Desserts

Apple Cider Sugar Cookies

These apple cider sugar cookies get an extra burst of sweet apple and spicy cinnamon from the apple butter. Pillowy soft and topped with a caramel apple, making them the perfect Autumn treat to ring in the Fall season. Easy, fun, and no chilling or rolling the dough out needed!

We may have a few weeks before Fall officially arrives, but as soon as September first hits, it’s official at my house. I don’t care if it’s hotter than heck here in Southern California, either.

Candles are lit, the decorations are up, and the pantry is stocked! I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the season with these apple cider sugar cookies. These cute cut-out cookies are so simple to make, and quick too! no need to chill the dough or roll it out.

My shortcut method is – press the dough in the pan, bake it, and cut out the cookies! And the apple cider butter is my secret ingredient that intensifies the flavors of sweet tangy apples and warm spices.

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

Ingredients for apple cider sugar cookies

Flour ~ all-purpose flour; I have not tried this recipe with alternate flour. I imagine a gluten-free flour would work just fine.

Sugar ~ both brown and white sugar for added flavor and texture

Butter ~ for richness, flavor, and texture

Apple butter ~ apple butter can often be found at farmers’ markets, local markets, and Trader Joe’s this time of year.

Eggs ~ help bind the ingredients and give structure.

Cornstarch ~ creates a light and fluffy texture; arrowroot flour can be substituted.

Caramel sauce ~ I use Trader Joe’s jarred caramel sauce- it’s excellent. Use a good quality one; they tend to have better flavor.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

  • It’s adaptable. Use this dough as a base for any holiday. Try food coloring, flavorings, and different cutouts.
  • No need to chill the dough or roll it out.
  • Make the dough ahead. Or bake the cookies, freeze them, and decorate them later.
apple cider sugar cookie sitting on top of a cup of hot apple cider

Can I Make Apple Cider Sugar Cookies Ahead?

Yep! It’s one of my biggest time savers during the holidays. Most cookie doughs can be made ahead and frozen.

  • Once the dough is made, divide it in half (or in smaller amounts), wrap it in plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and then a ziplock storage bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • Thaw in fridge. The dough will be easier to handle when it almost reaches room temperature.

Pro Tip! Want to stay stress-free during the holidays? Plan what cookies you want to make, and do a batch-baking day. Pick a day to make all the dough up. Wrap it up, label it, and keep it in the freezer.

Cookie dough is relatively quick to make up; baking is time-consuming part, right? The dough is ready and waiting when you need a last-minute treat, cookie swap, or all those holiday parties!

Let’s Make Apple Cider Sugar Cookies

Here is an overview – Below, you will find the complete and printable instructions.

  1. Cream the sugar and softened butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and apple butter, and beat on high for about 1 minute.
  2. In another mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, spices, and cornstarch. Slowly add the flour mixture, in small additions, to the butter mixture until it is well combined.

There are two ways to cut out your cookies—no chilling is required.

Traditional Method 

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out your cookies, apply sprinkles ( if using), and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

Cookie sheet Method (Quicker) 

Spray a small sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Press the dough evenly on the sheet pan. TIP ~ Once the dough is spread over the pan, use a drinking glass or small roller to make it even and flat. 

Cover with sprinkles (if using), pressing them gently to adhere, and bake. Cool slightly in the pan, then use the cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Doing it this way will leave you with excess “scraps,” a perfect snacking treat! 

Close up up of a stack of apple cider sugar cookies
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Apple Cider Sugar Cookies


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Varies- depending on the size of the cookie cutter used

Description

These apple cider sugar cookies get an extra burst of sweet apple and spicy cinnamon from the apple butter. Pillowy soft and topped with a caramel apple, making them the perfect Autumn treat to ring in the Fall season. Easy, fun, and no chilling or rolling the dough out needed!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the cookies

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch. ( If using arrowroot, double the amount)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter ( 12 tablespoons), softened
  • 3 tablespoons apple butter (any favorite brand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the caramel glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon caramel sauce ( use a good quality jarred sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon half and half, or any nut milk.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the caramel apple cider glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon apple butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH nutmeg, powdered ginger, and cinnamon


Instructions

For the cookies – (sheet pan method, no rolling the dough) *See the notes below if you prefer to roll out the dough.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone sheet
  2. Cream the sugar and softened butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and apple cider butter, and beat on high for about 1 minute.
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture, in small additions, to the butter mixture until it is well combined. The dough should be soft- if it is sticky, add a small amount of flour (about a tablespoon)
  5. Spray a small sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Press the dough evenly on the sheet pan. TIP ~ Once the dough is spread over the pan, use a drinking glass or small roller to make it even and flat. 
  6. Cover with sprinkles (if using), pressing them gently to adhere. Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Cool slightly in the pan, then use the cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Doing it this way will leave you with excess “scraps,” a perfect snacking treat! 
  7. Drizzle the optional icings. Once the icing has firmed up, store the cookies in an air-tight container. Cookies with milk-based icing should be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.

Notes

Rolling out the dough method

* If the dough seems somewhat wet or doesn’t form a firm ball, the butter was too soft, the dough may need to be chilled for about 20-30 minutes. 

**turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out your cookies, apply sprinkles ( if using), and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Bake at 305 for 8-10 minutes.

Cool completely, and drizzle with caramel icing. Alternatively, you can store the cooled cookies in the fridge or freezer and decorate at a letter time.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star