Few things say “Fall” more than caramel apples and apple pie, so as the self-proclaimed “Cookie Queen” naturally I had to make a Caramel Apple Crumble Cookie! I’m not joking when I say that I sit in bed at night and dream up cookie flavors and how to I am going to make these flavors a reality. These caramel apple crumble cookies are one of my midnight musings. I thought about them for months before I actually had the time to sit down and attempt to make them.
I've been dying to make a cookie inspired by apple pie but the question was how to do it? Everything I saw already out there on Pinterest were really just hand pies being labeled as cookies and that was not going to cut it. I really wanted to just dive into this flavor and give it all I had.
My favorite kind of apple pie is a caramel apple crumble. I used a classic cookie base that has extra brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon. I decided to forgo oatmeal in the base because I knew I wanted oats in the crumble topping.
Tart granny smith apples are used to contrast the sweet dough. The apples are tossed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove to give that extra spiciness associated with apple pie. They're then incorporated into the dough. I chose to use caramel bits for ease and convenience but also because they're delicious and I wanted the caramel to in distinct chunks throughout the cookies. The crumble is made and tops of the cookie dough in the oven, spreading and making these super soft and rich. I must've made a half dozen versions of these cookies before I was satisfied with this final recipe.
How to make the Crumble:
If you’ve ever made a crumble before then you may already know this. When making crumbles or streusels to top your baked goods it’s super important that you use COLD butter. A good crumble has that craggy, crispy, crunchy texture. If you we’re to just melt your bother and mix all the crumble ingredients together, you would get a very smooth dough, similar to a cookie dough, and you would not achieve the signature rugged crumble texture. So do yourself and your cookies a favor, use cold butter!
Tip: You don’t want your crumble to get too warm while you’re waiting for your cookie dough to chill, so go ahead an place it in the fridge or freezer while you wait for your cookie dough nests to freeze.
Assembling your Cookie Nests:
When you’re making these cookies you’ll need to shape your cookie dough into a little next to hold the crumble. Each cookie requires about 2 tablespoons of dough and then using your thumb or the back of a teaspoon make a crater for the crumble to fit in.
Before you add the crumble into your next, you’ll want to freeze your cookie dough nests for 1 hour. This ensures that the cookie and crumble don’t melt too much in the oven and turn into giant cookie puddles. You’ll then add in 1 tablespoon of your crumble and bake them for 12-14 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before eating! Then, EAT!
The final results:
A soft and chewy, rich brown sugar cookie, loaded with soft caramel bits, fresh apple, spices that pack a punch, and topped off with a crumble that just kind of melts into the top of the cookies, giving it rich buttery flavor.
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Caramel Apple Crumble Cookies
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 ¾ cup flour measured correctly
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 ½ cup granny smith apple peeled and finely diced
- 1 ¼ cup caramel bits
- ¼ cup butter cold (It has to be cold!)
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup oats
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- Peel and core apple, dice finely. Toss apple with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon ground clove, and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Set aside.
- Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, , baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in flour (make sure your flour is measured correctly)
- until just incorporated, do not over mix. Fold in apple and caramel bits.
- Take 2 tablespoons of dough and using your hands into a little nest. Freeze shaped dough for 30 minutes. If you don’t freeze dough, you’ll end up with puddles instead of cookies.
- While dough is chilling, make crumble. Cut cold butter into flour until you have a coarse crumble. Add in oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 1 tablespoon of crumble into dough nest. Bake 12-14 minutes on a greased baking sheet. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
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Originally posted November 30, 2018