Thursday, January 2, 2014

Glazed Apple Cider Cookies

 Happy New Year! Sorry for the absence over the last month or so - I had a crazy few weeks, with lots of holiday preparations, schoolwork, and (although they may kill me for being so cheesy) music with some pretty great people. The week before holiday vacation, I suddenly realized that I hadn't been baking nearly enough holiday sweets, and I had about 20 people on my gift list needing some serious cookie love. Let's just say there were quite a few late nights of cookie baking and toffee making (that was totally not supposed to rhyme, but let's move on).
 I made quite an assortment of cookies, mixing it up with some old favorites (these are always super popular) and a bunch of new ones. I tried this recipe on a whim - it seemed like a sugar cookie with some reduced apple cider thrown in, so I figured why not?  They're also super simple to put together; a bunch of my teachers got cookie boxes with chocolate fudge cookies, gingerbread stars, and graham cracker toffee, and I threw these in at the last minute.
The result was shockingly delicious. The cider adds a burst of flavor and a tart edge, and the texture is perfectly tender. The glaze, which is simply reduced cider and confectioner's sugar, is a great addition and adds a totally bakery-style touch. So save this seasonal treat for next time, or take a minute to treat yourself in the new year.
Glazed Apple Cider Cookies
(slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine)

1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
Coarse gold sugar, for decorating

Bring the apple cider and cinnamon stick to a simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 12 minutes; set aside to cool. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Whisk the flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and half of the cider mixture and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Form the dough into 3/4-inch balls and arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until golden brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar and the remaining cider mixture in a small bowl until smooth. Spread the glaze on the cookies and top with the coarse sugar. Let set until firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.


IamMabelle said...

Hello, I am sure my husband will love this cookies

Sophia said...

I hope so! Please let me know how they come out :)