Monday, November 7, 2011

Caramel Apple Cookies

I love finding different desserts and treats transformed into cookies.  Maybe one day I'll be as creative as the people who come up with these ideas, but until then, I'll just follow their lead.  These are very yummy.  An excellent alternative to the difficult to eat and always too big caramel apple, you get a little bit of caramel and apple in each bite.  It's a sweet cookie with a soft texture (from the apple) and I love the fine oatmeal addition to the dough.  The caramel, though messy, in conjunction with the ground oatmeal create an interesting flavor combo in the cookie as well.  They spread a lot on the pan when baking, so be careful not to put them too close together.

Now, before I fall off my soapbox, I'd like to remind you that there many more varieties of apples than just Granny Smith and McIntosh.  Granny Smith are great, but they aren't the only baking apple out there.  One of the great things about going to an orchard is learning about all the different kinds of apples available, how they are best used and the subtle differences in their taste and texture.  The recipe came from Katie Goodman via craftzine and she suggested using Granny Smith apples, which are a lovely option and yes are the traditional apple for a caramel apple on a stick.  However, when I was at the orchard, I came across some beautiful Empire apples which are also a hearty baking apple, a little less tart and full of flavor.  So I opted to use those in this recipe and I'm very pleased with the results.  Don't be afraid to supplement with something different--just make sure you have a sturdy baking apple, not something that will turn to mush when baked.

Caramel Apple Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces caramel baking bits
2 cups baking apples (like Granny Smith or Empire)

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating until combined and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Measure oatmeal into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Note: If you don't have a food processor, go ahead and just use the whole oatmeal.  You'll have a slightly different texture to your cookie, but it will still be delicious.

In a medium bowl, add oatmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine.  Set aside.

Peel and finely chop your apples. (I probably cut mine too small, but I've cut them larger in the past and they don't stick into the cookie.  I need to fine a happy medium.)

Change to the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, gradually add the flour/oatmeal mixture to the creamed mixture until combined.  Note: You could use a hand mixer, but I would recommend doing part hand mixer, part wooden spoon and elbow grease.

 Fold in caramel bits and apples until combined.

Refrigerate the dough for an hour.

Using a small cookies scoop, place balls of dough about 2 inches apart on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets.  Flatten cookies slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.

Remove from oven and cool on pans for a few minutes before moving to wire racks to complete cooling.

Note: This dough is best if you use it the same day you make it since the moisture in the apples started to leach into the dough and make it spread, resulting in a flatter cookie.  Alternatively, you could pre-portion the dough into balls and freeze until you want to bake.  Just drop the dough onto cookie sheets, put the sheets in the freezer until dough is solid and transfer to freezer bags or containers.  Add 2-3 extra minutes to the bake time and you'll be all set.  This is actually how I baked them and they turned out perfect.

Makes 8 dozen cookies.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

Printer Friendly Recipe

No comments:

Post a Comment