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Cookie season wouldn't be complete without a batch of homemade apple cider crinkle cookies! The wonderfully soft cookies with notes of apple cider have the right amount of sweetness, making it hard to eat just one!
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What makes this recipe special
What do you do when you want cake and a cookie at the same time? Make a cookie that has a cake-like texture! That's what these apple cider crinkle cookies are for me, the best of both worlds. They're incredibly soft cookies with a bang of apple cider and the perfect sweetness. Just when I thought crinkle cookies couldn't get any better, I created this apple cider version and I can't get enough. Seriously, please someone take them away from me. My pants are begging you.
If you're still on the fence about whether or not you should make these apple cider crinkle cookies, I should tell you that there's also brown butter. And we all know that brown butter just makes everything better, right?
- Apple cider: Unlike apple juice which is filtered and pasteurized, apple cider is typically unfiltered and minimally processed. It tends to be crisp and slightly tart unlike apple juice which is often also sweeter.
- Brown sugar: A sweetener made from white sugar and molasses. It has a moist texture and a rich, caramel-like flavor, contributing to the cookie's soft texture.
- Cinnamon: Adds warmth and sweetness to the cookies.
- Nutmeg: A spice with a warm, slightly sweet flavor. You can substitute nutmeg with extra cinnamon or allspice if you're not a fan.
- Cardamom: A spice with a strong, aromatic flavor with hints of citrus and mint. You can omit it or substitute it with nutmeg if you prefer.
- Ginger: Has a pungent and slightly sweet flavor. Omit it or substitute it with allspice.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner's sugar, the finely ground sugar gives the cookies the signature crinkle look.
How to make apple cider crinkle cookies
Step 1: Reduce apple cider
Before making the batter, we first need to reduce apple cider. Boil 2 cups of apple cider until it's reduced to ¼ cup. The cider will thicken and become almost like a syrup. Reducing the liquid will concentrate all of the flavors making the apple cider flavor come through in the cookies.
You can also make the reduced apple cider several days in advance.
At the same time, make the brown butter. Melt ½ cup butter in a large saute pan and continue to simmer until it starts to brown and smell nutty. It helps to use a pan that's lighter in color so you can see the color changing. If your pan is black, it can be more difficult to tell when the butter is ready.
Chill the brown butter in the freezer until it starts to solidify. You want the consistency to be like softened butter, a little firm but not completely.
Step 2: Make cookie dough
Next, cream together the brown butter with brown sugar. I use the help of my handy Kitchen aid stand mixer to get the job done but you can also use a hand mixer as well. This creaming method is what's going to help give the apple cider crinkle cookies that soft cakelike texture.
Add the remaining wet ingredients including the eggs, reduced cider, and vanilla. Don't worry if the batter looks like it split; it will come together once you add the dry mixture.
Once the batter comes together, wrap it up and chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. It's a very soft dough that needs to be chilled until firm.
Step 3: Prepare cookies and bake
When the dough has firmed up, portion it into balls about 2 tablespoons big. Roll each portion into a ball and coat in granulated sugar, followed by powdered sugar. It's going to seem like a lot of powdered sugar but don't worry, the cookies won't be overly sweet.
Return the cookies to the fridge for about 10 minutes to chill again before baking them. If you bake the cookies right after rolling them, they will spread in the oven and the powdered sugar will get absorbed.
Bake the apple cider crinkle cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the sheet pan for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
You can enjoy these lovely seasonal cookies warm or at room temperature.
Not only do these crinkle cookies deliver on texture, but they also deliver on that apple cider flavor. Such a wonderful flavor with all the warm spices!
Frequently asked questions
Coating in granulated sugar provides a slight crunch and sweetness, while the powdered sugar creates the classic crinkle effect as the cookies bake.
Chilling the dough is essential for flavor development and preventing excessive spreading. It also contributes to the crinkle texture.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and golden brown. They will continue to set as they cool on the baking sheet.
You can chill the cookie dough for up to 48 hours or freeze it for up to 3 months. This allows for convenient, make-ahead baking.
For more apple cider ideas
Looking for more apple cider recipes? Try these:
Apple Cider Crinkle Cookies
- 2 cups apple cider (500 ml)
- ½ cup butter (113 grams)
- ¾ cup brown sugar (150 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (296 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (65 grams)
- Pour apple cider into a medium saucepot and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil the apple cider until it's reduced to ¼ cup. The cider should be thick like a syrup. Let cool completely.
- Melt ½ cup butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Continue to simmer the butter until it smells nutty and is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Chill the butter in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to solidify but is not completely firm. The butter should have the same consistency as softened butter.
- Combine flour with cinnamon, baking powder, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Cream together the brown butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one a time, mixing until well combined. Add the ¼ cup reduced apple cider and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, stirring just until combined. Wrap up the cookie dough and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until firm.
- Place ¼ cup granulated sugar in one bowl and ½ cup powdered sugar in another. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and portion out the dough into cookies, about 2 tablespoons each. Roll each portion into a ball and coat it in the granulated sugar. Then, coat each cookie ball in the powdered sugar, making sure to cover all sides. Place the cookie balls on the lined baking sheet, placing them 2 inches apart. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Enjoy the cookies slightly warm or at room temperature.