Spiced Apple Cut-Out Cookies
Summer has been pretty slow around here. No complaints though. This relaxing downtime is a nice change of pace from the hustle of holiday cookie-making.
The extra free time made it the perfect time to try new things and experiment with a few ideas I had tucked away. With back-to-school season just a few weeks away (Crazy, right?), I was thinking it would be fun to try a new cut-out cookie flavor to complement the start of the new school year. These spiced apple cut-out cookies seemed like just the thing.
In the fall, pumpkin spice-flavor always seems to dominate the season. I understand not everyone is so pro-pumpkin. Hopefully, this spiced apple cut-out cookie recipe is a nice, autumn-alternative if pumpkin isn't your thing.
The key to the spiced apple flavor in this recipe is the addition of powdered spiced apple cider. (You can find them a box of these packets in the grocery store next to the hot cocoa.)
Also, on a whim and because I had a jar in my fridge already, I added a few scoops of apple butter to the mix. This is totally optional, but I think it added a nice boost of apple flavor without it being overwhelming. (Jars of apple butter can be found near the jellies and peanut butter.)
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Spiced Apple Cut-Out Cookies
- 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark brown sugar is fine.)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 packets Alpine spiced apple cider mix
- 2 tbs apple butter (optional)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
In a mixer, cream together butter and both sugars. Mix until fluffy and well incorporated.
Add egg, vanilla extract, baking powder, apple cider packets, and apple butter. Mix until it is all well incorporated.
Add flour, a cupful at a time, to the mixture. After everything is well mixed, the dough should be non-greasy to the touch. If the dough is still sticky, add an extra quarter cup of flour.
Roll to 1/4 inch thickness between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. (Using my Joseph Joseph rolling pin is a life-saver because the guides take the guess work out of getting the correct thickness.) After rolling, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Once the dough is well chilled and hard to the touch, cut out shapes and place them on a parchment paper-lined, light-colored baking sheet. Chill the cutout shapes again before baking.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from the oven before the first indication of the edges turning brown. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Remove cookies from the baking sheet with a spatula and place on a cooling rack to cool before decorating.
This recipe makes about 2 dozen 3-inch spiced apple cut-out cookies. For use as decorated cookies, these cookies would pair nicely with traditional vanilla royal icing. However, for a more classic fall flavor, a caramel-flavored icing with the these spiced apple cookies would be pretty delicious.
I'm gearing up for back-to-school designs in the upcoming days. Stay tuned for a few fun ideas on decorating these spiced apple cut-out cookies as nice teacher gifts.