Tilleke's 'gebakken appel' koekjes

In november was ik te gast bij frosting for the cause. Ik post het recept van mijn koekjes hier voor wie het toen gemist heeft. Voor één keertje een Engelstalige post dus.

A few weeks ago I was enjoying a cappuccino in a coffee bar when a trio came walking in laughing and chatting non-stop: a grandmother, a mother and a daughter. It’s at such moments that I miss my grandmother ‘moemoe Tilleke’ (moemoe is Dutch for granny) the most. She passed away a few years ago from breastcancer.
I miss making trips with the three of us: me, my mother and her. Everybody looking at us, laughing until we cried, telling stories about all those times we goofed up. Then there are all those wonderful childhood memory’s, a lot of laughing until we cried then too :) . In I few years whem my daughter is a little older, I hope to continue this tradition.
And of course as with most granny’s, she had special treats. She wouldn’t make a lot of intricate desserts but often the simplest things are the best. I remember the smell of eggs and bacon in the morning after a sleep over or a snack of chopped oranges with a glass of grenadine to go with it. She would make me and my sister mason jars full of sweet red cabbage to take home with us, even after we lived on our one. I’ve never been able to make those as good as she did. But what I loved the most and now do make successfully for my own children is panfried apples. We eat them on a slice of bread as lunch.
So when I read about frosting for the cause on one of my favorite blogs (not sure which one it was), I knew I just had to participate, contributing in my own small way. I wanted to make something that made me think of ‘moemoe Tilleke’ and came up with these cookies bases on the panfried apples she used to make us.
I baked about 40 and served them on flattened cupcake wrappers as they are quite fragile. I brought them to the oncology-ward in my local hospital where my grandmother was treated. I remember how horrible it was sitting there next to her for hours on her last days. I hope that my small gesture has brought a little bit of comfort to the patients and their relatives sitting beside them.
This is how you make Tilleke’s baked apple cookies:
3 apples
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
butter and some white sugar for frying the apples

Remove the core from the apples with an apple corer. I couldn’t find mine so I sliced them first and then poked a hole in the center with a large frosting tip. Leave the skin on! This ads to the flavor. When frying them, the skin gets soft enough to eat. Just don’t use apples with a thick tough skin like Granny Smith (I use Jonagold). Chop them in thin slices.
Melt some butter in a large frying pan on medium heat and place the appleslices in it. Sprinkle them with some sugar. Bake them on both sides until the sugar has caramelized and they are golden brown. By now your housemates will have gathered around the stove wondering what that delicious smell is. Best to bake a few slices extra :) . I know it sounds much easier to just add the raw apple slices to the dough but it’s not nearly as good. On my try-out, I made a few cookies with raw apple, just to make sure it really is worth the effort to fry them first and it definitely is. So don’t skip this step.
While they cool, prepare the cookie dough.
It’s basically the dough for chocolate chip cookies, without the chocolate. But you won’t miss it, I promise.
Cream the butter with the white and brown sugar. Add the eggs one by one and the vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg-mixture little at a time and mix until the dough is smooth.
Preheat your oven to 375° F.

Prepare your baking sheet with a thin coat of oil. Make little balls from the dough and flatten them on the baking sheet. They should be about the same diameter as the appleslices. Place a slice of baked apple on each piece of dough. They spread a lot so leave enough room between the cookies. In case your wondering: I use round baking sheets (actually they are pizza tins) because I have a microwave-combi oven with a rotating disc.
Depending on your oven, bake them about 12 minutes at 375°F. Depending on your taste, you can leave them slightly undercooked for a very soft brittle cookie or bake them a little longer for a harder, firmer cookie. The dough should have spread, forming a halo around the apple. They turned out even prettier then I envisioned.

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