This recipe is seasonal as fuck. First of all, it contains all the obligatory flavors of early winter—apples, spices, and butter. Second, it accurately captures how I feel about winter. I’d like to take over a space station and blow the whole season up from orbit. Unfortunately, that’s not an option. So I made these instead.
Let’s all pretend that I broke that one open on purpose.
I’m not saying that spiced apples in crisp oatmeal cookie crusts are acceptable substitutes for lasers and fiery revenge. All I’m saying is that my inner evil dictator is appeased.
The cookie exterior is a slightly modified version of the recipe on the Quaker Oats lid. The spice mixture for the apples is my own. It went through several rounds of R&D and a lot of taste testing. before its final incarnation Like most things on this blog, the resulting recipe looks weird but tastes great.
Look Ma, replicable results!
This recipe makes 24 death stars.
1 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp butter
2 Braeburn apples (Gala, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp apples would probably work too. Use whatever is on sale.)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups quick oats
Big sharp knife
Mini muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 350F. Put your pan on the stove over medium-low heat. While the pan is heating up, peel and chop your apples into little pieces. I did not measure my apple bits. I cannot tell you how big they were. Maybe like, a quarter inch square? Forget everything I said about replicability. This experiment is shot. Have a picture for reference instead.
That is my Big Damn Knife. I really wanted to communicate how much I love it, but it turns out that knife selfies are hard. Also, it’s really easy to look like a murderer while trying not to stab yourself in the face. So take my word for it: a good chef’s knife makes everything better.
Drop your butter in the pan. Once it’s melted, pour your spices and brown sugar in the pan and mix everything around. Let the spices toast for a few minutes, until you can smell them in the air. Then put your apple bits in the pan and push them around with a wooden spoon or spatula until they’re evenly coated with spices and butter. Let that sizzle for no more than 5 minutes. Remember, you want the apples to maintain a little structural integrity.
Take the apples off the heat.
Put your butter and sugars in the mixing bowl and beat with the electric mixers. Again, the instructions say “until creamy.” Again, I ask: what the fuck does that mean? I went in with a fork to try and break up the inevitable butter brick, but the best I could do was create a mess of butter-sugar pebbles. Then my mixer started flinging pebbles out of the bowl and around the kitchen and it was like the Fire Temple in fucking Ocarina of Time all over again. So I gave up.
GET YOUR ROCKY GORON ASS OUT OF MY KITCHEN
Beat in the egg and vanilla. Pour in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix that all in together. Finally, put the oats in and try to squish the whole lumpy mess into an evenly mixed dough.
Grab your mini muffin tin and spray it with the nonstick stuff. There are two ways to go about assembling the Death Stars: the sandwich method and the fuck-it-I’m-running-late method.
The Sandwich Method:
Scoop out about a teaspoon of dough and put it in the bottom of a mini muffin cup. Poke a depression in the center so you have a little oatmeal-butter cup. Then fill that depression with apple bits. I used my teaspoon measure as a scoop for both dough and apples. You should probably wash your hands now, since the next step is to take a pinch of dough between forefinger and thumb, squish it flat and put it on top of your oatmeal apple butter things. Don’t worry about attaching the bottom layer of dough to the top. It will sort itself out in the oven.
The Fuck It I’m Running Late Method:
Pour the apples into the dough and mix them in together. Wash your hands. Grab a bunch of apple-dough mixture and roll it into a ball. Pop that ball into a mini muffin cup. Repeat 11 more times.
This is a rare case where I tell you that the extra effort is worth it. Both methods are tasty, but the punch of spice is way more effective in the sandwich method.
Bake the death stars for 10 minutes.
Hot Baking Tip: If you ever burn a hole through a hot hand, replace it immediately. First of all, that oven mitt is useless. Second, you will forget the hole is there and then your finger will go right through it while grabbing a mini muffin tin out of the oven.
I don’t even remember lighting my oven mitt on fire. What does that say about my life?
Let the death stars cool for 5 minutes or so before popping them out. I found that it was easiest to stick a fork underneath the death stars and pop them out from below. They’re less likely to shatter that way. If any of them do break, eat them. They lack moral fiber and do not deserve to be served to guests.
The right hand death star is destined for consumption by a Baking God. The Baking God isn’t angry, just disappointed.
The verdict? These things are fucking delicious. They’re small and compulsively eatable. The paprika makes them taste warm and the ginger gives a nice kick. The apples stay crunchy even inside of the syrup goo–which stays gooey because of the cookie exterior.
The Mess Report:
Thanks to Lawrence for the use of his Goron-related photoshop skills.