Monday, October 13, 2008
Caramel Apple Cookies and Tea
When my mother, aunt and I went shopping on Saturday, my 9-year-old niece Cari joined us. Her older sister was at an all-day ball tournament, and her little sister was at the ballgames too, so Cari was nearby as I was perusing the teas and treats at the Homegoods store near Town Center. Cari pointed to some candy corn and said, "I LOVE candy corn!" I didn't know that, but I love candy corn too, and when I saw some S'MORES flavored candy corn, I had to get it for us to try. As we sat in the car waiting for mom to load up some new lamps, I told Cari of discovering some caramel apple flavored candy corn and learned we both like the flavor of caramel even better than chocolate. So even though I was sorry I didn't get to see my other two nieces on Saturday (or my sister, I should add!), it was fun to learn that Cari and I both like caramel and candy corn.
Next we went to a Ross store, and I was mighty tempted to buy a tin packed with Caramel Apple Cookie Mix with caramel icing. The problem with a mix, though, is that if you make the cookies and really like them, you can't simply go make them again because they're from a mix, not a recipe. So, I decided right then and there to invent my own recipe for Caramel Apple Cookies.
What would such a recipe require? Apples, of course, and dried ones seemed a better choice than fresh. As I shopped for groceries I was looking for dried apples along the baking aisle, and I had a "Eureka" moment when I discovered a package of caramel BITS. No more unwrapping all those teeny little plastic wrappers? This is brilliant! Basically, my recipe is a converted chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I very much like how these turned out all nice and chewy. And they are GREAT with a nice steaming cup of caramel tea. A perfect fall combination!
Caramel Apple Cookies
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried apple pieces, chopped in the food processor
1/2 cup Kraft caramel bits (save remaining bits for drizzling or dipping cookies)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl mix flour, soda and salt. Add apple pieces and caramel bits and combine well. In separate bowl, mix sugars and butter. Add egg, mixing just until blended. Add flour/apple/caramel mixture and combine well. Drop by teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Let cool completely on wire racks in order for the caramel to set. If desired, melt some of the remaining caramel bits and dunk edges of cookies. Yields 3 dozen cookies. (Candy corn garnish optional!)