Well friends, we’ve made it. This has been quite the week and I think we’ve earned ourselves a cookie. Or twelve. But not just any cookie. No, no, no. We’ve earned ourselves a proper, decadent, multi-dimensional cookie. Lucky for us, I’ve got just the one. These Frosted Brown Sugar Cookies with Apple Cider Glaze are bananas (well, apple, but you get the picture.) Chewy, warmly spiced brown sugar cookies are topped with cinnamon brown sugar cream cheese frosting and finished with a caramel-like apple cider glaze. OMG, these are so stinkin’ good. Each element individually is delicious, but combined they are really something else. I am sorely disappointed that I only got to eat two. Between friends and my husband these babies were gone in a day. So set aside an hour or two this weekend, pull out your apron and your mixer and get baking. I promise you will not be sorry.
I love the look and taste of frosted sugar cookies, but sometimes between rolling and re-rolling the dough, cutting out the cookies, baking, cooling and meticulously frosting each one, they lose a little bit of their allure. Especially when I’m trying to fit them into an already jam-packed weekend. These brown sugar cookies solve the problem. The dough is portioned with a small dough scoop and flattened slightly with your fingers. The unadorned cookies on their own are a showstopper. They are like a cross between a snickerdoodle and a gingersnap. If you’re looking for a quick and straightforward cookie, prepare and bake the batter (or roll in sugar prior to baking) and you’re in for a treat. But if you’ve got just a bit more time and energy to make the frosting and glaze, you will be rewarded.
You don’t need me to tell you that cream cheese frosting is marvelous. But holy moly, have you ever tried brown sugar cream cheese frosting? Prior to this recipe I had not and now I am a changed woman. So, SO good. Not quite as smooth as traditional cream cheese frosting, due to the brown sugar granules, but I think that adds a fun and unique texture. Add in a little vanilla and cinnamon and I’ve found my new go-to frosting for fall baking. Of course, you could stop here with the frosted cookies and be hailed as a rockstar for the spectacular cookies you’ve put forth. But give me a few more minutes and a handful of ingredients for the glaze and I promise you a treat worthy of any fancy bakery.
The apple cider glaze is thick and caramel-y and the element that pushes these cookies over the top. Reduce a cup of apple cider with some brown sugar and cinnamon while preparing and baking the cookies. Once the liquid has reduced, fortify it with a tablespoon of butter and brighten it up with a squeeze of lemon juice. Artfully drizzle over the cookies and eat the rest with a spoon. Or drizzle over apple slices. Or…eat with a spoon.
I wish I could make you a batch of these cookies so I could show you how wonderful they are but you’ll have to trust me and bake some up yourself. You can thank me later. Happy weekend!
Frosted Brown Sugar Cookies with Apple Cider Glaze
- 1 ½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz. (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
Apple Cider Glaze
- 1 cup apple cider
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp cinnamon)
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 Tbsp butter
Bring cider and brown sugar to a boil in small saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until reduced to about 1/3 of original volume, stirring frequently. Once thickened, turn off heat and add butter and lemon juice. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
In bowl of stand mixer, add butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add egg and vanilla and beat for 1 more minute.
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add flour mixture to sugar/butter/egg in 3 batches, allowing dry ingredients to be absorbed before each batch.
Using medium cookie scoop (holding approx. 1 ½ tbsp. dough), scoop cookie dough onto cookie sheets. Wet fingers and press down lightly on each cookie to flatten top. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and lightly brown, rotating sheets halfway through baking.
When cookies are done, allow to cool on sheets for 2-3 minutes, then remove to baking racks to cool completely. Once cool, finish with frosting and glaze as outlined below.
In bowl of stand mixer, add butter, cream cheese and beat on medium speed until combined. Add powdered and brown sugars, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Starting on low speed gradually increase speed and beat for 3-4 minutes until sugars are well incorporated.
Spoon frosting generously (about 1 ½ to 2 Tbsp frosting per cookie) onto cookies and spread with offset spatula. Drizzle apple cider glaze on top as desired.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.