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
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.
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.