Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Apple Spice Cookies

I have a lot of apples.

My father-in-law brought me an entire box full of Liberties and Spartans, all harvested from his backyard trees, and declared I should use what I could and bring the rest back to him when we pressed apple cider (see last week’s post). Well, my week turned busier than I anticipated and I hadn’t touched the apples by the time he wanted to press. So I emptied a drawer in my fridge, lined it with a bag, and piled in a reasonable amount of apples.

Now I have a drawer full of possibilities.

I made apple cake three times and finally have it perfected. You’ll see that recipe soon. Then I wondered how apple cookies would taste and the flour really started flying.

You see, these cookies were meant for the Food52 cookbook release party at Delancey in Seattle last night. (Which was excellent—filled with friendly home cooks eager to talk ratios and spices.)

I always do this: start off making a tried-and-true recipe for an event, then detour off into playful creativity. Sometimes the experiments don’t work and I go empty-handed. Fortunately, these emerged from the oven chewy, moist, and delicious.

Fresh apple is the secret to these cookies. It releases its stores of moisture into the cookies as they bake, locking in the soft chewy texture for days. They’re actually better the next day, after they’ve had time to absorb the spices. Not unlike apple cake, in fact; though easier to serve at a potluck!

Apple Spice Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

1 stick vegan or real butter
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g (1 cup) quick cooking gluten-free oats
60g (1/2 cup) brown rice or sorghum flour
60g (1/2 cup) sweet rice flour
15g (2 Tbls) tapioca starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 - 3/4 cup apple, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla until creamy texture forms. Add oats, flours, baking soda, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Fold in apple and currants until they’re uniformly distributed throughout the dough.

Spoon out onto parchment about 1 Tbls at a time, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. You can freeze the dough at this step and store the frozen cookie dough to be baked off later. Bake about 12-15 minutes, until cookies are browned and edges are just beginning to look dry. Cool at least 5 minutes before removing from tray.

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