These Sour Apple Snickerdoodles are thick, soft and tender with fresh tart Granny Smith apples folded right into the dough. They are rolled in cinnamon sugar just before baking and they have such a nice soft texture with crunchy cinny sugar edges. The combination of cinnamon and green apple is so incredible... the cookie dough itself tastes like a caramel apple and the baked cookies smell like apple pie in the oven. If you love snickerdoodles, check out my Brown Butter Snickerdoodles, and if you love the combination of caramel and apple, make my Caramel Apple Cookies too!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy to make - you can easily make this recipe without a mixer and just use a wooden spoon or spatula to cream the butter and sugar.
- Soft snickerdoodle cookies - these cookies so soft and tender that they're almost like muffin tops! To preserve their nice texture, I store them in the fridge.
- Apple cinnamon cookies - these cookies have fresh green apples baked right into the cookie dough. They turn out so soft and tender thanks to the moisture from the apples. Make sure you chop them up small so that they distribute evenly into the cookie dough and also cook evenly.
- Cinnamon sugar - these cookies are rolled in cinnamon sugar for a sweet crunchy spicy coating. It's the main feature of snickerdoodles!
- No cream of tartar! - many recipes for snickerdoodle cookies require cream of tartar, but that is an ingredient that few people have stocked in their pantry. My recipe just uses regular baking soda and baking powder.
- All purpose flour - AP flour is the best choice for making cookies and it's easily accessible. Be sure to measure accurately to get the right texture of the cookie dough.
- Brown sugar - the molasses in brown sugar gives these cookies a toffee-like flavor to complement the nuttiness and also gives them a chewy texture! I prefer dark brown sugar gives since it has twice as much molasses compared to light brown.
- Granulated sugar - this recipe uses both brown sugar and white granulated sugar. The white sugar will help them crisp up for crunchy edges.
- Egg - one whole egg will set these cookies to perfection.
- Fresh apple - use a firm tart apple for this recipe, such as Granny Smith. These will hold up better to the baking process. Cut them in into ¼-inch cubes. Some apples will disappear right into the dough, while some will stay as nice chunks.
- Butter - you can also use unsalted butter or salted butter in this recipe, and in the case that you use salted butter, I suggest reducing the added salt to ¼ teaspoon.
- Pure vanilla extract - snickerdoodle cookie dough is based on a vanilla sugar cookie, so the vanilla quality is important. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract
- Cinnamon sugar - the cinnamon sugar is the essence of snickerdoodles. Don't skip this part!
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Chop the apples. Cut the apple into ¼-inch cubes. You do not need to peel the apple because the pops of green from the skin look really pretty.
- STEP 2). Cream butter and sugar. Beat the butter with both sugars for 2 minutes on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer (or using a spatula and your own arm power!) until well combined and smooth, but not quite pale and fluffy.
- STEP 2). Beat in egg. Add egg and vanilla and and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- STEP 3). Mix in dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly. Add to the butter mixture and fold it in with a spatula until just combined.
- STEP 4). Fold in apples. Add the chopped apples and fold them in gently. Try not to over-mix so that the dough doesn't get too wet.
- STEP 5). Chill. Place the bowl in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven.
- STEP 6). Roll. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into smooth balls. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar so they are evenly coated. Place coated dough balls onto prepared baking sheets with at least 2 inches of space between each cookie. Press a little wedge of apple slice onto each ball of cookie dough if desired.
- STEP 7). BAKE. Bake for 12-16 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR SOUR APPLE SNICKERDOODLES
- Have your butter at room temperature so that it mixes well with the sugar.
- Measure the flour accurately using a scale or by spooning it gently into the measuring cup and leveling it off. Do not pack it down. Too much flour can make the cookie dough stiff and harder to mix through the apple mixture.
- Use a firm tart apple variety. I would not recommend McIntosh or Cortland apples for this recipe since they are quite soft.
- Cut the apples smaller than you think. If they are too large they will not cook evenly in the cookie dough and they won't get distributed evenly.
- Ensure you bake these all the way through. These cookies are hard to over-bake since they have a lot of moisture from the apples. Let them get nicely golden brown - this is not a recipe that you want to under-bake.
Cream of tartar is dried, powdered tartaric acid. It is the acid ingredient that reacts with alkaline baking soda to make gas that leavens baked goods. Baking powder already has a blend of acid and base (alkaline component) to leaven baked goods. The difference is that cream of tartar reacts very fast with baking soda since it is pure acid and may lead to a puffier cookie, but really... in such a dry cookie dough you will barely see a difference at all.
My favorite tart apple for baking is Granny Smith. They have such a nice intense apple flavor and the tartness stands up to the sweetness of the cookie dough.
The sour apple snickerdoodle cookies are ready when they are evenly browned. They take a little longer than normal cookies to bake due to the moisture from the apples.
Store these cookies in an airtight container at a cool room temperature for up to 2 days. If you live in a hot climate, then I would recommend refrigerating them since they have higher moisture and will soften quickly. They will keep longer in the fridge, and I actually LOVE them cold from the fridge!
These cookies will keep for 1 week in the fridge.
If you love cookies, check out these recipes!Chewy Brown Butter Snickerdoodles CookiesBrown Butter M&M Cookies RecipeLemon Blueberry Cookies with White Chocolate ChunksCoffee Pecan Chocolate Chip CookiesDouble Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk CookiesHazelnut Double Chocolate Chunk CookiesTHE BEST Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – Bakery Style!The BEST Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
Baking with apples
Looking for more recipes with apples? Try these:
More cookie recipes
Here are some more delicious cookie recipes to try:
Sour Apple Snickerdoodles
- ½ cup 113g unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup 110g packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup 65g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups 180g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 100g chopped green apple, such as Granny Smith (cut into ¼ inch dice)
- 3 tablespoon 40g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- To prepare the apples, you don’t need to peel them. Just wash them, core them and chop into small ¼-inch cubes. Measure out 1 cup and set aside.
- Make the cookie dough. Combine the soft butter, both sugars and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until smooth and a bit fluffy. Add egg and beat until smooth and well incorporated.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix gently on low speed or fold it in by hand until mostly incorporated. Add the diced apples and fold them through using a spatula, trying not to over-mix.
- Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to chill while you preheat the oven.
- Make the cinnamon sugar. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl so it is evenly blended.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Scoop about 2 tablespoon portions of dough and roll into smooth balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar to coat evenly. Place dough balls onto prepared baking sheets spacing them 2 inches apart. Press a wedge of apple onto each dough ball if desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes until browned around the edges and on the bottoms, and lightly golden on top. Let them cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.