December 22, 2011
A while back there was a delicious sounding apple cider cookie that was going around. I was going through a caramel phase (remember that time I doused pumpkin bread in caramel? Yea, around then.) and the cookie—also stuffed with caramel—caught my eye. Then I noticed that it was made with powdered apple cider. Though I’m sure the cookie is delicious, I wanted to develop a cider-flavored cookie using good, old fashioned apple cider right out of the jug.
Easier said than done.
Though I’ve developed some seriously legit baking skills, I’m a relative novice at developing recipes for baked goods. I’ve got the basics down, but am just learning how to successfully experiment with out-of-the-ordinary flavors and to-die-for textures. And, as it turns out, adding liquid to baked goods for flavor is way tricker than it sounds.
I tried making chewy cookies… that turned out cakey.
And making cakey cookies… that turned out hard.
I tried using fresh cider… a little and a lot.
I cooked the cider… maybe a syrupy concentrate would work.
Nothing was right… until these Spiced Cider Meltaways.
The best part? The recipe is barely adapted from Martha Stewart. Not even my own!
That’s okay, though. I learned through the process and, in the end, have an insanely good cookie (perfect for Santa!) made with nothing but whole ingredients.
Spiced like a hot mug of cider, covered in snowy powdered sugar—don’t miss these!
Spiced Cider Meltaways (can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
*Note: Though there is nothing in these cookies that cannot be shared with younger children, I recommend these starting at 12 months due to the high sugar content. No matter with whom you share these, be sure to serve little ones age appropriate portions. These cookies are small, but a little goes a long way!
I'm picky about holiday cookies. I don't love butter cookies. (Seriously, I just don't get them.) Jam filled bites don't feel all that special to me. (Unless we're talking about jam filled fried dough, aka jelly donuts, in which case I'll shut up.) I'm once again learning to love peppermint. (Let's just say that when I was 8-years-old, a stomach flu hit just a few hours after I ate an obscene number of peppermints.) I'm not a huge fan of chocolate. (You know, I can hear you boo'ing me even over the internet.) You get the picture. For me, holiday cookies should be simple and classic, spicy and fragrant, crispy and chewy. That's what Santa (ahem) likes. So when he visits my house, the big guy gets Molasses Spice Cookies or Spiced Cider Meltaways or maybe just perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. No ganache, no wreathes, no meringue, but Santa is happy. That doesn't mean that Santa doesn't like change. He (AHEM) does, so long as you keep things simple and classic, spicy and fragrant, crispy and chewy. So this year, when Santa comes to my house, he'll happily feast on a batch of these Nutmeg Butterscotch Cookies. (more after the jump)
A traditional take on my favorite vegan cookie, these Coconut Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies are good enough to please even the big guy.
Start your ovens—it's holiday cookie season!! I'm kicking off this year's cookie extravaganza by joining in the fun at this weekend's NYC Annual Cookie Swap hosted by the amazing folks at Bloggers without Borders and Cookies for Kids' Cancer along with the BBQ masters at Hill Country BBQ. Baking cookies during this time of year—finessing holiday flavors, flooding the house with good smells, cozying up to loved ones with warm, freshly baked treats—is soul satisfying all on its own. Mix in charity and your heart goes afloat. (Let's remind each other to do this more often, all year around, okay?) The cookies don't have to be spectacular—that's not what it's about—but it sure does help if they are, which is why I'm so excited about these Butterscotch Spice Cookies. Oh man. High on good feeling + these cookies = holiday crack. (more after the jump)
Roasted Apricot & Burrata Crostini Get the recipe