of fiction for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for anyone who’s curious), while still applying for jobs and not neglecting this blog. I can’t help but bake, and so I wanted to make a cookie to take to one of the write-ins that happen this month. My friend Jen is one of the municipal liaisons for the St. Louis area and she likes apples, and so I knew she would love Spiced Apple Cookies.

Apples are another of those fruits which I keep around but sometimes forget to eat, so I was doubly excited to try this cookie. The recipe is from Savory Simple (she has other cool-looking recipes – lavender shortbread! make your own almond milk!). She uses weights and I did weigh my ingredients, but I wrote down the equivalent measurements to share with you.

Spiced Apple Cookies (from Savory Simple)

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons apple cider
2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups flour total (I ran out of all purpose flour, so I substituted in 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, to no ill effect)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (halved from an original 1 tsp)
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice OR these 4 spices:
3 teaspoons/1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2-3 apples, finely diced (I think I used Gala apples)

I used my stand mixer with paddle attachment to make the cookies. I creamed the shortening and butter together. My butter was not room temperature, and that might have been a problem with a hand mixer, but not with a stand mixer. Next, I added the sugars, and mixed until fluffy.

Separately, I sifted together the dry ingredients. (This is when I diced the apples. I didn’t want them to brown.) I added the eggs and egg yolk to the mixer, then added the vanilla and cider. I gradually added the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture with the mixer on low speed. I used a rubber spatula to incorporate most of the apples. Savory Simple suggests reserving some to top the cookie dough, but if I make them again I think I’ll just add them all to the dough.

I used two spoons to dish out the cookie dough onto baking sheets with Silpats, spacing cookies approximately two inches apart. I think I probably made them closer to tablespoon-fulls rather than heaping teaspoon-fulls. This yielded about 50 cookies for me.

The recipe said to chill the dough on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before baking, then bake 15 minutes at 350F. I was going to have several batches, so I baked one immediately and chilled the rest prior to baking.

The batch I baked immediately spread out more because the butter and shortening were not chilled, and the edges browned a little too much. The chilled cookies baked better.

Spiced Apple Cookies

These cookies were good. They were eaten at the write-in, and Jen was more than happy to keep some around. She said they made a great mid-morning snack. I liked them as well. They were sweet but not too incredibly sweet, and definitely spiced but not heavy. (I don’t like molasses, and so it’s nice to have a spiced cookie that isn’t Snickerdoodles and isn’t heavy with molasses.) They’re apple-y, and Alex mentioned that they reminded him of cider (which I told him was appropriate, since cider is an ingredient). The white whole wheat flour went well with the spices in the cookie.

I always forget that Silpats make cookies softer, so these were incredibly soft. I almost wish I had baked them another minute or two, or that I had made them a little smaller. Galas are not my favorite apples, and I wish I had Jonathans or even Granny Smiths to use in these for a better contrast between apple and cookie. Whenever I make these again, I will think about using different apples and mincing them as finely as I can without grating them – I didn’t get mine small enough. I would put all the apple in the cookies, rather than reserve some for the top. 1 1/3 cup of butter/margarine/shortening seems like a lot to me, and so I might try substituting in applesauce or even apple butter for at least 1/3 cup of that amount.

This is a great fall cookie. If you like apples and autumn spices, definitely give it a try.

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