Caramel Apple Cookies: the decadent autumn cookies everyone will love

Total time: 55 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 15 people
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By Cookist

While everyone loves pumpkin pies and apple crumbles, why not shake things up this fall by making these irresistible caramel apple cookies? This fabulous dessert recipe is perfect for autumn and is a fun, festive alternative to making caramel apples. With their decadent frosting and tantalizing chopped pecan garnish, caramel apple cookies are delicious and eye-catching.

The cookies are ultra-soft and chewy with a lightly crispy outside – the best of both worlds. These easy caramel apple cookies are a wonderful treat to make for holiday parties or as a sweet treat for your friends and family.


Caramel Apple Cookies Ingredients

Make sure to use room-temperature ingredients to make your cookies.

Granny Smith apples are the go-to for baking, but any tart yet sweet apple works. Braeburn Jonagold, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp are all fantastic baking apples.

Lemon juice adds a pop of brightness and prevents the shredded apple from oxidizing and turning brown. B

rown sugar and frozen apple juice concentrate bring sweetness, while cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla add those wonderful fall flavors.

You'll also staple dry ingredients like flour, plus baking powder and baking soda to leaven the cookies and make them soft and chewy.

For the frosting, you'll need sugar, butter, and apple juice concentrate to make the caramel. Powdered sugar gives the mixture its frosting-like texture.

And to finish everything off, chopped pecans are a must!


How to Make Caramel Apple Cookies 

Ready to make these fabulous caramel apple cookies? Your first step is to mix your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Grab a second bowl and stir the apple with the lemon juice. In a third bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, then add half of the flour mixture. Gradually pour in the apple concentrate, then beat in the rest of the flour. Don't overmix your batter – just beat everything until just combined. Gently fold the shredded apples into the dough.

Scoop ½ cup of cookie dough onto parchment-lined baking trays. Bake the cookies at 350F for 11 to 12 minutes. They're ready to come out of the oven when they turn golden brown. Take out the trays and leave the cookies to cool for a few minutes. Place the cookies on racks to cool.

To make the frosting, place brown sugar, butter, apple juice concentrate, and salt into a pot. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture over medium until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pot off the heat. Mix in the powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Spread a thin layer over each cookie. Quickly garnish with chopped pecans, and enjoy!


Tips for Making Easy Caramel Apple Cookies

Don't overmix your cookie dough.

You can make gluten-free caramel apple cookies by using your favorite gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour.

There are some fun additions to add to your caramel apple cookies to jazz them up. Add oatmeal for extra chewiness or add a dollop of your favorite nut butter for a richer, creamier, nuttier flavor. Chocolate chips are amazing for an extra kiss of sweetness.

You can also use salted caramel instead of regular caramel to make mouthwatering salted caramel apple cookies.

How to Store Caramel Apple Cookies

Keep your caramel apple cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. They'll last up to one week when stored in the fridge.

for the cookies
All-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups
Baking powder
1 tsp
Baking soda
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
Ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp
Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp
granny smith apples, peeled, cored and shredded
1 cup
Lemon juice
1 tbsp
unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup
packed light brown sugar
1 cup
Medium egg
pure vanilla extract
1 tsp
apple juice concentrate, thawed but cold
1/2 cup
for the frosting
packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup
1/4 cup
apple juice concentrate
2 1/2 tbsp
1/8 tsp
Powdered sugar
2 cups
pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup


Preheat your oven to 350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.

In a second bowl, combine lemon juice and shredded apple.

In a third bowl, cream butter and sugar.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

Beat in half the dry ingredients. Slowly add in the apple concentrate, then add in the remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Fold in the shredded apples.

Scoop ½ cup of cookie dough onto prepared baking trays.

Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the trays from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 to 7 minutes on the trays, then transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

To make the frosting, place brown sugar, butter, apple juice concentrate, and salt into a pot. Heat over medium, whisking constantly to dissolve the sugar. Take the pot off the heat.

Add in powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.

Spread a thin layer over each cookie.

Quickly garnish with chopped pecans.

Let it rest for a few seconds.

Serve and enjoy!

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