This past weekend we drove a bit north of the city and went apple picking. Though many of the good apples had already been snagged, we managed to get a large, overflowing sack of Rome and Golden Delicious varieties. We enjoyed picking our own apples, getting a hayride, seeing a few animals, spotting some vibrant red and orange leaves, and of course the hot apple cider and accompanying apple cider donuts!

Part of the fun was definitely the journey. Road trips are always a good time and we try to bring along some crowd-pleasing snacks or bake something we think our friends will enjoy. While we thought about baking apple chips, we instead decided on Apple Pie Cookies. We’d seen the recipe floating around on Facebook but did not like how unhealthy it was or how it called for pre-made, store-bought dough and canned apple pie filling. So we made some changes. They can easily be made vegan by just substituting the skim milk for a vegan milk.

The way we make these cookies, they’re not overly sweet but everyone still loved them. And now that we have a large sackful of apples we can make them again and again!

Apple Pie Cookies

Yield: 18 cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

1 pack of Medjool dates

4 apples

2 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/3 C canola oil
6-8 T cold water (add until ingredients mix together to look like dough)

splash of skim milk
2 packs of Stevia
1 t cinnamon (to taste)
sprinkle of nutmeg (to taste)

Open a pack of Medjool dates, remove pits and let them sit in warm water for a few minutes to soften them. Pour them in a blender and purée. Add a few tablespoons of water until it resembles a caramel-like consistency. This will be used as a caramel sauce underneath the apples. (You will have plenty of leftover dip you can use for apples as a snack later!) Set aside.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin off four apples. Then keep using the peeler to create apple shavings that will be used for the cookie filling. Set aside.

To make the dough, mix flour and salt in a bowl. Mix the oil and water together in a separate bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the wet mix into it. Mix ingredients and add more water if it looks too dry.

Separate the dough into two balls (so it’s easier to work with) and dust flour on your workspace so dough won’t stick. Roll it out with a rolling pin and use a circle cookie cutter to make disks for the cookie bottoms. Save the remaining scraps to make into strips for the lattice.

Spread some date caramel sauce on each cookie bottom then add some apple shavings on top. Be sure not to add too many.

Use the leftover dough scraps to roll out and cut into strips (about 1/2-inch width). Place four strips atop each cookie to create the lattice.

In a small bowl, combine milk, stevia, cinnamon and nutmeg. Brush it on top of each cookie.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they start to brown.

For added sweetness and flavor you can melt chocolate and drizzle it on top. We did that on some of ours!