One of the benefits of writing about food is being asked by others to come up with new recipes. A month or so back, a kind lady from Musselman's emailed me and offered to send me a bottle of Musselman's Apple Butter so that I could come up with a tasty new use for it. I eagerly agreed to do my best and as a result of my own cravings and a little bit of creativity, these Scottish Tea Cookies with Apple Butter were born.
I'm only beginning to appreciate apple butter. I grew up enjoying it although it seems it was only around after trips to visit family in Ontario, Canada which was a short two hour drive or so from my childhood home in the foothills of New York state's Adirondack mountains. To this day, I haven't figured out why there seemed to be no local source of apple butter in those parts. As time goes on though I'm beginning so surmise it was a great excuse of my mom and dad to pay visits to their dear cousins who lived north of the border.
A few months back, we picked up some apple butter from a local farmer's market and I put together this apple butter meatloaf which turned out really, really tasty. From that experience I learned that apple butter is compatible with just about anything you can think of. Apple butter goes well with bread, meat, as a side, and as I found out with this recipe - cookies. Aside from the jar of Mussleman's apple butter that was sent to me, the Mennonite Community Cookbook, a standard kitchen "Bible" in our family, provided me with some further inspiration via its Scottish Tea Cookie recipe which I modified for these cookies. As a sugar base, powdered sugar is used in these in lieu of the granulated form. This helps construct a soft yet firm cookie, almost biscuit-like in the old English sense. A dollop of apple butter is seated in a center well and the rest is... dreamy. Addictive. Delicious. And fall. Pick up some apple butter and make these. They are simple and they will make you smile and crave just one more. Happy fall. -Dan
The Good people from Musselman's Apple Butter are offering a free jar of their apple butter to one lucky follower of Platter Talk. Details and entry information follow below. Good luck!
Scottish Tea Cookies with Apple Butter
- Combine salt, sugar, shortening and butter.
- Add flour a bit at a time, working in like a pastry to a crumbly consistency.
- In separate bowl, beat eggs and and vanilla.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix till smooth.
- Chill dough in fridge for at least one hour.
- Shape chilled dough into balls 1 inch in diameter.
- Place dough balls on greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart and flatten with palm of hand.
- Use thumb to create well in center of each cookie.
- Place a few tablespoons of apple butter in small zip-lock bag.
- Snip corner of bag with scissors to create small opening.
- Squeeze apple butter into each well, filling slightly above level of dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until light brown in color.