Apple cheesecake shortbread cookies present the fantastic flavors of apple cheesecake in an easy to make slice and bake shortbread cookie!
Why you’ll love it: Shortbread and apple cheesecake combined? What’s not to love!
How long it takes: 15 minutes to make the dough, an hour to chill the dough, and 18 minutes to bake the cookies
Equipment you’ll need: mixer, parchment or waxed paper, baking sheet
Servings: makes about 4 dozen cookies
Last year I brought apple crisp granola. It’s a wonderful granola recipe with all the flavors of one of my favorite autumn desserts, apple crisp. Apple crisp granola is like eating dessert for breakfast. If you put it on top of ice cream, it is dessert, especially if you add a drizzle of my bourbon caramel sauce.
For this year’s apple party, I decided to bring shortbread slice-and-bake cookies. Who doesn’t love cookies? These apple cheesecake shortbread cookies are unique, flavorful, and full of the flavors of fall. You’ll love the bits of apple in every bite, and the crunchy walnuts around the edges.
The cookies are made with dried apples so they retain their crispness. Fresh apples would add too much moisture. Flavored with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, the buttery cream cheese dough is easy to make.
About These Apple Shortbread Cookies
- They are a convenient slice and bake cookie. Don’t you just love the convenience of slice and bakes? Prepare the dough, roll into logs, and wrap well. You can keep these cookie dough logs in the refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for up to three months. When you are in the mood for freshly baked cookies (which is pretty much always for me), or if you have unexpected guests coming over, simply take a log of cookie dough out of the freezer, slice, bake, and Wow! you have freshly baked cookies ready in just 20 minutes or so.
- Homemade cookies are so much better! I know, you’re saying this isn’t exactly a new thing. You can buy logs of cookie dough at the grocery store. That’s true, but when isn’t homemade better than store bought? Homemade cookies taste better (no artificial flavors), are more economical, and are made with real butter instead of palm oil.
- These cookies are easy to make. If you have 15 minutes, that’s all it takes. The dough needs to be chilled for an hour or so but you can use that to your advantage. Make the dough when you have a bit of extra time and bake the cookies when you need them.
Variations You Can Make
- Skip the walnuts. Substitute another kind of nut if you’re not crazy about walnuts. Finely chopped pecans or pistachios are good choices. If you would prefer a nut-free cookie, simply skip the nuts and roll the cookies in cinnamon sugar.
- Substitute another dried fruit. Finely chopped dried cranberries or cherries are delicious alternatives.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- Refrigerate the dough. The recipe calls for one hour in the freezer. This time in the freezer is meant to chill the dough quickly so that you can bake the cookies right away. If you prefer, wrap the cookie dough securely (I usually put it into a large resealable bag) and refrigerate for three to five days. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and bake as directed.
- Freeze the dough. Likewise, wrap the cookie dough logs securely and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough slightly before slicing. It tends to crumble a bit when it’s frozen solid and the nuts won’t stick as well.
- Freeze the baked cookies. Slice and bake cookies freeze well. They’re sturdy enough to store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. They thaw very quickly.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chopped dried apples
- ½ cup very finely chopped walnuts
- Whisk flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (see note), add butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, or about 2 minutes.
- With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients until just combined. Add dried apples and mix only until combined.
- On a sheet of parchment paper, shape the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap up in parchment paper and freeze until firm, or at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from freezer and roll in chopped walnuts. Slice into ¼ inch slices (roll the outside in walnuts again after slicing if necessary) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake until golden brown around edges, or about 16 to 18 minutes. Cool for 2 to 3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Yield will vary depending on the diameter of your dough rolls and the thickness of the slices.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer will work as well. You may have to stir in the dry ingredients by hand.
- Make ahead tip: Cookie dough logs, well-wrapped, can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw slightly before slicing. Bake as directed.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.