Like a house guest overstaying a planned visit, the summer-like weather intruded on autumn, my favorite time of year. Even with crates of apples emerging at the Farmer’s Market, it’s hard to feel harvest time if you’re shvitzing in the sun.
Then came mornings of crisp cool air to put the August heat to bed. I could reconsider apples from the various vendors. The selections were good, but I suspected that these were not necessarily from this year’s harvest but rather last year’s remaining crop in storage. I could be wrong but since we just stepped into October, there was plenty of time to indulge later.
As I headed for home, I felt a bit empty handed to satisfy my urge to bake. I couldn’t let go of the idea of making something with apples. I decided to forgo the fresh version, and use dried apples—not as the core ingredient but as a surprise counterbalance. If I made toffee cookies, the chewy moist bits of apple would square off against the toffee sweetness in the foreground. The result was Toffee Apple Cookies, ready for Halloween.
Toffee Apple Cookies
yield: 30-36 cookies
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1-1/2 cups oatmeal
1-1/2 cups (4-1/2 ounces) dried apples, diced
3/4 cup walnuts (3 ounces), toasted and chopped
1 cup toffee pieces (5-1/2 ounces)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl, set aside. In a separate medium bowl, combine oatmeal, dried apples, chopped walnuts and toffee pieces, set aside.
2. In an electric mixer, using a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one or twice during mixing. Add egg; mix on high speed to combine. Add vanilla extract; mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. On low speed, add flour mixture in additions until well combined. Add the oatmeal mixture slowly until combine. Do not over mix.
4. Divide dough in half; roll each piece into log about 1-3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in parchment paper and twist ends to seal and firmly compact dough into tight cylinder. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
5. Set oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350℉. Remove one log from refrigerator and cut into 3/4-inch thick pieces.Place dough, 2 -inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
1.Look for unsweetened/unsulphered dried apples if possible.
2. You can add an addition 1/4 cup of light brown sugar if like a sweeter cookie.