Our yearly supply of apple butter is on the shelf. It’s best to hold off picking the Cortland and Honeycrisp apples until September but inevitably there’s a day or two of 30 MPH gusty winds that knock a fair share of them to the ground. No worries, except for the lost apples – the deer are more than happy to clean them up for us – and one full five-gallon pail was enough for 14 pints of apple butter.
This cookie happens to be a favorite of my oldest son. During college he helped out here at the farm in summer, milking the goats and doing all kinds of odd jobs that we never seemed to get done. He got to sample all the bakery goodies when he brought in the milk and he loved these when they were still warm from the oven.
Cook down a few of your favorite fresh apples for this instead of relying on bland purchased applesauce. It takes just a few minutes to core three apples, toss them in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water or apple juice, and let them cook about 10 minutes, till soft. You can leave the peels on and remove them from the pan after cooking, or peel them first, but depending on ripeness and variety, the peels add some flavor and color to the sauce. Stir 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2-1 teaspoon of spice to the sauce before measuring out 1/2 cup for the cookie dough.
Since I had some unused chai mix from last week, I substituted that for the cinnamon and cloves. The chai mix recipe is included below.
– Joan, 25 September 2020
Applesauce raisin walnut cookies
- ¾ cup (170 grams) soft butter
- 1 cup (192 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup (128 grams) thick applesauce or apple butter
- 2¼ cups (292 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon*
- ¼ teaspoon cloves*
- 1 cup (160 grams) seedless raisins
- ½ cups (60 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted if possible
Beat butter and sugar together till blended. Add egg and beat till fluffy, then fold in applesauce. Stir together all of the dry ingredients and mix into the butter/sugar/egg/applesauce, just until all of the flour is incorporated. Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Form small balls (a #30 scoop is just right) and flatten them slightly. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets about 2″ apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
*Chai spice mix
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
Stir all together. 1-1½ teaspoons of this mix can be substituted for the cinnamon and cloves shown in the recipe above.