As the days creep closer and closer to 90° here in Florida I begin to miss the cooler, humidity free temperatures of winter. What makes summer even harder to grasp is this year we had a very mild winter with only a handful of very cold days. I quite honestly feel robbed of my favorite time of year. In order to make up for the loss I decided to make a classic cooler weather combination in spring.
Growing up, one of my favorite sweets to eat in fall was the caramel apple. A local candy shop in my hometown makes the best caramel apples and to this day I have yet to find a location that has made them better. The problem is those apples are seasonal treats and once the season is over (October/November) the decadent apples disappear for another year. The memories of eating these apples were brought up a few weeks ago and I have been craving them ever since. Of course I couldn’t even get one if I wanted to because they are not in season but perhaps I could replicate the flavors I was craving and fool my body into thinking I had been reunited with my childhood favorite. An even better idea was to implement those flavors into a skinnier option than a typical dessert.
This recipe makes approximately 4 dozen cookies so if you do not want that many at a time I recommend freezing some of the dough to bake in the future. After taste testing a few of these my father also suggested that the flavor and texture of the dough would make a great snack bar. If you have a snack bar pan it may be worth the try although I have not personally given this a go yet. Packed with oats, chopped apple, and decadent caramel, these cookies bring the flavors of fall year round. At less than 100 calories a cookie they also leave you feeling a bit less guilty.
Skinny Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- 6.75 oz. (approximately 1 ½ cups) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ¾ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
- 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
- 2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Large Apple; peeled, cored, & quartered
- ¾ cup Caramel Baking Bits (Kraft)
- Parchment Paper
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a slip mat and set aside.
- Place quartered apple pieces in a food processor. Pulse until apple is finely chopped, about 5 pulses. Measure out ¾ cup of the chopped apple and set aside.
- In a large bowl place the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a whisk until combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl), add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Using a stand or hand mixer set to medium speed, beat the mixture together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg, beating again until combined. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Fold in the chopped apple and caramel bits until evenly combined.
- Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten dough mounds slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 3 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
Weight Watchers: 3 Smart Points, 2 Points Plus, or 1 Traditional Point
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: HELEN WORTHINGTON
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS