Oh hey.... looks like it's time for another round of the Secret Recipe Club! This month, I was assigned to try out a recipe from Cheese with Noodles, a blog by Anna from Alaska.
Unlike most months, it didn't take me very long to decide what to make, because it was basically love at first sight as soon as I spotted Anna's recipe for Applesauce Drop Cookies with Browned Butter Icing.
(I just can't say no to browned butter. It's a sickness, really.)
How I Made this Recipe my Own
Anna adapted these from a Betty Crocker recipe, and while she already made quite a few tweaks to the original, I couldn't resist making a few more changes of my own.
The version on Anna's blog had lots of cinnamon and clove and nutmeg, but I wanted something a little lighter and subtler for spring, so I omitted the cloves and trimmed down the cinnamon.
I also replaced the golden raisins in her version with dried cherries, because I don't particularly like raisins in my cookies, subbed butter for shortening (because, butter), and threw in some chopped walnuts for good measure.
And then, just for the heck of it, I used vanilla paste in the frosting to give it those lovely black speckles.
This one gets a very enthusiastic two thumbs up from me!
The result is a sweet treat that falls somewhere between a dense muffin and a cakey cookie, and that (more importantly) is perfectly designed for transporting browned butter icing into your mouth.
As for the icing, it should probably be classified as a controlled substance, because this stuff is seriously addictive.
In fact, the only thing stopping me from shoveling the entire bowl into my mouth with a spoon was the fact that I had several dozen fresh-baked cookies cooling on the counter, and I didn't have enough powdered sugar to make another batch of icing.
Well, that and the stomachache and weight gain that would have surely ensued
At least this way I get to pretend it was okay, because the icing is on top of a cookie made with healthy things like applesauce and dried fruit and nuts.
(And yes, a lot of brown sugar and butter, too. But that's irrelevant, because everyone knows that butter and sugar are cancelled out by applesauce. I have deemed it so.)
Even with my changes, these cookies still feel a little more appropriate for fall than for spring, but it's not like the weather outside feels all that appropriate for spring either. Seasonal, shmeasonal.
More Delicious Fall Desserts
Since these cookies got me into a fall mood, here are a few more seasonal desserts to help scratch that itch.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies
- Old-Fashioned Molasses Apple Crisp
- Brown Butter Pear Cake
- Sticky Pumpkin Spice Gingerbread Cake
- Clafoutis aux Prunes
These sweet treats have a texture that falls somewhere between a soft cookie and a dense muffin - they're quite good plain, but even better with a swirl of vanilla-scented browned butter icing.
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
Browned Butter Icing:
- 5 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract)
- 2 ½ cups icing sugar
Bake the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition, then add the applesauce and stir until smooth. Add the flour, raisins, salt and spices, and mix just until combined.
- Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing the cookies about 2" apart.
- Bake in preheated oven until set and lightly browned on the edges, about 9-12 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool off completely.
Make the Icing:
- While the cookies are cooling, prepare the icing.
- In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Continue cooking the butter until it's light brown and nutty-smelling. Immediately remove from the heat, and stir in the cream and vanilla extract.
- Whisk in the icing sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until the icing is thick but still spreadable. Spread onto the cooled cookies, and let set completely before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Canadian