It's FALL! But wait, there's more! 😀 Not only is it Fall, it's Fall and I'm back in the Midwest! When we were living in Texas, we missed FOUR YEARS of Fall. No crisp weather. No color change. No kids jumping in leaves. No apple orchards!! There were a lot of things that I missed about Michigan while we were gone, but I think Fall tops the list. It's my favorite season, and I am downright giddy watching the trees start to change. So, break out the fall recipes! To start: these scrumptious Caramel Apple Cookies!
These Caramel Apple Cookies are buttery apple sugar cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche! The cookies are crisp and chewy with a bright apple flavor. Their pairing with the deep flavor and creamy texture of the dulce de leche is just out. Of. This. World!
These cookies pack a punch of flavor thanks to freeze-dried apples. You'll want to make sure that you're using freeze-dried apples and not just dried. Freeze-dried apples will be crunchy and allow you to grind them into a powder. If you can't find them in your local grocery store, you can find them [here]. After pulsing the apples into a powder and removing any large pieces that remained, I had about ¾ cup of apple powder.
I used a 2.5-inch round, fluted cutter for my cookies and lined my pans with silpats. I like using silpats because they can be used over and over again and because the cookies brown more slowly. If you're interested in getting yourself some, you can find them [here].
Just keep in mind that if you line your pans with parchment and/or make smaller cookies, they may brown up a little quicker than mine did. Conversely, if you make larger cookies, they may take an extra minute or two to bake up.
I called these "Caramel" Apple Cookies for ease of naming, but they're actually filled with (totally delectable) dulce de leche. <3 It is possible to make your own using sweetened-condensed milk if you like. But (*channeling my inner Alton Brown*)...that's another blog post.
I used store-bought dulce the leche in this recipe because it has a thicker consistency. When it's homemade it tends to be thinner, which isn't the best for sandwich cookies. If you can't find dulce de leche in your local grocery store, you can find it [here].
So, yay for Fall! These Caramel Apple Cookies have put me in a mood to make aaaall the Fall things. Can't wait to share them with you!
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Cookie recipe adapted from Semi Sweet Designs (link here).
Caramel Apple Cookies
Apple Sugar Cookies:
- 13.4 oz dulce de leche (see note)
- Grind the freeze-dried apples (see note) to a fine powder in the bowl of a food processor. Remove any larger pieces of apple that remain.
- In a medium bowl, combine the apple powder, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars. Beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add egg and mix to combine, scraping down the bowl again as needed.
- Add the apple/flour mixture gradually, mixing just until incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a disc about 1 inch thick, wrap each in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
- After chilling, working with half the dough at a time, roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thickness between two sheets of waxed paper. Transfer the rolled-out dough to a cookie sheet and refrigerate another 30 minutes.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpats (see note). Set aside.
- After chilling again, cut the dough out into desired shapes (I chose a 2.5-inch fluted round cutter). Place the cut-outs on the prepared cookie sheets, and return the refrigerator while the oven preheats to 375° F.
- After the final chilling, bake cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until just barely golden at the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cookies are completely cool, sandwich with dulce de leche (see note).Enjoy!