Caramel Apple Cookies

caramelapplecookiesShanah tovah, friends! Tonight at sundown, Rosh Hashannah begins, and we celebrate the Jewish New Year. We don’t have big plans here in the Kozusko-Marcus interfaith household, but naturally, all holidays must be marked with baked goods.

These caramel apple cookies are a great choice for fall, and for Rosh Hashannah, when one gives blessings for a sweet new year. I found the original recipe at Cooking Classy and adapted it slightly, altering the amount of grated apple in the cookies and adding several more teaspoons of apple juice concentrate to the frosting in order to make it spreadable. The frosting sets up very, very quickly – almost immediately – and the additional concentrate is absolutely necessary unless you’re going for something like caramel apple fudge (which would be delicious, but not really useful as frosting).

Tonight, whether you celebrate Rosh Hashannah or not, perhaps you’ll reflect on the coming year and what you hope to accomplish…I know I will, and that many recipes will be involved!

Ingredients

For the apple cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • scant* 1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed but cold

*Note: “scant” = less 1 tablespoon

For the caramel apple frosting

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate, plus about 3-4 teaspoons more for thinning (see below)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.

Place grated apple and lemon juice in a small bowl and toss to combine; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well to combine.

Add about half of the flour mixture and beat until just combined; with the mixer running on low, slowly pour in apple juice concentrate. Add remaining flour and beat until combined. Stir in grated apple.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto prepared sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, until cookies are set. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting: in a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and 2 1/2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar melts.

Add powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and scraping the pan well. Continue adding powdered sugar, alternating with 1 teaspoon of concentrate at a time; I used about 4 additional teaspoons of concentrate to reach a spreadable consistency.

Very quickly spread frosting on cookies and immediately top with pecans; it helps if you have an assistant to sprinkle on the pecans as you continue frosting.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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