Apple cider, one of my favorite things this time of year, takes me back to cider mill visits growing up. We would buy the freshly pressed cider and a never-big-enough-bag of donuts to go with it. The warm donuts would immediately create those familiar dark grease marks the moment they hit the brown paper bag.
Of course this was long before I avoided fried foods, and although I can’t remember the last time I actually had a donut, this time of year will forever mean cider and donuts to me.
And that’s where these Apple Cider Cookies come in. Reminiscent of the very same flavors, these tender softies are made with apple cider, applesauce, and apple butter, while parading the best spices of the season.
These are a delightful surprise in a lunchbox, or afternoon treat with a good cup of coffee. Baking them every fall has become a new vegan tradition.
The first few times I made these, I used the canola oil called for in the original recipe. Now, I avoid added oils, and because I prefer only whole grains, I bake them with the adaptations below. I honestly think they are equally good and maybe better this way, and you’ll never miss a thing.
APPLE CIDER COOKIES
1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons apple butter
1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
3 tablespoons applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
3 tablespoons apple cider (or apple juice)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with baking parchment.
In large bowl, stir together apple butter, apple cider, applesauce, and brown sugar. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Drop heaping tablespoon-sized portions of dough on prepared baking sheet. Flatten dough slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to cooling rack.
To make the glaze, in a small saucepan, heat apple cider on the stove until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon, and stir together until smooth and creamy. Carefully dip cookies (tops only) into icing, OR drizzle warm icing over cookies. Allow cookies to cool on parchment or cooling rack, until glaze is set.
(Adapted from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, by Kelly Peloza)