During the summer, Charlevoix is a bustling resort town full of boaters and shoppers and beachgoers, but once Labor Day has passed, the crowds gradually disperse and quiet settles over the town like a blanket. Charlevoix remains wrapped in this off-season somnolence until the second week in October when, just as the air has turned crisp and frost has begun to kiss green grass, she kicks off her blanket to host the annual Charlevoix Apple Festival.
For three days, Bridge Street is lined with bushel after bushel of apples: shiny red apples and tart green apples and golden yellow apples — over thirty varieties of apples in all. Thousands of apple enthusiasts flock to Charlevoix to sample fare from area orchards. There are, as I mentioned, more than thirty varieties of apples from which to choose, but the harvest celebration extends to all sorts of appley goodies: hot apple cider and cider by the gallon, caramel apples and apple pies and doughnuts – the most deliciously warm little doughnuts, dusted with sugar and tinged with the taste of apples.
I don’t know how they do that, but I suspect it’s more than I can manage in my own kitchen. What I can manage is cookies — chewy cookies infused with cinnamony Apple Butter and drizzled with Michigan Maple Cream. They’re not doughnuts, but they’re an awfully yummy alternative. The apple butter lends a moistness, a subtle sweetness, and a distinct flavor to the cookies, and the maple cream provides a pleasantly sweet contrast to the nuttiness of the oatmeal. All of this, combined with a handful of dried tart cherries, makes for a downright delightful and perfectly autumnal cookie — the kind of cookie you might be tempted to dunk into your apple cider if nobody’s looking.
Oatmeal Apple Butter Cookies drizzled with Maple Cream
(makes about 3 dozen cookies)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup American Spoon® Apple Butter
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cup. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup American Spoon® Dried Tart Cherries, coarsely chopped
American Spoon® Michigan Maple Cream for drizzling
1) Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and oats. Set aside.
2) Put the butter and sugars in a large bowl and mix until combined with an electric mixer. Add the egg and apple butter and mix for another two to three minutes. Mix in the flour and oat mixture, then stir in the dried cherries by hand. The dough will be somewhat sticky.
3) Drop the dough in rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing at least an inch apart. Bake until golden brown and just set, 12-15 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cool completely.
4) Drizzle maple cream over cookies and let set. Once the maple cream has set, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for three days.