Michigan’s cookie is moist and full of apple flavor thanks to shredded apple, apple cider, and a cider and brown sugar glaze.
Thanksgiving baking and a couple of busy weekends postponed my baking these cookies, but luckily I still had the cider and apples around to make them this weekend. I had bought a bag of local Macouns to experiment with dehydrating shredded apples and diced apples to add to oatmeal and to holiday jar gifts (ah, the salvation of the thrifty gifter).
This song was stuck in my head the whole day that I made these.
The sole review on the source site, as of me writing this, mentioned texture issues from the excessive moisture of the shredded apples plus the cider, so I decided to use a clean tea towel to squeeze the juice out of the shreds like I did during my dehydrator experiments. I simply laid the towel down on my cutting board and shredded the apples into it (if you’re using a food processor, just dump the apple shreds onto it after).
Don’t waste that juice down the drain! Squeeze it into a glass for delicious fresh apple juice.
You can see why approximately half a cup of apple juice would sog things out. The fact that you then add half a cup of cider doesn’t help. So you could skip the squeezing and the cider if you want.
In school, we would dump the dry ingredients onto a piece of parchment paper to sort of funnel it into the mixing bowl, but Alton Brown mentioned using a paper plate in one of his Good Eats books, so I tried that. You have to do it in batches, though.
I folded the apples in by hand, as instructed.
I baked the first batch probably 14 minutes and they were still pretty soft. I would recommend 15-16 minutes.
We end up making sort of a cheater’s caramel sauce for the glaze. Brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream gives it a caramel-like flavor.
After the sugar is dissolved, you take it off the heat and add… More sugar, in the form of confectioner’s sugar. To thicken it, I presume.
Even after two cups of powdered sugar and letting it cool, it was still wicked thin. I refuse to believe the thick, pale glaze in the source photo used this recipe.
Look how much I had left over! Who thought you’d need a glaze recipe that makes this much? I could glaze a cake with this! And maybe I will…
Overall impressions: The cookies are delicious: sweet but not intensely so, plenty of apple flavor, soft and moist (sorry, moist-averse, it’s a frequent word in baking).
There are several reasons why these cookies may suffer from excess moisture:
1. Brown sugar: naturally moister than white because of the added molasses.
2. Shredded apples
3. Added liquid from apple cider
4. Glaze: applied while liquid, plus sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it sucks up moisture from the air. The more sugar in a recipe, the longer it stays moist. Plus this glaze is pretty runny.
Honestly I’d rather have made a legitimate caramel sauce (cooking sugar to amber and adding cream) that would at least set thicker.
So if you want a drier cookie, squeeze out the apples, ditch the cider, cook them longer, skip the glaze or use one that’s less liquid, or any combo of the above. Let me know how it goes.
Next time: I gotta get my hands on a cookie press because we’re doing classic Spritz cookies for Minnesota. Luckily it’s near Christmas, so it’s seasonal and I’m more likely to find a cookie press, even if a cheap one…