Toffee apples are a signature childhood treat. Whether they conjure memories of sparkling carnivals and fairgrounds, or bring back memories of briny seaside meanderings the gloriously sticky treat is always sure to bring a smile to faces young and old.
When I was growing up Toffee Apples were synonymous with day trips to the beach. I much preferred them to ice cream cones, which I thought were far too over rated and messy, not to mention deceivingly bland! My inclination was much more for the glossy crimson globule on a stick. I say crimson as that’s the kind I grew up with. These weren’t coated in a sweet layer of tawny caramel. The toffee apples of my childhood were instead dipped in a rouge sugar syrup at hard-crack stage which set to a glossy, glass-like layer ready to shattered under eager bites and reveal the juicy tart fruit beneath. You’ll have to forgive me for indulging verbosely here. Family jaunts to the seaside were few and far between and lingering triggers for them are particularly powerful. Needless to say it was a constant question to my younger self, ” This red stuff isn’t like any toffee I know so why are they called Toffee Apples?”. Such were the juvenile mysteries that plagued me.
Over time I learned that the red hard-crack layer was easier to make and maintain on site (and let’s face it probably cheaper too!) I learned that the gleaming red orbs of my youth were in fact correctly named, “Candy Apples” and Toffee Apples as should have a layer a sticky sweet toffee, in the more familiar shade of brown, as their dressing. But who was I to argue with a childhood full of sweet cochineal-fueled indulgence!
You can rest easy though. This recipe contains neither glassy red shards nor ruby bug extracts. You’ll of course know by now I have a weakness for oat cookies. And if they happen to be oat cookies that have been pimped up with a lil’ something then all the better. These are my homage to the classic Toffee Apple in all it’s beige, sticky goodness- albeit without the frustratingly wobbly perching on a ice-pop stick! As a combination themselves, outside of nostalgia, caramel and apple worked exceptionally well with oats, in my view. There’s something about the mellow combination of toffee and oats that instantly induces shoulder-slumping comfort & coziness. Chuck in some bites of apple and you introduce enough tart interest to compliment to earthiness of the other two. I’ll leave the beverage of choice to you – coffee, tea or dunking in to cold glass of milk. All are ideal and highly suggested.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon fancy molasses
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole rolled oats
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup toffee pieces
- 1 cup dried apple pieces, (or dried slices chopped)
- Whisk the flour, cinnamon, apple pie spice, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside until needed
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until blended, about 5 minute, then increase to high speed and whip for another 5-6 mins
- In a jug combine the eggs, molasses, maple syrup, vanilla and whisk to combine. Add to the butter mixture and beat for 3 minutes until combined. Scrape down the sides and beat again as needed to combine
- Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients (I usually do it in 1/4 cup increments) and mix on low until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the oats until well coating
- Next add in the toffee pieces and apple pieces. Mix well until fully combined. The final dough will be thick and sticky.
- Cover and chill the dough for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- Use a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoon size) to scoop the cookie dough on to the prepared baking sheets, placing 2 inches apart 9 (I usually fit 12 per sheet). Bake for 17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. The centres will look soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
- Cookies can be kept at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 1 week