Recipe courtesy of Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen

Apple Pie Shortbread Cookies

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (plus cooling)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: about 18 apple pie shortbread cookies
Reduced apple cider adds tangy apple flavor to these rich cookies. Don’t let the reduction cool completely or it will be too hard and thick to beat evenly into the cookie batter. Using cookie stamps can take a little practice, but it’s well worth it for the simple and beautiful designs they impart on these festive rounds!


For the Cookies:

For the Glaze:


  1. Make the cookies: Bring the cider to a boil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 1 1/2 tablespoons, 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside until cooled slightly but still liquidy.
  2. Beat the butter, egg yolk, apple pie spice and salt in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until creamy and smooth. Mix in the reduced cider to combine, then mix in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the flour and mix until most of the flour is absorbed and it’s difficult to stir. Turn out the dough and any flour from the bowl onto a clean work surface. Gather and gently knead the dough a few times, dusting the dough and surface with flour as needed, until the dough comes together and is soft but not sticky.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 18 pieces (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each) and roll each into a ball. Place on the baking sheet and refrigerate until slightly firm but with some give for stamping, about 30 minutes.
  4. Put a few tablespoons of granulated sugar on a large plate. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, gently reroll the dough ball if misshapen, then place on the sugared plate. Sprinkle the top of the dough ball with sugar and then lightly dust with flour. Lightly dust a 3-inch cookie stamp with flour and press on the dough ball until the cookie is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Lift the stamp to release the cookie; if it’s stuck to the stamp, gently pull on an edge to release. Repeat with the remaining dough balls; arrange on 2 unlined baking sheets. Refrigerate the stamped cookies until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350˚ F. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are firm around the edges and just beginning to lightly brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Make the glaze: Mix the confectioners’ sugar, apple cider and 1 1/2 teaspoons warm water in a medium bowl until smooth. Add more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is the consistency of heavy cream. Dip the stamped side of each cookie in the glaze, then let the excess drip off; return to the rack, glaze-side up. If the glaze is too thick and hides the stamp design, adjust the consistency with more water before continuing. Let stand at room temperature until set, about 15 minutes.

Cook’s Note

You’ll need a 3-inch cookie stamp to make this fun design — look for snowflakes, stars or other holiday patterns.