The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family.
When I think of the Amish, I think of simple, “homey” cooking that makes the most of seasonal produce. Ohio is apple country and the Amish and English alike love their apples and all of the tasty treats to be made with them. Apple pie, apple kuchen, apple fritters and apple crisps are all wonderful desserts, but with apple season upon us l would like to offer a tasty, simple Amish-inspired apple cookie to spice up your snack-time.
Is it possible that there’s a cookie more delicious than chocolate chip? If my kids have anything to say about it, the answer is yes and the cookie of the moment is this apple cookie with raisins and walnuts. Chewy, cakey and loaded with warm spice from cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, this cookie is more than the sum of its parts. Sweet raisins, tart Granny Smith apple and crunchy walnuts make this cookie interesting, but, wait a minute! How about the sweet cinnamon-tinted icing on top that takes this cookie to the next level of snack-time heaven? The flavor and texture combination is my idea of the perfect nosh with afternoon coffee or tea.
Note: Heinen’s Organic spices add a terrific punch of spicy flavor to these cookies. If your spices have been opened and sitting in your spice cabinet for more than 12 months they are probably not as full-flavored as they should be. It might be time to buy some fresh!
I could go on about how great this cookie is, but I’d like to wax poetic about how much like autumn leaves, this recipe can change its colors. Don’t like raisins? Add dried cranberries instead. Don’t like nuts? Leave them out or substitute with pecans or pumpkin seeds. Don’t have cinnamon applesauce? Just use regular applesauce. Want more spice? Add 1/4 tsp. ground ginger with the other spices. Don’t want to make the icing? Don’t. These are mighty tasty without the icing as well.
Granny Smith apples will keep their shape and not go to mush in these cookies and I like their tang, but you could also use Gala, Pink Lady, or any other sweet-tart apple. It’s important to peel the apples and chop them pretty small so that they tenderize in the short baking time, so be sure to make the chunks smaller than 1/4-inch and your cookies will be perfect.
If you’d like to take these cookies beyond the simple Amish style, add caramel chips, white chocolate chips or toffee chips. Boom!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 26 cookies
For the Cookies
- 1 tsp. Heinen’s Organic Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Heinen’s Organic Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. Heinen’s Organic Ground Clove
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup Heinen’s Organic Cinnamon Applesauce or plain applesauce
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
For the Icing
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. apple juice
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Soak the raisins in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Drain.
- Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until completely mixed, scraping down the sides once or twice. Add the apple sauce and mix for 1 minute.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two portions. Stir in the apple, drained raisins and walnuts until mixed.
- Scoop or spoon the cookies onto the parchment-lined sheets, about 2-inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until set and bottoms are lightly browned.
- While the cookies are baking, make the frosting by beating the butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla on low speed until well mixed. Add the apple juice and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
- Remove cookies from the oven and cool completely on a rack. Ice with the frosting (or not) and enjoy.
Note: Cookies will keep for 3 or 4 days, refrigerated or frozen for up to 2 months.