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Posted on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 : 5:30 a.m.

Vegan Apple Cider Cookies - cider and donut flavors all in one

By Vicki Brett-Gach

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Apple cider, applesauce, and apple butter create a perfect autumn cookie.

Vicki Brett-Gach | Contributor

Apple cider, one of my favorite things this time of year, takes me back to cider mill visits growing up. We would buy the freshly pressed cider and a never-big-enough-bag of donuts to go with it. The warm donuts would immediately create those familiar dark grease marks the moment they hit the brown paper bag.

Of course this was long before I avoided fried foods, and although I can't remember the last time I actually had a donut, this time of year will forever mean cider and donuts to me.

And that's where these Apple Cider Cookies come in. Reminiscent of the very same flavors, these tender softies are made with apple cider, applesauce, and apple butter, while parading the best spices of the season.

These are a delightful surprise in a lunchbox, or afternoon treat with a good cup of coffee. Baking them every fall has become a new vegan tradition.

The first few times I made this recipe I used canola oil, but now I bake them without any added fat at all. I think they are equally good both ways so try whichever method looks best to you.

APPLE CIDER COOKIES

1/4 cup apple butter

1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)

3 tablespoons canola oil, OR 3 additional tablespoons of apple butter

3 tablespoons applesauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 2/3 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon apple pie spice

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

Glaze

3 tablespoons apple cider (or apple juice)

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with baking parchment.

In large bowl, stir together apple butter, apple cider, oil (if using), applesauce, and brown sugar. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Drop heaping tablespoon-sized portions of dough on prepared baking sheet. Flatten dough slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to cooling rack.

Glaze: In a small saucepan, heat apple cider on the stove until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon, and stir together until smooth and creamy. Carefully dip cookies (tops only) into icing, OR drizzle warm icing over cookies. Allow cookies to cool on parchment or cooling rack, until glaze is set. (Recipe adapted from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, by Kelly Peloza.)

Vicki Brett-Gach is an artist, writer, wife, mom, and enthusiastic vegan, and loves to help family and friends discover that you do not have to be vegan to enjoy delicious vegan food. Vicki understands the challenges a new vegan can face, and welcomes your questions and comments at a2vegankitchen@gmail.com. To find more of Vicki's recipes, visit her Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen blog at annarborvegankitchen.wordpress.com.