It’s officially apple season, which is, according to me, the best time of year. Apple desserts are so complete. When I think of my favourite ones, I think – Tart, sweet, flakey, warm, comforting! Basically, they’re everything.
This recipe uses apple a little differently. The flavour and essence of them are baked into this soft luscious cookie and paired with everyone’s favourite frosting, aside from chocolate, classic cream cheese! The cookies are brushed with butter and bathed in a cinnamon-sugar mixture which is the best pairing but also offers a little textural and visual interest.
These are a little more involved than an average cookie recipe but after all these are so much more than a regular old cookie! You do need to reduce apple cider / juice for 30 mins but this will deliver an intensely apple flavour! I didn’t want my cookies to taste like any other spice cookie or carrot cake, I really wanted the apple to come through and I think this recipe achieves that.
I hope you try this recipe and love it!
Note: The most important tip I can offer with this recipe is do not overcook your cookies. Like brownies, you want them to be set and bounce back when you press down on them but that’s it. You don’t need to see brown edges. Some of mine were overcooked and they got a little dry.
Apple Cider Whoopie Pies
- Pastry brush
- Cookie sheet(s)
- Electric mixer
- Piping bag or reusable plastic bag with a hole cut at the tip
APPLE CIDER WHOOPIE PIES
- 2 cups apple cider reduced to 1/4 cup
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature 85g (1 stick of butter is 8 tbsp so add 6 to the cookie dough and reserve the other 2 for brushing over the cookies later)
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar light or dark packed
- 1/4 cup apple butter or applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp orange zest optional
CINNAMON SUGAR COATING
- 2 tablespoons Of the reserved butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE ICING
- 4 1/2 ounces cream cheese room temperature leave it at room temperature for at least an hour before making
- 3 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted plus more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Optional topping: Salted Caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium saucepan, bring the apple cider to a boil over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer until cider is reduced down to 1/4 cup.
- This will take about 30-35 minutes. Set aside to cool before using.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 6 tablespoons of the butter with the sugars, on medium speed until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla followed by the eggs.
- Add the apple cider followed by the apple butter or applesauce.
- Turn the mixer on low and mix in the flour until just combined.
- Turn the cookies out into mounds about 1 1/2 tablespoons each, placing them 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Rotate the pan halfway and bake 11-12 minutes or until cookies spring back when touched lightly with your fingertip. (Do not overcook)
- Once out of the oven, allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Brush the cookies with the reserved 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar or toss them in the cinnamon sugar.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on a rack before filling them with either 1 1/2 tablespoons of Bourbon Caramel Buttercream or Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing and a teaspoon of Bourbon Caramel (if using).
CREAM CHEESE ICING
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium speed for one minute until creamed and combined.
- Add the brown sugar and mix on medium for another minute.
- Mix in the vanilla then turn the mixer on low and gradually mix in the powdered sugar. The frosting should be somewhat thick.
- Pipe or spread the icing on one half of the whoopie pie. If using, add a little salted caramel and top with another cookie.
- Press down ever so gently to bring the frosting closer to the edge.
- Refrigerate whoopie pies 30 minutes before serving.