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.
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
- Whisk flour and baking soda.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let mixture stand for 3 minutes then whisk for another 30 seconds.
- Repeat step four 2 more times until mixture is thick and shiny.
- Stir in flour until combined. Stir in apples, roasted almonds and toffee bits combined.
- Use an ice cream scoop to form cookies. Place dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
- 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.