Soooo it's officially fall, and I couldn't be happier about it. There's crisp breezes everywhere you go, the leaves are starting to change color, and the farmer's market that comes to Columbia every Sunday is selling hot apple cider. It's so nice to not have to think about sweating your face off every time you have to step outside the safety of your air-conditioned home, and instead know that a light seater will suffice in getting you through the day. The days are getting shorter (making food photography trickier, grr!), but it's ok for now; the days still aren't as short as they are in winter, which is a good thing! In any case, it can definitely be said that I welcomed the arrival of fall and everything that comes with it with very open arms. Except for one small thing...
My apartment on campus is FRIGID.
Seriously, frigid is the best word to describe how chilly it is inside my room and everywhere else in the building, really. It's the strangest thing. I remember moving in in September, and feeling how unbearably hot it was (my building is on the older side, so while my living accommodations are lovely, there's no AC), so for the first couple of weeks, living back at school was just uncomfortable, because it was just so damn hot in my room! This made for sleepless nights, not only due to the extreme heat in the building, but also because I live facing Broadway, so trying to open the window in hopes of catching even the tiniest breeze only resulted in constant noise at all hours of the night. Sigh. There was no weird transition from hot to cold in my building, it was suddenly just FREEZING. I can't explain why, but I guess that's what I get for hoping for summer to end so that fall could move on in. Silly karma.
Anyway, even though the change in temperature of my apartment was a bit abrupt, I'm still happy it's fall, mostly because I LOVE any and all forms of seasonal fall treats (except maybe pumpkin...I don't think I'll ever be able to get over pumpkin pie, I just don't like it!). These cookies are the perfect treat to welcome the change of season. They're lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, and the addition of apples, walnuts, and raisins make them have a lovely seasonal flair. They're simple to make and come together within a couple of minutes, which is a good thing, because you might just find yourself being tempted to make another batch as soon as this one gets eaten!
Spiced Apple Cookies with Vanilla Glaze
recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
For the Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely diced peeled apple (I used Granny Smith, this was about 1 apple)
1 cup raisins
For the Vanilla Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk (may vary)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and position an oven rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
In a medium bowl, combine together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside. In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and milk, and beat until just combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, and mix only until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, diced apples, and raisins.
Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls spaced two inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets (I used a cookie scoop to help ensure uniformity). Bake in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies cool, make the vanilla glaze. In a small bowl, combine together the confectioner's sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, and milk. Whisk until smooth, and then drizzle over the cookies. Enjoy!
Makes about 3 dozen cookies