Ch. 53: What’s more American than Apple Pie Cookies?

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A lot of what comes out of my kitchen is a result of what I have lying around. I made a pumpkin pie for a friend last week, and still had a disc of pie dough just sitting in the fridge. We’d also been given a whole bag of green apples, yet I couldn’t bring myself to make a whole apple pie because as good as it is, apple falls down on the list of favorite pies in the household. Still, I wanted to do something in that vein- just at a smaller size. I found a video off Preppy Kitchen, a Youtube channel and blog, with a recipe for Apple Pie Cookies. I’d originally dismissed the idea when I first saw them, because really, anyway you slice it (haha- pie pun), you’re making all the contents of a pie…just smaller. But seeing as though I’d already made the dough, I figured a few hours spent making these wouldn’t be a bad Saturday in lockdown. 

John, the creator of Preppy Kitchen, starts off by making his dough. By all means, feel free to follow his recipe as I’m sure it’s great. However, I have a go-to pie recipe that never fails me and always gets rave reviews. I’ll post that recipe below. With that out of the way, I got to work on the filling. I roughly chopped some green apples and placed them into a large saucepan. To that, I added in some granulated sugar, lemon juice, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg- all pretty common things you’d expect in an apple pie. I let that cook for several minutes until the apples softened and the once juicy mix got nice and thick. John said to strain the mix, but really, there wasn’t much liquid left over after being cooked. As a result, I skipped his step of thickening the leftover juices (as there were none) but be sure to do that if yours is still pretty wet. Next comes the caramel which is pretty much a  butterscotch. Brown sugar, butter, cream, vanilla and salt get added to a saucepot and cooked until thick. John’s a bit vague as to when to stop, so as a result my caramel hardened a bit once cool. Still, I pushed through and got to the assembly stage.

I rolled out the dough until about a quarter thickness and cut out six 3-4 inch circles, placing them onto a silicon lined baking sheet. Parchment works too, but I like the silicon because it means that caramel won’t stick. I then added the caramel, which I had to heat up to make it a little more manageable. Next came a scoop of the cooled apple filling which I gave a slight press down. I cut the rest of my dough into about half inch strips to create the lattice and meticulously started laying them on top of the cookies- three strips crossing each other. I was happy that we didn’t do the full woven-lattice pattern as they looked good even just sitting on top of each other. I took the same cookie cutter and used it to clean up the edges, giving me a perfect little round cookie. A brush of egg wash and sprinkling of sugar later, and they were ready to be baked for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

These cookies are one of the cutest things I’ve ever made- I’ve got to say. They look like little apple pies- and taste like them too. The crust is so flakey and buttery- definitely cementing its status as my go-to recipe. The filling is sweet with a nice apple and caramel flavor coming through. I was happy the crumbly-seized up caramel wasn’t an issue- with my cookies having those melted caramel bits at the edges. The flavor was perfect, and so my only real gripe about these is how much work they are. I was glad I had the dough on hand, because it meant I could speed through it with relative ease. Really, the assembly was my favorite part, as I like longer baking projects like these which yield some really pretty results. If you don’t want any of the fuss, you could certainly use a store-bought pie dough, caramel and apple filling- though I would attest to using apple pie filling out of a can because the homemade stuff is miles better. John even gives a “dumpling” option for a version of this with less prep work but all the same flavor. But really, the presentation of these is what makes them- so if you’re gonna do all the work, you might as well make the whole thing. The last comment would be that the recipe makes about 12 cookies- and that’s with having to re-roll the scraps to finish off the lattice. So keep that in mind when you make this- as I really can’t see how twelve of these is enough considering how good they are. 

Full Recipe | Method on Preppy Kitchen:

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