Deep dish pizza is a pretty popular food in many parts of the country. Deep dish cookies? I'm thinking they'll catch on soon. Especially if they're filled with flecks of diced apple, caramel, and oh, is that a hint of bourbon? I think it is.
After a long search for recipes that call for bourbon (since I stole a bottle from my grandparents' house last month) I stumbled across these, and boy was I glad. Although if you prefer to bake prohibition-style, these are still a home run. Wait, when did I start using sports references?
These are definitely more effort than the scoop and drop cookie, but they're worlds away in flavor and taste. I will state up front that if you don't have the right tools for these - a mini muffin pan and a tart shaper - you should probably pick another recipe. But if you do - well set aside a few hours one Sunday and get to work.
They're not overwhelmingly bourbon-y, or apple-y or caramel-y, they're just the right combination of all three. They're best the first day, but if you have any leftovers, store them in the fridge and bring to room temperature before eating.
Also - please suggest more bourbon recipes! You don't want me to go drinking the whole thing, do you?
Tip of the Day: Cut this apple initially so that all the chunks can lie flat on the chopping board - it makes it much easier to get small, even pieces.
Recipe: (adapted from En Petit Chef)
Makes about 24 cookies
1 large or 2 small apples
2 tablespoons cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon bourbon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup butter or margarine, cubed and kept cold
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter*
1/2 cup heavy cream*
Peel and core the apple(s). Dice into small pieces, about 1/4". Mix the sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Add the apple pieces and place in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft, but still hold their shape. Turn off the heat and add the bourbon.
Return the pan to low heat. Mix the water and cornstarch together, then add to the skillet, and stir until slightly thickened. Turn off heat and let cool.
Place the flour, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Sprinkle the cubed butter on top, and pulse until evenly mixed. Add in the vanilla and milk and pulse until the dough comes together. Press balls of the dough in to the bottom of a greased mini muffin pan. Use the tart tamper to shape the dough up the sides of the pan. Flour the tamper if it is sticking to the dough.
Divide the apple mixture among the 24 cups - about 1/2 a tablespoon in each (you can top them up later if needed). Bake on 350 F for 25 minutes.
Carefully heat the sugar over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottom skillet. Stir very slowly and gently until the whole mixture is liquid and dark brown. Add in the butter and whisk until melted. Turn off the heat, count to five, then pour in the cream, whisking constantly until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes, then carefully spoon a teaspoon or so over the cookies. You will likely have spare caramel - find a use for it!
*Note: If substituting non-dairy ingredients such as margarine and non-dairy cream or soy milk, use 1/2 the stated amount as their water content is much higher.