I've been sampling a bunch of new (to me) cookie recipes lately, looking for a great holiday cookie to make for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012 (stay tuned).
I decided these apple spice drop cookies didn't quite fit the bill as a holiday cookie, but that doesn't mean that they aren't excellent.
Regular readers know that, while I do quite a bit of baking and regularly share cookie and cake recipes, I prefer my sweets a little less on the sweet side.
I've always been this way. (My sister used to love sitting next to me at birthday parties because I only ate the cake part of my slice and gave the frosting to her.)
It's also how I can get away with eating cookies for breakfast. Booyah.
And honestly, these cookies are perfect with coffee or tea, either for breakfast or an afternoon snack. If you like hermit cookies or fruit breads, you will completely dig these cookies.
The secret ingredient (OK, not so secret now, I guess) is coffee. Yep, cold brewed coffee. Sounds weird, I know, but there's something about the coffee that brings out the flavor of the spices. (I'm sure there is food science to explain this but I don't know what it is. If you do, please enlighten all of us in the comments section.) Feel free to add a handful of walnuts to the batter before baking. I'm not a fan of nuts in my cookies, so I simply omitted them. And I'm sure that substituting different kinds of dried fruit, not just raisins, would be an interesting twist as well.
This is another vintage Shaker recipe that I adapted from The Best of Shaker Cooking. I love vintage recipes. I don't have a lot of handed-down family recipes, so vintage recipes are the next best thing. It warms my heart to know I'm making something that many other New England women have made before me in centuries past.
And that it still tastes just as good.
Apple Spice Drop Cookies (adapted from a Hancock Shaker Village recipe from The Best of Shaker Cooking)
2 cups peeled and diced apple (about 2-3)
1 cup cold coffee
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 cup raisins (I used a mixture of golden and regular)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan, cook the apple, coffee, sugar, butter, raisins and spices over low heat until the fruit is tender (about 8-9 minutes). Remove from the heat and cool. Once cooled, stir in the vanilla.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the fruit mixture and stir until combined. Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonful onto prepared baking sheets (you can put them fairly close together, as the cookies don't spread very much). Bake for 10-12 minutes.