Apple Cinnamon Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

When tragedy strikes we feel the need to do something, anything, to make it better. Sometimes there are no actions that can be taken. All we can do is be there to comfort each other. The only thing that can make things better is time.

Comfort can come in many forms; kind words, a hug, or even a cookie (or two) with a tall glass of milk. These cookies were adapted from Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin cookies. I substituted unsweetened apple sauce for the pumpkin puree. Since apple sauce is much thinner than pumpkin puree, I strained the sauce with a coffee filter to get a thicker consistency. You could also try cooking the sauce down.

The cookies have a very cake like texture. The apple flavour came through very well, and was wonderfully complemented by the brown butter icing. One note on the icing, make sure to whip it well otherwise the butter will separate.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Makes approx. 48 cookies

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce, strained
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes with an electric mixer). Mix in the eggs, followed by the apple sauce, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Add the flour, mixing till well combined. The batter will be quite thin.
  4. Spoon the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making cookies approximately 1 inch rounds, spaced 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned and the tops spring back when pressed. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Brown Butter Icing

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Put the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the butter becomes golden brown and smells nutty. Pour the melted butter over the powdered sugar, making sure to scrape the brown butter bits in as well. Add the evaporated milk and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Use to ice cooled cookies.

Enjoy!

Maple Apple Pie

apple pie slice

I hope all my Canadian readers had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

For the first time in as long as I can remember we spent Thanksgiving in Montreal. There was a very good reason for that; my cousin Ramy got married. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so happy. Carla is wonderful and I am very pleased to call her family. It was a beautiful ceremony, followed by an incredible feast. There was poutine at the midnight sweet table!

Yet I still craved a Thanksgiving dinner. So on Sunday my mom made us a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins and I took care of dessert. I went the traditional; apple pie and pumpkin pie. I decided to throw a little twist into the apple pie by using maple sugar. I was hoping for a more pronounced maple flavour, but I don’t think I used enough to get the effect I wanted. Next time I think I’ll put half a cup of maple sugar, though I’ve written the recipe as I made it.

I usually use an all butter crust recipe, but this time I used half butter half shortening. It made a really nice flaky crust, and the bottom held up nicely to the moisture from the apples. Just a note about pie crusts in general, recipes will usually give a quantity of water to add, but depending on where your flour was made and the humidity in the air you may need more or less. In this case I almost doubled the amount of water I normally use. If as you stir with a fork the dough doesn’t come together, add a little more water, then a little more if necessary.

I only have one photo for this post. By the time the pie had cooled there was no light, so I worked some leftover slices the next morning. Unfortunately the sun was so strong that even with diffused light I was getting crazy shadows. Thankfully I got one good photo out !

Sour Cream Pastry

(from Canadian Living)

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup shortening, frozen
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  1. In a large bowl stir the flour and salt together. Using a box grater, grate the butter and shortening then add them to the flour. Toss the butter and shortening through the flour to cover it, then using your finger tips rub the butter into the flour until a few small pieces of butter/shortening are visible.
  2. Mix the water and sour cream together then pour onto the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until the dough comes together. Add more water if necessary. Using your hands bring the dough together and knead one of two times. Split the dough into 3 balls then flatten them into disks, cover individually with plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Maple Apple Pie
  • 4 cups apples peeled and cored (I used Cortland)
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/4 cup fine maple sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp four
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • sugar for sprinkling
  1. Toss the apples with the sugar, maple sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and flour. Set aside.
  2. Roll out one of the pastry disks till 1/4 inch thick and large enough to cover a 9 inch pie plate. Place the dough in the pie plate then fill with the apples. Dot the apples with the butter. Roll out the second disk and place on top the apples. Trim the edges then roll them in making sure to have a tight seal. Cut some slits into the upper crust, then place the pie in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450F. Whisk the egg yolk with a tablespoon of water, then brush the upper crust with the yolk. Sprinkle some sugar on the the crust (I used a course sugar to prevent burning).
  4. Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350F and continue baking for 60-65 minutes.
  5. Let the pie cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
Enjoy!

Magazine Monday – Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash


(Photo by my brother)

Michael Symon is my favourite Iron Chef. It’s not that I think his food is any better than the others, I supposed I’d have to taste them all to make that call, I just like his personality the best. I think it might be the giggle.

When I saw this recipe in Food and Wine in March I immediately added it to make “to make” list, not only did it sound delicious, it was also a  Michael Symon recipe. It sat on the to make list for a while, but I finally got around to making it this week. I replaced the vinaigrette with some lemon juice and olive oil to make it sugar-free challenge friendly, and I was missing a couple of ingredients so I just used the ones I had on hand for the stuffing. Oh, and I used acorn squash instead of delicata. Okay, maybe that’s a lot of changes but I think it’s still true to the spirit of the original recipe.

This is my Magazine Monday post from this week. Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice has been a little swamped lately (she was working on Sunday!) so I’m hosting this week. Here is what the other Magazine Monday-ers were up to:

Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, halved with the seeds scooped out
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 large Cortland Apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • crumbled feta to taste
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the insides of the squash with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet skin side down and roast for 45 minutes.
  2. While the squash is roasting, cook the quinoa. In a medium pot, boil 2 cups salted water. Add quinoa and cook for 10 minutes. Add raisins and cook until all the water has been absorbed.
  3. Mix cooked quinoa with the diced apple and pistachio. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the center of the cooked squash.
  5. Top with crumbled feta.

Enjoy!