Apple Spice Cookies

The apple butter I was making? This is where some of it went. These are sort of my variation of a recipe that I found in my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, while looking for a way to use up my extra apples (and actually inspired me to make the apple butter, really). I would describe the result as a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, but with ginger snaps instead of bread, cream cheese instead of peanut butter, and apple butter instead of jelly.

Some things that I think are good to note: before putting the apple butter on, I froze the cream cheese frosted parts to firm it up so that the cream cheese did not get messed up. I also froze the cookies until about 20 minutes before serving them to prevent the apple butter from making the cookies soggy.

Apple Spice Cookies
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Chinese five spice seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1/3 c molasses
1 large egg
1/4 c apple butter
Apple Cream Cheese Filling

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the spices with the flour and baking soda and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add molasses and egg and beat to combine, about 1 minute. Slowly add the flour mixture, beating on low, until it is just combined.
3. Shape 1/2 tbs of dough at a time into balls and roll to coat in granulated sugar. Place about 1 in apart on the baking sheets, and press down to flatten slightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 mins.
4. Preheat the oven to 350oF. Let the cookies come to room temperature. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Spread 2 tsp of filling onto the flat sides of half of the cookies. Spread 1 tsp apple butter over the filling. Sandwich with the remaining cookies, keeping flat sides down.

Apple Cream-Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c apple butter

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and apple butter on medium speed until well-combined, about 3 minutes.

Makes about 25 cookies

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