My baby sister lives about 3 hours away, which seems like practically next door after eight years of living no less than 9 hours away from family. Periodically, the Godfather, A, and I drive out to meet her and her husband in Charlottesville to hang out, have lunch, and catch up. A few weekends ago, we drove out to meet them and share in the fun fall ritual of apple picking! And then I saw something which inspired me to come home and get to work on this apple recipe.
We ate breakfast before leaving for Charlottesville, but after two hours in the car I was ravenous and set on having an apple cider doughnut before we started picking. This particular orchard is very large and had an entire building lined with walk up windows devoted just to selling their food. There was a variety of the usual nondescript food items, some really really tasty doughnuts, and one more thing that caught my attention… caramel apple cookies. I hadn’t really thought about putting fresh apple in cookies, and I couldn’t tell if their cookies had fresh apple or dried, but I decided I was going to put fresh apple in a cookie, and I was going to use it as an excuse to buy toffee bits because I love toffee.
The result is this gloriously chewy cookie with these great layers of sweetness. The sugar blend adds a little complexity and then the toffee bits melt into the cookie just so for a candy-like chew, and the apple has a bit of a sweet bite… these cookies just scream FALL! At least they must have at the Godfather’s office because he assures me the double batch of toffee apple cookies I sent (from two of the test rounds) were gone well before lunch, and he didn’t announce to anyone that he brought them.
So before we get going with the holiday cookie craze, bake up a batch of these beauties and enjoy them with some apple cider while you admire the leaves!
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped into small cubes (about 1 cup total)
- 1 cup toffee bits (found in the baking aisle by the chocolate chips)
- Preheat the oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- Cream together the butter and sugars.
- Stir in the egg and vanilla extract, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Stir in the apple pieces and toffee bits.
- Using a medium cookie scoop (about 1.5 T), scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans midway through baking, until the cookies are lightly golden along the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan at least 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 4 days.