Soft, chewy, cinnamon spiced Apple Pie Cookies are filled with an easy homemade apple pie filling and topped with a thick drizzle of decadent caramel.
Perfect for back to school, Thanksgiving, or any time you have a craving for apple pie, these cookies are so fun to make, and even more fun to eat!
As soon as the summer heat starts to cool down, I’m getting ready for Fall.
Instead of baking a whole pie, I decided to take all of the best parts of a cinnamon spiced apple pie and turn them into a soft, chewy, delicious cookie, filled with sweet apple pie filling and topped with a generous caramel drizzle.
These cozy Apple Pie Cookies are like the end of Thanksgiving dinner in cookie form, and you are going to love them so much!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Apple Pie Cookies are So Cute! Each apple thumbprint cookie looks like a mini apple pie, and everyone can have their own to enjoy.
- Wonderful Fall Flavors. Apple Pie is one of the best parts of Fall (along with everything pumpkin, of course), and with this recipe, you can enjoy a little bit of Autumn, in cookie form, whenever you like.
- Soft, Chewy Cookies. The base for this cookie recipe is a soft, gently spiced, buttery sugar cookie. They are soft to bite into, but not cakey.
Key Ingredients in Apple Pie Cookies
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Apples: You only need two or three apples to make the filling for apple pie cookies. Here I’m using McIntosh apples, but you can use any flavorful baking apple. Peel and cut the apples into small pieces before cooking them.
- Corn Starch: Corn starch cookies with diced apples and sugar, and will thicken the juices, making an apple filling that won’t run out of our pie cookies.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar goes into both the filling and the cookies to add a warm, rich flavor.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Just like a homemade apple pie, these cookies are perfectly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Butter and Egg: When mixing up cookie dough, be sure to start with room-temperature softened butter and room-temperature eggs. This will ensure that your cookie dough is perfectly smooth and well-mixed.
- Caramels: Soft caramels are the main ingredient for the creamy caramel topping for apple pie cookies. I’m using Wherther’s caramels, but Kraft caramels also work well. Be sure to unwrap them ahead of time.
How To Make Apple Pie Cookies
- Make the Apple Pie Filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened and the apples are soft; allow to cool before using
- Add Water: If the apple filling gets too thick before the apples soften, add about a teaspoon of water at a time to thin out the sauce. Continue cooking until the apples are tender.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: To start the cookie dough, preheat the oven to 350°F/180C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients: Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. I used my stand mixer, but you could also use a hand mixer for this part. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix again until well combined.
- Combine: Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two stages, mixing well after each.
- Scoop: Use a medium cookie scoop to make dough balls that are 2 tablespoons each. Gently roll the balls in granulated sugar and then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between them.
- Bake: Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Remove them from the oven, but leave the oven on! They will be baked further after filling.
- Add the Apple Filling: Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to make an indentation in each par-baked cookie. Fill with 2-3 teaspoons of apple filling, then return the cookies to the oven and bake for an additional three minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges.
Allow the cookies to cool completely before adding a delicious caramel drizzle to them.
To Make a Caramel Drizzle for Cookies
- Add unwrapped caramel candies and heavy cream to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until the caramels have melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Allow the caramel to cool for a few minutes, then drizzle it over the cooled apple pie cookies using a disposable piping bag or a spoon.
- Wait for the caramel to cool and set before storing or eating these amazing apple cookies.
- Pay Attention to the Recipe: In a cookie recipe like this one that has many steps and elements, it’s important to read through the recipe and steps before you get started. It’s not difficult to make apple cookies, but taking a minute to prepare and understand the process beforehand will make everything much easier.
- Choose the Best Apples: Mcintosh apples are the national apple of Canada and are also quite popular in the US and Eastern Europe. McIntosh is an all-purpose apple that cooks quickly and has a wonderfully balanced sweet/tart flavor. You can also make this recipe with similar apples, such as Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or Braeburn.
- Start Ahead: You can make the apple filling up to three days ahead of time if you’d like. Simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you need it.
- To Drizzle Caramel Without a Mess: Place the cookies on a wire rack, and put a piece of parchment paper underneath it. You can even reuse the paper from the baking sheet! Now, when you drizzle the caramel, any excess will drip down onto the paper, which you can just throw away.
How to Store Apple Pie Cookies
The apple filling will soften the cookies over time, so these cookies will be best if you enjoy them the same day that you make them. If needed store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a day.
Other Desserts You Should Try
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Dulce De Leche Cookies
- Pie Crust Cookies
- Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- Caramel Apple Decorated Cookies
You can freeze these cookies for up to 3 months, however the texture will likely change once they are thawed. The apple filling has a lot of moisture, and will soften the cookie, making them difficult to pick up and eat. Try using a fork instead!
You can skip the caramel drizzle if you like. The cookies are still amazing!
I haven’t tested this recipe with anything other than regular unsalted butter. If you’d like to make the recipe dairy free, I would suggest trying a vegan butter substitute designed for baking, and not using margarine or shortening.
These Apple Pie Cookies with caramel are just so wonderful and cozy! Whip up a batch of these to welcome the fall season, and be sure to save the recipe for later.