When Life Gives You Jam…

Recipe for Apple Cider Snickerdoodle Cookies and Apple Crumble

By Sarah

“Why do we have so much jam?”

It was May, and we’d been quarantined indoors for months. The past weeks had held a wide variety unexpected twists and turns, so I wasn’t too surprised by the site in our garage. The floor was covered in hundreds of cartons of jars, all labeled with various different flavors – Meyer lemon jelly, ginger jam and raspberry jam, mango chutney, kumquat jelly. We were now swimming in an assortment of jams and jellies, and it was a shocking, if not welcomed, surprise. 

The influx of jars was soon explained – our great aunt had decided to wind down her successful jam business, which had earned itself several awards and spots on grocery store counters. Her extra inventory was given to us. 

Despite our pleasure at our newfound jam collection, it was impossible for our family of five to get through so many jars. The majority of the inventory was Spiced Apple Cider Jelly, so we began to plan for hasty apple jam consumption. Could we eat jam with every meal? Could we eat it right out of the jar? (It was certainly delicious enough to do so).

Anna and I’s final plan was perhaps the best of all. Our family loves homemade baked treats — we recently collectively ate a homemade pie in less than ten minutes. If we could somehow find recipes to use our jam, we’d be swimming in baked treats for months. It was perfect, especially given the loads of time quarantine had given us.

So, we got to work. We searched the internet for every possible recipe using apple jelly or apple butter. After hours of baking and several failed experiments, we’ve come up with two recipes that are too delicious to pass up. Even if you don’t have hundreds of Spiced Apple Cider Jelly jars in your garage like we do, these recipes are worth a try and are a new family favorite. Any apple jelly or butter can be used to produce a scrumptious result.

Apple Cider Snickerdoodle Cookies

This recipe is absolutely delicious and creates a fluffy, crispy cookie. The added apple cider taste adds a tang of spicy flavor that surpasses all other snickerdoodles. It’s a unique staple for parties and your cookie jar and is sure to be loved by everyone. 

Making these cookies is relatively simple, involving either a whisk or hand mixer and your choice of jam. While apple jelly or butter is advised, apricot or plum jam could be delicious too. We personally used our Spiced Apple Cider Jelly. While the recipe calls for ¾ cup Spiced Apple Cider Jelly, this is really up to you — a whole jar would be fine too, depending on how much apple flavor you prefer. In our experience, more is better!

The consistency of your dough should be thick and smooth. Feel free to try some while recognizing the risk of salmonella. (The tanginess of the apple flavor is especially present in the dough). After chilling your dough for four hours, roll it into small balls coated with the cinnamon-sugar topping (more is better!) and bake. The cookies bake quickly and are ready to serve after a few minutes of cooling.

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup Spiced Apple Cider Jelly or Apple Butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the topping:

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Whisk flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and apple jelly.
  • Beat just until mixed. Add in flour mixture and mix until just blended together. Chill your dough for at least 4 hours.
  • This dough must be cold before baking. Because of all the butter and apple butter, the cookies will spread quite a bit if you skip the chilling!
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or a silpat baking mat.
  • Place 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl.
  • Scoop balls of cookie dough and roll them in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Place on your cookie sheet. 
  • Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes for slightly underdone, 13-14 minutes for fully done. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheets.

And you’re finished! Perfect and unique cookies for any occasion that use household ingredients and pleasantly surprise your taste buds.

Apple Cider Crumble

This recipe is simple and completely worth it. Containing both real apples and apple jelly, its filling tastes like a perfect apple pie. In my opinion, it tastes best having cooled for a few minutes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to even out the tanginess of the apples.

After testing the recipe with both Fuji and green apples, we’ve decided that both are suitable for this cobbler. Depending on your taste, Fuji is great for a sweeter cobbler while green apples create a tarter flavor, similar to that of a pie.

Creating the topping is my favorite part. While the recipe calls for pecans, we’ve been using walnuts, which add an extra pop of flavor. When spreading the apple jelly or apple butter on top of your cobbler, ensure that it is evenly distributed. The amount you choose to layer on top is entirely your preference (between 1/2 – 1 cup is recommended). It might look a little disgusting at first glance, but just wait until you taste it!

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 large tart apple, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

3 tablespoons chopped pecans

1/2 – 1 full jar Spiced Apple Cider Jelly or Apple Butter (depending on your preference)

Vanilla ice cream, optional

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the apple, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to a 3-cup baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • For topping, combine the flour and sugar in a small bowl; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over apple mixture. Drop jam by teaspoonfuls over the top.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until apple slices are tender. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Reflection

While literally swimming in jam might be a little unusual, in general, we all experience situations to which we must adapt. At first, you might be flummoxed in the search for a solution. Instead of panicking, use the resources at hand to produce a beautiful result. Something positive can be created in nearly every situation.

So when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you hundreds of jars of jam, you make cookies and crumble. 

Note: We found these recipes online and have adapted them based on our resources. Here are the original links:

https://www.crazyforcrust.com/apple-butter-snickerdoodles/

https://www.tasteofhome.com, “Apple Crisp with a Twist”

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