Make these cookies, and your house will smell delicious for days.
This is an old recipe of mine that I’ve tweaked a little to up the spice and apple flavors. These guys are a little on the labor-intensive side, but the taste--and aroma--are well worth the work. In this version, I use a super-thick reduction of apple cider and mulling spices, ground-up graham crackers, and--of course--a crispy coating of turbinado sugar.
The key ingredient here is mulling spices. They impart a rich, aromatic, and decidedly autumnal flavor. I happened to have mulling spices on hand from when I wrote the “first edition” of this recipe last fall. If you don’t have mulling spices in your kitchen cabinet, or if you can’t find them at a reasonable price in the store, try combining your favorite fall spices--cinnamon, clove, allspice, cardamom, etc.--with some orange peel. (Note, though, that I haven't tried this recipe with ground-up mulling spices.) Or you could try using Mandarin Orange Spice tea bags--a whole bunch of them--as replacements for the mulling spices. (This is something I do with my Sweater Weather Cookies.)
Simmer the apple cider-mulling spice mixture until the 3 cups of liquid reduces down to 1/2 cup of liquid—a mere sixth of the original volume (if I did my math right). You won’t believe how much flavor this concentrated little bit of liquid of can hold.
Makes 3 dozen cookies. (To see this recipe in process, check out Picturing Mulled Apple Cider Cookies.)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups diced apples
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup finely ground graham crackers
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon clove
- Simmer 3 cups of apple cider with 1/4 cup of mulling spices until reduced to 1/2 cup of liquid (about 20-25 minutes). Strain the reduced liquid to remove the mulling spices. Set aside thickened liquid to cool.
- In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then add to the creamables. Mix together until smooth.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Refrigerate dough for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Shape dough into balls--about 2 tablespoons each.
- Roll each dough ball in turbinado or raw sugar.
- Place sugared dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.