spiced apple cake cookie’wiches {with browned butter}

spiced apple cake cookie-wiches

It seems Jesse and I complain an awful lot about being out of our comfort zone (Fresh veggies are so expensive! Our families are so far away! The midnight sun makes it hard to sleep!). We went through some early journal articles about our decision to leave New Zealand. Our main reasons for moving to the Northwest Territories of Canada? To leave our comfort zone and have an adventure! At what point did we lose our vision?

apple cake cookies

We re-embraced this desire for adventure recently, taking an overnight hike up Mt Hamar. We arrived on the summit just on midnight, to witness a heck of a sunset beyond the mountain ranges. Sunset turns sunrise without the sun every truly disappearing, the faint glow of light hanging around the horizon for a couple of hours before the sun returns around 3am.

12am, at the Inukshuk on the highest point in town.

We returned to our tent to sleep at 1am, waking at 5am to the sounds of snuffling, shuffling and grunting. A bear. Outside the tent. Next to my head. When you hear stories of bears destroying a tent in one swipe, tents don’t feel so safe! I wanted out and I wanted that bear gone. Some loud shouting and clanging of bottles, by the time we got out the bear was scampering off into the distance. Needless to say, we didn’t go back to sleep. The tent was dismantled, breakfast scoffed and we were on our way by 5.45am.

There is no doubt we are getting the adventure we craved!

brown butter

Beurre noisette (or brown butter) has a complex nutty flavour, much more intense than melted butter. It involves a simple, french technique of heating butter over the stove until it starts frothing and darkens in colour. Flavourwise, a little brown butter goes a long way.

With the Carrot Cake Cookie-wiches being such a hit at Soma, I thought to try it out with apple instead, basing this recipe loosely around one featured on Guilty Kitchen. I replaced a portion of the butter with applesauce, used a mix of wholewheat flour and rolled oats, and replaced the white sugar with honey. Remember, if ever you are subbing in honey, much less is needed – honey is a lot sweeter than sugar. Filled with a light, tangy cream cheese these are a perfect, indulgent treat – ideal for an overnight camping trip as they hold up well in a pack. Just don’t keep any leftovers in your tent or you too will have bears knocking on your door.

Brown Butter Spice Apple Cake Cookie’wiches
Makes 6 – 8 cookie-wiches – I highly recommend doubling the recipe.
Recipe adapted from Guilty Kitchen

1/3 cup salted butter
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 large apples (unpeeled), grated
1 cup each: whole wheat flour, rolled oats
1/2 tsp each: baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Cream Cheese Filling

50g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
125g cream cheese, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325˚F.
In small saucepan on medium high heat, melt butter. Swirl (not stir) the butter every so often, until it becomes a darker shade and begins to get foamy. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place raisins in a mug and cover with boiling water. Let them soak and plump up. In a bowl, whisk the egg, applesauce, vanilla and honey. Whisk in the browned butter. Drain the raisins and add them, and the grated apple (squeeze out a little of the juice) to the wet mixture. In another large bowl, mix all dry ingredients and the nuts.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together until combined. The dough should be fairly thick, yet looser than normal cookie.

Use an ice cream scoop or roll cookie dough with your hands and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly – this will make them more stable when filled. Bake for 12-16 minutes, depending on cookie size, until edges brown a little and the middle is just set. Timing will vary.

While the cookies cool, beat butter until light and fluffy. Ensure there are no lumps. Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Add cream cheese and again, beat until combined and fluffy.
This recipe will be featured in this month’s Sweet New Zealand {a monthly collection of recipes by Kiwis} as hosted by Sweets & Brains.

10 thoughts

  1. I never encountered a bear while living in North America. I kind of wanted to but didn’t at the same time. Liking the look of these apple cakes, brown butter always adds such a great depth of flavour.

    • I keep saying I really want to, but whenever I do, on a hiking trip or bike ride up the ridge, I panic and race back home! I hear they run 40km/h.. I can’t bike that fast! Caribou, Moose and Muskox however, I would LOVE to see properly. I’m happy to skip on wolves too.

  2. Eeek..bear encounters. I’ve never been camping, sounds scary and exciting over there. Hehehe..Meanwhile those cookie sandwiches look great 😀 I’m getting curious with browned butter.

  3. Oh my gosh, that’s an adventure alright! I’ve never seen a bear up close and I’m not sure I’m all that eager to… definitely not exactly a relaxing thought! I love the look of these cookie-wiches – browned butter, cinnamon, and apples are a great combination.

  4. What a cool entry for Sweet New Zealand, beautifully photographed too! I feel the buzz of the hiking, brrrr the bear (but I know what to do now if this will ever happen to me), and then home to sweet baking :-).


  5. Pingback: Sweet New Zealand #25 The Roundup | sweets and brains

  6. Thoughts on trying this using rye meal in place of wholemeal? I’m trying it out now, as I have no wholemeal on hand… Will let everybody know how this goes!

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