Thursday, November 1, 2012

Caramel Apple Cookies

The other day I almost had a bowl of cereal with a side of white wine. 

Ok, I realize you're looking at me like I'm nuts and the opening statement needs an explanation.
First off, I don't drink in the mornings. I don't really drink much at all, to be honest, just a very occasional glass of wine. A few days ago my shift at the hospital was absolutely craaaazzyyyy! It was fun in the sense that I had some pretty awesome and funny patients along with some rockstar coworkers, but crummy in the sense that I had 6 of them and was running around like an insane woman being chased by a zombie.... the stereotypical nurse's shift of no eating, drinking or bathroom breaks for 12+ hours was very much true yesterday. My husband Travis had to go fight a fire (he's a helicopter pilot, it's part of their job on occasion) and his day was so busy before that he finally ate his lunch around 5 pm before the fire started. Needless to say when we both got home after being gone from the house for 14 hours each we were too tired to eat a proper dinner.

So, I poured a bowl of Cheerios for myself and seriously contemplated having a glass of white wine on the side. Please, please- no judgment- it was just one of those days, ya know?. I think we should just be grateful I didn't accidentally pour the wine over the cereal instead of milk, mmmmmkkk?
I do, however, have something incredibly delicious and less crazy for you today. I have to send out some major thanks to my friend Konnie who gave me the recipe to these Caramel Apple cookies, which are so easy to make and honestly taste like little bites of apple pie heaven. Now that Halloween is over, we can get away from making delicious foods that infer to the ghoulishness of the holiday. It's FINALLY starting to cool off a little bit here in Okinawa- mind you it's still 70 degrees out, but it's not a blazing 90, so I'll consider that a win.

Everyone and their mama is making recipes with apple, butternut squash, and pumpkin lately, so forgive me if you see the Apple in this recipe and groan. These cookies really do taste a little bit like apple pie, but I think they'd be delicious throughout the rest of the year, too. My only frustration was that even though I followed this recipe to the letter, the caramel drizzle didn't harden like I thought it would, so packing these cookies to go made them all a sticky mess. I might not have been using the right caramels, but the individually wrapped squares was all my grocery store had.

The only thing I did differently was to use a disher to measure our evenly sized cookies, so I did not include how many this recipe makes. In my opinion, this made things a little less messy!
Caramel Apple Cookies
Recipe from Parents Magazine

2 stick of salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup graham-cracker crumbs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small apple, peeled, cored & finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1 cup vanilla caramels
3 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugars until fluffy. Then, add eggs & vanilla.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, crumbs, baking powder, salt & cinnamon. Add to butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in apple.

Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove and let cool on wire racks.

In a bowl, mix caramels and cream. Microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds or until nearly melted, stirring once. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies; serve when hardened.


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