Caramel Apple Cookies

After a week filled with candy bark, I’m trading in the no-bake run for some oven time in a Caramel Apple dessert turned cookie. The base of this cookie is soft and chewy, with a crisp edge. To give it the caramel apple profile, you’ll find toffee bits and diced raw apples in between the crumb. Adding to that are roasted salted almonds chopped and folded in for a sweet and salty combo and for added crunch.

Caramel Apple Cookies Bakers Royale1

Caramel Apple Cookies

This started out as an apple pie cookie, but the strueusel proved to be too sweet for the cookie. I removed the streusel but kept everything else intact. In doing so, the cookie resembled a caramel apple more than a apple pie.

Which as it turns out worked out great for my family. Funny thing is I love apples, but I’m not a huge fan of apple pie unless it’s stacked with a nice crumble of streusel. Along with that I’m also not really a caramel apple fan. But as it turns out Matt doesn’t really care for apples period unless it’s a caramel apple.  Confused?

Well from mixing bowl to oven, I found a way to iron out all that apple confusion slash silliness in my family. Now I can serve baked apples in a way Matt can enjoy and I can have a caramel apple in a way I can enjoy. Lucky for me my little guy will take an apple any way, even dipped in ketchup. Yes, it’s as gross as it sounds, but he loves it..

So note to my son: Sorry, babe, I just couldn’t find away to work the ketchup into the recipe.

A few notes:

  • You can certainly use a cheese grater box to shred your apples instead of dicing them, but the first test run in which I did that, I found the apples disappeared into the cookie too much. They also ended up turning soft and sweet much like what you would find in an apple pie. And since I flipped the cookie from an apple pie to caramel apple cookie, I wanted to keep the firmer texture of a raw apple. Along with that I wanted to keep the acidity of a raw apple to balance out the sweetness.
  • Variation:  Use pears if apples are not your thing. For an even less sweet cookie, skip the toffee bits.
  • To keep cookies chewy store them loosely covered or the moisture from the apples will zap the chewiness out of them.
  • For the almonds I recommend Blue Diamonds Roasted Salted Almonds (easily found in the grocery store).  The salt gives the cookie that well balanced sweet and salty combo. You can use regular almonds, but the cookies won’t have quite the same flavor.

Caramel Apple Cookies

Makes 36 two inch cookies | Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cookie base adapted from Cook’s Illustrated


  • 1 ¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup diced apples, 4oz.
  • ¾ cup chopped salted roasted almonds
  • ½  cup toffee bits


  1. Whisk flour and baking soda.
  2. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat until melted about 2 minutes. Continue stirring for another 1-3 minutes until brown and there is a nutty aroma. Remove from heat. Pour heated butter through a sieve into a heat proof bowl. Stir in remaining butter until completely melted.
  3. Add  both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully combined. Add egg and egg yolk, whisk until mixture is smooth and no sugar lumps remains, about 30 seconds.
  4. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes then whisk for another 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat step four 2 more times until mixture is thick and shiny.
  6. Stir in flour until combined. Stir in apples, roasted almonds and toffee bits combined.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop to form cookies. Place dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake cookies one tray at a time, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking. Bake until cookies are golden brown and still puffy. Approximately 10-14 minutes.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Just last night I made something very similar! I diced up some apples, cut caramel squares into quarters, and added cinnamon chips… they are phenomenal!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — October 24th, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

      Liz-I love the addition of the cinnamon chips-so smart! Can’t wait to link your post once it is up.

  2. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I will have to try this really soon. I wanted the apple slices to be a bit bigger. I want a crunchier texture. I love apples and caramels too!

  3. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    The caramel apple cookies seems to be unique. Can I use honey instead of sugar in this recipe? The recipe is great and I would try it out.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — October 25th, 2011 @ 12:27 am

      I don’t see why you can’t use honey-just keep in mind that it may change the texture of the cookie more than the taste.

  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBecca says

    I love your cookies. You come up with the most inspiring ideas. I made your Cinnamon Roll Cookies and they turned out so good. The dough was as you said “sticky”, so ours didn’t turn out as nicely rolled as yours, but no one noticed. :) Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBrian @ A Thought For Food says

    You know, I have a love/hate relationship with caramel apples (mostly due to the stickiness)… but in cookie form I would no doubt love the flavors!

  6. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    these are so beautiful, and they look unbelievably good.

    and also, i’m with you on the streusel topping…for me, apple pie just doesn’t taste right without it!

    oh, and it has to be a ridiculously thick streusel topping, too. otherwise, what’s the point, right?

  7. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    chewy with a crisp edge is my favorite type of cookie! add caramel and apple, and you’ve completely won me over. 😀 amazing job, once again!

  8. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJason says

    Step 3 says to ‘add all 3 sugars’ but I only see 2 sugars in the infgredients list – what am I missing?
    Also, am I correct in assuming that step 4 stating to complete step 3 2 more times in only referring to the part about stirring and waiting 30 seconds and not to add additional ingredients (sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, etc)?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — October 25th, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

      Jason-Its just two sugars, sorry cut and paste from one of my previous post gone bad. Your assumption is correct its whisk and rest the for that needs to be repeated two more times (do not add more ingredients).

      Thanks for asking, that’s what happens when you post late at night: sloppiness. I’ve fixed the recipe to reflect our mini Q&A. :)

  9. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    you certainly created a delicious cookie, and I totally agree with the sweet and salty aspect of baked goods….what a wonderful flavor!
    These are going on my to bake list!

  10. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    These look amazing! I just found these through Chef Dennis on Pinterest and I am so very glad I did. Your family sounds like mine, ha! We all have so many likes and dislikes, on the rare occasion we all agree on something, it seems almost miraculous, but these…nobody can argue with such a delicious looking treat. Yummy, indeed.

  11. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Oh my word…those look dangerously delicious!! But since they have apples in them, I am assuming they fall in to the “Health” food category???? :)
    Seriously though, they look fab and I’m sure are just as delicious, with all those wonderful ingredients..

  12. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    These look delicious. I’ve never heard of Carmel Apple Cookies. Since I live in Brazil, many times it’s hard for me to find ingredients to be able to bake. However we have all of the ingredients in this recipe. Definitely going to try it out.
    All the best,

  13. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJessica says

    These are very good! Nice and soft but enough crisp to hold it together, and sweet and salty. The apples were delicious mine were a little older so they got more soft than chewy, but i like that! And it wasnt runny like i thought it would be from the juice in the apples. The only changes I made were using caramel squares diced up instead of toffee, no nuts, and using a little apple juice because my dough was extremely dry and not coming together. I topped these with a caramel frosting using the rest of the caramels and a recipe i found to help sweeten them up just a bit on the top- im not a huge sweet and salty fan so this balanced it out really well.

    Looking foward to taking these to my church cookie party tonight and seeing what everyone thinks!

  14. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonSabrina says

    Hi there!

    I just made these today but mine spread out a lot. Should I have refrigerated the dough? They still tasted wonderful though!

    Thank you for the recipe!