Spiked Apple Cookies

It’s no secret that I love a touch of spirit in my baked goods.  These amazing cookies are no exception.

Applejack liqueur puts these over the top.  I love the consistency of these cookies and their amazing flavor.  Enjoy with some mulled cider or by the handful!

This recipe is courtesy of the incredible cookie book, Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter.

Makes about 4 dozen 2 1/4-inch cookies


1/2 c firmly packed dried apple slices
3 tbl Calvados or applejack liqueur
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground nutmeg
2/3 c (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1/2 c lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 c sour cream
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 c broken walnuts


1. Place the apple slices in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Drain well and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Toss the apples with the Calvados in a small, deep bowl and let macerate while preparing the cookie dough.  I also like doing this before and letting the liqueur really soaking in!

2. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°. Moderately butter the cookie sheets, or use parchment paper.

3. Strain together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, on medium-low speed, using paddle attachment, mix the butter until creamy and lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar, and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Blend in the egg, then the sour cream and vanilla.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until well combined. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the apples and walnuts.

6. Drop from the tip of a teaspoon, making walnut-size mounds of dough (about 1 1/4 inches), onto the cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Toward the end of baking time, rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Loosen with a thin metal spatula and place on wire racks set over wax paper.

7. Using the back of the spoon, apply 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Glaze while the cookies are still warm.

Storage: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks. These cookies may be frozen before glazing.

Vanilla Glaze
*makes enough for 4 dozen 2-inch cookies*


2 cups strained confectioner’s sugar, spooned in and leveled
2-3 tbsp hot milk or water, plus additional as needed
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch salt


Place the confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir with a small whisk or spoon until very smooth. The glaze should pour from a spoon in a steady stream. Use additional liquid sparingly. A little bit goes a long way.


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