Remember the Fresh Prince of Bel Air? I still know all the words to the theme song. Some might be embarrassed about that, but I wear it like a badge of pride. Remember the episode where they changed to a new Aunt Viv? I loved that they actually addressed the fact that she was new:
Now I’m feeling all nostalgic for the 90s and thinking I should’ve made some kind of retro dessert/snack/treat for this post instead. Side note – I can’t believe I just used the word “retro” in reference to my teen years 🙁 . Also, what exactly is a quintessentially 90s dessert? OK, I just Googled it, so in case you’re interested, here’s what I found/ was nostalgically reminded of (FYI – these treats do not include exclamation marks as part of their name, but I found myself continuously exclaiming “Oh my God! I totally forgot about those!”, so….exclamation marks. Also, apparently we were all super into chemical filled crap because almost no results pertaining to actual homemade recipes showed up….so really what I’m saying is, nothing’s changed 😉 )
Gushers! (remember gushers? Mmmm…candy and juice, together at last 😉 )
Dunkaroos! (I super loved dunkaroos, we most definitely did not get them in my house as a kid, but whenever friends had them, or I was at someone’s house and would have some, the concept to me was amazing. Dunking cookies in frosting? You mean I get to be in complete control of how much frosting goes on my cookie??!! This is dangerous in the hands of a child. I mean, I could just put ALL THE ICING ON THE FIRST COOKIE AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME!!!! Bwahahahahahaha!!!! *sigh* now I want Dunkaroos). Side note – in looking up a link for Dunkaroos to remind you all of what they are, I came across this amazing and hilarious Huffington Post article about them (essentially Canadians can sign up to Smuggle them across the border to “needy” Americans since they were discontinued in the States in 2012).
Melody Pops! (I’d totally forgotten about these ones too, but it’s candy AND a toy. The original Kinder Egg….except louder and more annoying to parents 😉 ).
JELL-O Pudding Pops! (Remember these? This was from back when Bill Cosby wasn’t disturbing and creepy, remember that? *sigh*. Anywho, I used to love these. Apparently they stopped making them because, although they were really popular and sold a lot, they were discontinued because “…. Since the company was not in the frozen food business, it cost more money than could be reasonably returned. Even with all those sales, the company found it hard to make any money on them.” Isn’t that sad? Clearly this one’s impossible to replicate at home. I mean, make pudding and stick it in a tube in your freezer? Who has that kind of high end culinary technology just lyin’ around their kitchen? 😉 ).
Ok, enough walking down memory lane. Although now that you’ve worked off those extra calories with all that nostalgia, you’re super ready to embrace fall and these deliciously decadent Caramel Pumpkin Apple Pie Cookies. I LOVE apple pie (well…just all pie really), so getting on the pumpkin spice bandwagon and turning this into the more portable cookie form just seemed like a no brainer.
These babies have all the flavours of fall and Thanksgiving wrapped up in one delicious bite. Spice infused thumbprint cookies, filled with a dollop of pumpkin pie, topped with a much larger “dollop” of apple pie, then drizzled with pumpkin spice infused salted caramel. I mean, add some mashed potatoes, tofurky and gravy to these, and you’ve got yourself a thanksgiving dinner in a single (albeit very large) bite. Note: I do NOT under any circumstances recommend eating these in such a manner. They are deliciously decadent all on their own and would be the perfect cap off to a Thanksgiving dinner when you already feel like you’ve eaten way too much, but you still just want a little something sweet. These definitely hit the “sweet spot” 😉 .
Just look at all that delicious ooze! I don’t think you could thumb your nose at these if you tried 😉 …c’mon, I dare you to resist 🙂 .
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (well…every Canadian, I realize it’s way too early for all you Americans out there who for some unbeknownst to me reason love having the stress of celebrating Thanksgiving five seconds before celebrating Christmas. Although maybe I should get on the band wagon and just celebrate Thanksgiving twice? Who’s with me? 😉 )
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Apple Pie Filling (or just use store bought):
- 2 cups diced apples (you want smaller cubes of apple than you would use for a pie)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, to your taste
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, to your taste
- 1/4 cup apple juice or cider
- ¼ cup cinnamon whisky (or just do ½ cup total of apple juice/cider)
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoons vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract
- 1 tablespoon caramel (see recipe below)
- ½ cup cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon bourbon/whisky (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cupcane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (yes, in addition to the above pumpkin pie spice)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 egg replacer
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Apple Pie Filling (skip this if using store bought):
- Add apples to a small sauce pan over medium heat and sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Sift together the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and add to apples.
- Stir until apples are completely coated.
- In a small bowl, combine together apple juice/cider and cinnamon whisky (if using) and microwave for a minute or two until it just starts to bubble.
- Add very hot juice/ cider to apple mixture and stir constantly until thickened.
- Remove from heat and and allow to cool while making cookies.
Pumpkin Pie Filling (Super Easy! 🙂 ):
- Combine together all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
- Heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula or wooden spoon (try not to overstir, just as much as is needed to avoid burning).
- Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter and stir until completely melted (about 2-3 minutes). FYI – Caramel will bubble when the butter is added
- Slowly add in canned coconut milk while stirring. Stir in the bourbon (if using) and pumpkin pie spice.
- Allow the mixture to boil for about 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
- Remove from heat and stir in salt. Allow to cool down before using.
- In a small bowl, stir together the 1/3 cup sugar with the ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and set aside.
- Whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl.
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the egg replacer and vanilla, and beat for an additional minute.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low until combined.
- Roll about a tablespoon of dough into balls and then roll generously in your pumpkin pie spice/ sugar mixture. Place dough balls onto a large parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Using your thumb or the end of a spatula, make an indent into each cookie.
- Chill the shaped cookies for a few hours (or even overnight as long as you cover them).
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a second baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Remove chilled and shaped cookies from the refrigerator and place half of them on your second baking sheet, spacing cookies a couple of inches apart.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes, remove from the oven and reindent slightly with the end of a spatula (or your thumb if you don’t care about burns 😉 ).
- Place about 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie filling in the base of each cookie, then top the rest of the cavity with the apple pie filling.
- Return cookies to the oven for an addition 12 minutes. Remove and drizzle with caramel, and return to the oven for another couple of minutes to really let the caramel ooze in.
- Remove cookies from the oven and sprinkle with a bit more of your sugar-pumpkin pie spice mixture if desired.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on the the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Caramel may take a bit to set completely, so don’t worry to much about that.