Monday, December 5, 2022

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles

  I recently got together with my nephew, Tommy, for our yearly tradition of putting up his Christmas tree. It's something that we started many years ago when he asked for a little advice with his tree, and I was all to happy to help. This year, we were joined by my niece, Katie, and she brought a tin of FABULOUS Snickerdoodles. YUM! She told me how easy they are to make, and we discussed how much we liked the fact that the recipe uses butter instead of shortening as with other recipes. So she gave me the recipe. Thanx Katie Kate! It's called Grandma Ruth's Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies, and she got the recipe from Frankly, I have no idea who Grandma Ruth is, but she certainly has a fabulous cookie recipe!! And when I was invited to a friend's house for a little Christmas Hang, I immediately thought of these cookies, and figured they would be great for the party. But then I wondered what I could do to make them extra special. I remembered seeing a tiktok video where a guy used purchased sugar cookie dough in muffin tins, then added pie filling to the center and I thought YES, that's the answer! I just happened to have some apple pie filling and it seemed like all the planets aligned perfectly for this dessert to happen. 
 OMG... when I tell you that they are delicious, I mean they are DELICIOUS. The buttery cookie crust, the apples and the cinnamon.. it was like they were meant to be together!! Everyone at the party absolutely loved them, and I'm pretty sure the entire tray was gone by the end of the party. 
 Now, of course, if you want to just make them into regular Snickerdoodles, you certainly can, and I promise they'll make the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie tray. But if you happen to have a can of apple pie filling, I urge you to go the extra mile. You and your guests will be glad that you did! Promise!

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup softened butter
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

2 tbs sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Purchased or homemade apple pie filling
 Heat oven to 400ºF.
 Beat 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter, and eggs together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture until dough holds together. 
Form dough into 2-tablespoon-size balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls in greased muffin tins. 
Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. 
Using the bottom of a shot glass (or other similarly sized item), press a well into the center of each cookie. The dough will still be raw in the center, but the well will keep its shape. Fill each well with a tsp of canned apple pie filling. Place the muffin tins back into the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the cookie dough is set. Remove from oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the tins. You can put the tins in the fridge to speed this process. Use a fork or the pointy end of a knife to help you pop them out of the tin. 

To make the regular Snickerdoodles:

After you mix the filling as directed above, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease, form dough into 2-teaspoon-size balls, and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated 400º oven on the center rack for 7 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. 

You definitely want to cool them completely or chill them in the fridge because they'll be too soft when you take them out of the oven and you don't want them to break when you take them out of the muffin tins. 
When you open the can of pie filling, if the chunks of apple are quite large, just chop them up a bit so that the apple pieces will fit nicely into each cookie well. 
 I was originally going to drizzle a little glaze over them after cooling, but then decided that they're just perfect without any additional glaze. But if you'd like to guild the lily, just add a few splashes of water or apple juice to some icing sugar until it's the right drizzling consistency, then pour a little over the top of each Snickerdoodle. You could also do a drizzle of caramel sauce, but I think I prefer to let the cinnamon and apples be the stars of the show. 

Original cook's notes:
When removing cookies from the oven, they make look doughy still. By allowing them to continue to cook on the cookie sheet out of the oven prevents hard cookies. For storing cookies, place cooled cookies in a plastic container or plastic bag with a piece or two of bread to keep cookies soft.