Friday, August 19, 2011
Little Apple Pie Cookies
I’m really ready for fall to begin, and I’ve already started to plan my fall baking (and Christmas baking too, but you have to start early for that!). I’ve been trying to make fruit-based cookies this month and it just seemed a shame to not include an apple recipe just because it’s more suited for fall. So here they are: little apple pie cookies. Apples, cinnamon and caramel: great flavors that are good all year. I call them a cookie; you could call them a mini tart. Whatever.
One thing I’ve noticed in planning recipes using fruit is that most of the cookies are bar cookies. I didn’t want to do all bar cookies so I decided to make these mini cups. I’ve made a couple of other cookies in mini muffin pans and I really like them. Perfectly sized, easily transported, and they look fancy all on their own. I took some of these to a friend and her young sons, and I knew they would be perfect for kids.
The dough for these is as simple as you can get: just butter, cream cheese, and flour. My dough was quite sticky, even after refrigeration, so you may want to flour your fingertips when shaping the dough in the pan. I made my own caramel sauce, and only topped half of the cookies with the extra caramel. Both are good: the ones with more caramel are a little sweeter, but not over the top. I worried that these would be so sticky that I wouldn’t be able to get them out of the pan, but I had no problems. I had extra caramel sauce and some of the apple/caramel filling left over, which you could use in any number of applications. Enjoy!
Little Apple Pie Cookies
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
½ cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
2 apples, peeled and finely diced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Make the caramel: first, make sure that you have all the ingredients immediately on hand. In a large (2-3 quart) heavy saucepan, add the sugar. Heat the sugar on moderately high heat, stirring until melted. The melted sugar will be dark amber in color. Once the sugar is melted, add the butter and whisk until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble, keep stirring until incorporated. Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before pouring into a heat-proof bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. If you’ve made the caramel in advance, refrigerate and then bring it to room temperature before using. (This recipe makes more caramel than is needed for the cookies.)
Make the dough: in a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add ½ cup of flour and the salt, stirring to incorporate. Using the mixer or by hand, stir in the remaining ½ cup flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the cookies: combine the chopped apples, cinnamon, and ½ cup caramel sauce. Stir to combine. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and then each piece into 6 small pieces of dough. Put one piece of dough in each mini muffin cup and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the cup. Fill the cups about ¾ full with the apple mixture. Add an addition ½ teaspoon of caramel to the top of each cup.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the cups are golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely. Makes 24.
Recipe from Simply Sifted
Caramel Recipe from Simply Recipes