These caramel apple cookies are loaded with shredded apples, caramel pieces, pecans, a hint of apple pie spice, and pretzels for a nice crunch!

Caramel apples are one of my (many) favorite treats to enjoy this time of year. There’s just something about the tartness of a crisp Granny Smith apple combined with the sticky sweetness of caramel that I love. Because of that, I created these caramel apple cookies!

Let’s dive into the history of the caramel apple, shall we? Caramel apples came about in the 1950s. Dan Walker was a Kraft Foods employee who claims to have stumbled across this recipe one day while he was experimenting with a surplus of caramels from Halloween sales. He stated that he melted them down and added apples. Voila!

You can safely say that caramel apples were my inspiration for these cookies. I chose to make mine with Gala apples but feel free to use any kind. Side note: be aware that the apple shreds make the dough a bit more sticky than usual so I do recommend chilling it for a few hours or overnight if possible. This just makes the dough a little more easier to work with. Also note that there’s no need to flatten the caramel apple cookies on the sheet as they do spread on their own.

In need of more apple treats to bake this season? Try our Apple Pie Spice Cheesecake Bars or Apple Cider Bundt Cake with an Apple Cider Glaze

Wilton Easy Layers Sheet Cake Pan, 2-Piece Set, Rectangle Steel Sheet Pan, Charcoal
Cookies with apple slices, pretzels and an apple in the background.

Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

You can now enjoy caramel apples in cookie form with these caramel apple pie cookies. They are loaded with shredded apples, caramel pieces, pecans, a hint of apple pie spice, and pretzels for a nice crunch!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Chilling Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 36 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 27

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup pretzel pieces
  • 1 cup caramel pieces these come in a bag of small caramel balls
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 2 gala apples, shredded used cheese grater for this
  • coarse sea salt to sprinkle on top after removing cookies from the oven

Instructions
 

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, combine your butter and sugars on medium high until light and airy (about 2-3 minutes). Add in eggs, one at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add in vanilla and combine well.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, apple pie spice, and baking soda. Add this to your bowl of wet ingredients and combine. Add in your shredded apples and mix well. Fold in pecans, pretzels and caramel pieces.
  • Cover your bowl of dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Scoop 9 balls of cookie dough onto each baking sheet. Bake for 16 minutes. The centers will look a bit undercooked and that's ok. They will continue to cook on the baking sheet. I recommend baking one cookie sheet at a time.
  • After removing cookies from the oven, you can add extra pecans to the tops of each cookie while they're still warm. Sprinkle cookies with a bit of sea salt and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

After shredding apples, try to remove excess water from them. 
Keyword apple, apple cookies, caramel apple, caramel apple cookies, cookies