Looking for a delicious apple cookie recipe?! These glazed soft apple cookies are packed with tender pieces of apple and crunchy bits of toasted pecans, making them completely irresistible.
Apple season has arrived! I like to keep an abundance of apples on hand to make tasty apple recipes all season long.
Just like these old-fashioned apple cookies!
Your family is going to love these soft apple cookies made with fresh apples.
They are packed with an apple cinnamon flavor that everyone just loves!
They are wonderful as a snack in the kids’ lunchboxes, for breakfast with your morning coffee, or as a tasty Fall dessert.
>> Related: Caramel Apple Cookies
Soft Apple Cookie Ingredients
Begin by gathering your ingredients, many of which you will likely have in your pantry.
For the cookies you will need: brown sugar, flour, 1 egg, butter, baking soda, apple pie spice, salt, buttermilk, toasted pecans (walnuts work well too), and of course, apples.
Vanilla Glaze Ingredients
For the glaze, you will need: sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter.
Or, if you’d like to add a unique touch to the glaze, try substituting spiced rum for the milk – yum!
Note: These cookies are plenty tasty and sweet on their own, and don’t really *need* the glaze. I have been making them without the glaze more and more lately, expecially when I am making them as more of a “snack cookie” and less of a dessert. Totally up to you though!
How to Make Soft Apple Cookies
Let’s get baking!
In a large bowl, beat to combine the butter and brown sugar using a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
Then, add buttermilk and egg and continue beating until well combined.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture and stir together until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fold in chopped apples and pecans.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In a hurry? Place the dough in the freezer for 15-20 minutes instead.
Scoop the dough onto baking sheets with parchment paper and bake 11-14 minutes at 375 F.
Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.
You will want to wait until the cookies are just slightly warm to add the glaze.
Glaze time! Grab all your glaze ingredients and whisk them together. Adjust the amount of milk to reach the desired icing consistency.
Finally, brush the glaze generously on top of the warm apple spice cookies and enjoy!
Wait until the cookies cool and the glaze sets before storing.
Cover or place in an airtight container and store the cookies in layers between pieces of waxed paper to help prevent sticking. You can also add a piece of bread to the container to help keep the cookies from being too soft and moist.
When covered and stored at room temperature, these cookies keep well for up to 5 days.
How to Make the Best Apple Cookies
These soft apple cookies are made with bits of apples, brown sugar, and butter. All of which contribute to the amazing softness of the cookies.
And while we want our cookies soft, we don’t want them over-spreading in the oven and becoming too flat.
Below I am sharing a few of my best tips for making sure your cookies come out just right.
- Use room temperature butter: Let you butter come to room temperature on the counter top. Don’t try to microwave it or it will likely be too warm.
- Don’t overmix: Do not overmix the dough, mix until just combined.
- Chill your dough: Don’t skip on chilling the dough. It is also helpful to remove just a handful or so of dough from the fridge to work with at a time. You don’t want the dough to get too warm. If it becomes too soft as you are working with it you can pop it in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Use parchment: Do not grease your cookie sheets as it can cause your cookies to spread. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper instead.
- Use cool cookie sheets: Don’t bake another batch of cookies on a cookie sheet that just came out of the oven as this will cause them to spread.
I that these tips help and that you and your family love these delicious apple cookies as much as we do!
Tart apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Jonathan) are your best choice for this apple cookie recipe; the small pieces are slightly firm and deliver delightful bursts of flavor that complement the sweet vanilla glaze.
If you don’t have any apple pie spice on hand, no worries. You can substitute with pumpkin pie spice or make your own with this easy recipe.
More Incredible Fall Desserts:
- Maple Walnut Coffee Cake
- Apple Danishes
- Apple Dump Cake with Apple Pie Filling
- Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
- Apple Pie Cupcakes
- Crockpot Fried Apples
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
For the cookies:
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups peeled and chopped tart apple (like Granny Smith)
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
For the glaze (optional):
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 Tablespoon milk (more if desired for a thinner glaze)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add in egg and buttermilk and mix until well combined, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, spice, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients (butter mixture) and stir together until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Fold in the chopped apples and pecans.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Or chill in the freezer for 15-20 minutes if you are in a hurry.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Using a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon, drop dough at least 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 11-14 minutes, or until light brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before moving onto cooling racks.
- Whisk together the glaze ingredients, adjusting the consistency to preference. Wait until the cookies are just slightly warm to brush on the glaze.
- Allow the glaze to harden then enjoy!
Pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of apple pie spice.
Pecans can be substituted with chopped walnuts.
I recommend removing just a handful or so of dough from the fridge to work with at a time to help prevent the dough from getting too warm.
Storage: Wait until the cookies cool and the glaze sets before storing. Cover cookies or place in an airtight container in between pieces of waxed paper to help prevent sticking. Pro tip: add a piece of bread to the container to help keep the cookies from being too soft and moist. When stored at room temperature, these cookies keep well for up to 5 days.
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*Recipe was updated September 18, 2021 to include chilling the dough as well as updated recipe notes, tips, and FAQ.