By Christy Milan
Taste of Fall Caramel Apple Cider Cookie
The fragrant aroma of apples filled the air. The juices from the apple streamed down into the bowl. This was how it all begins. Today is the day to welcome autumn and we are doing so by juicing the apples. Great recipes come from this humble beginning of juicing. Today’s apple delight is Caramel Apple Cider Cookies.
As you may have guessed, these cookies contain apple cider. Some versions of the recipe use apple cider in the cookie dough while others combine it with the glaze or icing for the cookie. Still other recipes combine apple cider in both the cookie and icing. Some basic ingredients include flour, sugar, oil or butter, spices and baking soda. Other ingredients that may be added to the dough are apple sauce, apple butter, nuts, dates and chopped or dried apples. This historical cookie has many variations and is a good cookie to explore the possibilities of flavor combinations.
In the late 1880’s, farmers would arrive at mills with wagon loads of ripe juicy apples. They would also bring large wooden barrels to haul the cider home after milling. The mill would usually receive a small portion of the apples in exchange for pressing the apples. Blending sweet varieties of apples such as Red and Golden delicious and Winter Banana with the acidic apple varieties such as Jonathan, Cortland and McIntosh resulted in a very flavorful cider. During the colonial period, most of the cider was not fresh or sweet. The apple juice would ferment due to lack of refrigeration. The fermentation resulted in hard cider- which is an alcoholic beverage.
Making hard cider was a way farmers could preserve a portion of their apple crop. American colonist drank mostly cider due to streams and shallow wells being polluted. Children would drink a non-alcoholic cider called cider-kin.
Today we have the option to juice our own apples or buy a pack of Apple cider powdered drink mix. Either one works but personally, I like the fresh apple taste and the traditions of making your own Apple Cider.
Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (7.4 oz) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (10 packets) (May substitute 1 cup of apple cider)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (14 ounce) bag of chewy caramels
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (you need this so that the caramel doesn’t stick to the bottom of your cookie sheet).
2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
3. With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder or 1 cup of Apple cider, until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
5. Add vanilla and mix well.
6. Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
7. Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut (about 2 tablespoons).
8. Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely.
9. Shape the dough into a ball, and place on parchment covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
10. Bake 11-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. They may not look quite done in the center but that is OK.
11. Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter.
12. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to cool upside down on the parchment or on a cookie rack. If they are not upside down while they cool they may drizzle caramel out the bottom.
13. Makes around 2-3 dozen cookies. Eat at room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave.
Adapted from www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/