These cookies are very serious contenders for my absolute-favorite-cookie-ever-in-the-world! The texture is perfect, chewy, with just a little crunch on the edges, but it's the flavor that really makes these. It's unlike any other cookie I've ever tried. The apple cider mix has warm cinnamon and nutmeg spices balanced by the refreshing tartness of the apples, and the Heath Bits are like little golden nuggets for your tastebuds.
Credit for these cookies goes to The Cooking Photographer via Scrambled Henfruit. I don't think I would have ever though of putting apple cider mix into cookie dough on my own. Their recipes call for stuffing Kraft Caramels into the middle of the cookies. I tried the recipe this way the first time, and it is amazing, there are just 2 problems; 1) I can almost never find those little cubes of goodness in my local grocery store, and 2) it's a lot of work individually stuffing caramels into each cookie, and let's be honest, I'm lazy when it comes to baking. When I made the cookies again, I was going to simply leave out the caramels, when I opened the cupboard and a bag of Heath Bits fell out (see, there are good reasons to overstuff/not organize your cupboards sometimes!). I have to say, I think the cookies are actually better with the Heath Bits than with the caramels. The Heath Bits are evenly distributed throughout the dough instead of just being being in the middle. Plus, as much as I love caramel, I'll still take toffee over caramel every time.
Apple Cider Cookies with Heath BitsMakes about 3 dozen cookies (depending on how big you make them)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (7.4 oz, 10 packets, not sugar free)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups AP flour
1 bag Heath Bits (8 oz)
1) Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, and entire box of apple cider mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
2) Whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and flour. Gradually add dry mix to wet mix, and mix until just combined. Stir in the Heat Bits.
3) Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
4) Portion out balls of dough onto tray (I use a tablespoon to scoop them out). Give them some space (about 2 inches apart), since they do spread.
5) Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until just barely browned on the edges (do not over bake! These are light cookies). Transfer to a rack to cool.
Note: These can be frozen to save for later if desired.
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Edit: this recipe was featured!