Sometimes the best things are the simplest ones to make. That’s certainly the case with these applesauce cookies. Soft and substantial, redolent with the scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, textured with chewy dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts, they taste like Christmas in your mouth, yet they can be mixed up in minutes. No fussy cookie cutting or decorating here; just drop spoonfuls of the dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake them. They’ll make your whole house smell like the holidays.
To make applesauce cookies, you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup applesauce (Mine is dark in colour because I cook the apples with the skins on, purée them for the sauce, and then cook them down like apple butter, but regular applesauce works just fine too.)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla and beat until the ingredients are well combined. Mix in the applesauce. Your batter will look a little curdled. That’s okay. It’s just tiny bits of butter dispersed through the liquid.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until the spices are distributed evenly.
Pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture and beat until the batter is completely mixed and there are no dry bits. Stir in the nuts and dried cranberries.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough about 1 inch apart onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
Bake at 350ºF for 10 to 15 minutes. Start checking the cookies at 10 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the dough has set up and the bottoms are lightly browned. The cookies will be slightly soft to the touch.
Transfer the cookies to a sheet of brown paper to cool then store them in an airtight container.