In New England, it always seems that fall is the fastest season. Just as soon as we begin to appreciate it (leaf peeping, pumpkin picking, pumpkin-coffee-drinking), it seems that all the sudden all the leaves are falling and winter is coming. Because of this, the last couple of years I have made it my mission to soak up every second of fall I can while it's here. Whether it be a pumpkin-shaped mug, an autumn candle, or as many flannels as I can physically wear, I know it's short-lived so I always like to fit as much fall in as I can.
Apple picking! Apples are one of the gems of autumn, and apple picking is one of the most fun activities. While I do love a caramel apple as much as the next guy, I think we can all agree they aren't always the ideal treat. So in the spirit of fall, these caramel apple cinnamon sugar cookie sandwiches embody it all. The apple vibe, the cinnamon flavor, and the classic caramel. Easy as pie and so fun and reminiscent of all the autumn memories.
We'll start by making the sugar cookie dough, which is just a variation of our Coconut Sugar Cookies recipe with a bit less sugar and a dash of cornstarch to make sure they keep their shaped once baked. We'll beat together the butter sugars, and vanilla, and then beat in each egg until combined.
Next it's as easy as combining the other ingredients (the basic sugar cookie dry ingredients, plus a bit of cinnamon!), whisking them up, and gradually adding them to the mixing bowl. With sugar cookies, we definitely don't want to over-mix them, but we also want to make sure they are equally mixed and that the dough isn't too sticky. Once combined, we'll scoop it out of the bowl with floured hands, divide it in half, tightly wrap each half in plastic wrap, and let them chill in the fridge for just 15 minutes to making the cookie cutting extra easy.
Once chilled, it's time to grab the apple cookie cutter, and lots of extra flour. For me, the true key to making shaped sugar cookies is flour on the counter, flour on the cookie cutter, flour on the rolling pin, flour on the spatula, and parchment paper. Aka, lots of flour, and parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Once the dough is rolled out, we'll cut out 18 or so apple-shaped cookies one way, and if the cookie cutter has a stem, flip that over to cut the 18 others. While it may seem unnecessary, this step ensures symmetrical sandwiches which will be sure to look extra cute.
Once the apple cookies have been cut, we'll pop them in the oven for 9-12 minutes until the edges are golden, depending on the thickness of your cookies. If your oven has certain spots that are hotter than others, it may be helpful to rotate the baking sheet partway through. Once all your cookies are golden, lay them out to cool while you grab the rest of the ingredients.
Now I do love a plain sugar cookie, but I think we can all agree a sugar dusted sugar cookie is superior. Add some sugar to a shallow bowl, some melted butter to another, and grab a pastry brush or a spoon. Brush each cookie with a bit of butter, and carefully dunk away into the granulated sugar. Not only do they turn out so pretty, but they also have the crystalized sugar bite that is extra delicious.
Now for the caramel! First of all, caramel screams fall. And while there may not be actual apples in this recipe, the caramel still pairs perfectly with the cutest apple shaped cookies. Our homemade caramel recipe is also so easy, only four ingredients, and so worth the extra step. We'll basically stir down sugar until it is melted, then add a bit of butter, heavy cream, and salt. So easy, and the perfect homemade fall recipe that will have your kitchen smelling like an autumn candle. This caramel is also the perfect consistency for these cookies- sticky enough to make the perfect sandwich and soft enough to ensure the perfect bite.
Now that the sugar-dusted apple cookies are done, and the caramel is warm, all that's left to do is make the sandwiches! The easiest way to do it for me was to grab one cookie, carefully lay it sugar-side down in my palm, and spoon on a tablespoon of caramel. Now, let me tell you, I know it's tempting to spread the caramel all the way, if not past, the edges, but hear me out when I say it spreads! So leave a little extra room, and then sprinkle on a bit of salt for the tried and true sweet and salty flavor. Honestly though, what pairs better with caramel than a pinch of salt.
Once you've added the caramel, grab a cookie of a similar size and carefully press it on top of the caramel, creating the cutest sandwich. Repeat until you have around 18 sandwiches, or until you've used up all your cookies.
In terms of fall festive desserts that are easy but also fun, these caramel apple cinnamon sugar cookie sandwiches are the best. Sugar cookies are always the best, and one of the most fun ways to add a festive twist is to grab a seasonal cookie cutter like an apple. If you like, you can also order other fall cookie cutter shapes like leaves or acorns and make the cutest autumn assortment.
While these caramel apple sandwiches are super satisfying for any fall dessert, they would also be perfect for a back to school treat, a Thanksgiving side, or a fall-themed dinner party recipe. Delicious, easy, and so cute, these adorable apple autumn bites are even easier than they look. Trust me, once you take one bite you'll be reaching to pick more of these little sugar-dusted apples.
This take on a caramel apple is a little sweet, a little salty, perfect for a fall dessert, and reminiscent of the best autumn activities. Grab a cider or a cup of tea and enjoy each sugary, soft, homemade, caramel bite.
Fall apple picking meets the caramel sweetness we all love in these seasonal cinnamon sugar cookie sandwiches.
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