Apple Pie Cookies Recipe with Crumb Topping

Apple pie cookies are the perfect way to satisfy that Dutch apple pie craving in single serve shareable bites. Trust me, these cute crumb topped cookies are like mini apple pies, and a must for holiday baking!

Apple Pie Cookies on Baking Sheet

TLDR

Apple Pie Cookies taste just like little crumb topped Dutch apple pies. The cookies are made from scratch but you can also use some storebought substitutes if you are short on time. Don’t want to learn more about ingredient swaps? Click the button below to go straight to the recipe!

WHAT IS A DUTCH APPLE PIE?

The difference between a regular apple pie and Dutch apple pie is simply in the topping. A classic apple pie can be topped with a full crust, lattice tops, or even left crust free. A Dutch apple pie has a crumbly streusel topping made of flour, butter, and sugar. 

In these apple pie cookies, a portion of the sweet and buttery oatmeal crust is saved to top each cookie. This makes it easy because you don’t have to mix up a separate streusel topping.

BUTTER OR BUTTER FLAVORED CRISCO FOR APPLE PIE COOKIES?

While I prefer to use whole ingredients like butter, I have tried making these apple pie cookies with both butter and with butter flavored Crisco.

Surprisingly, I actually like the texture of the Crisco cookies better! I know, the healthy eater in me is cringing right now. 

The reason I prefer the Crisco is that it gives the apple pie cookies more of a flaky pie crust texture than butter does. 

That said, you can substitute butter if Crisco is a no go for you. Trust me, I get it. 

If you use butter instead, use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of butter to account for the different water content between butter and Crisco.

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HOMEMADE APPLE PIE FILLING

I choose to use a homemade apple pie filling for these apple pie cookies because it lets me control the spices and the amount of sugar. I also prefer mixing tart and sweet apples. Canned apple pie filling is usually way too sweet for me.

I love a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice in my apple pie filling. But you could also go some homemade cinnamon sugar to taste if you want to keep it simple.

Dutch Apple Pie Cookies

TIMESAVING SHORTCUTS FOR MAKING APPLE PIE COOKIES

If you’re short on time there are a few changes you can make to these apple pie cookies that will reduce your prep time. 

Just keep in mind that these will change the flavor and texture of the cookies. There’s a reason I make everything in the cookies from scratch, but we all get in a pinch sometimes, and in those times “almost as good” is good enough!

CANNED APPLE PIE FILLING

The first time saving shortcut is to skip making your own apple pie filling. Grab a big (like 20 ounce) can of apple pie filling. Empty it into a bowl and use scissors to chop it up nice and fine.

You can skip the step of chopping and cooking apples, and no need to add spices or cornstarch to the filling either.

REFRIGERATOR PIE CRUST

If you have a favorite refrigerated or frozen pie dough, you can definitely use that to make the base for your cookies. Again, the flavor and texture will be different. This apple pie cookies recipe uses oats, and I think that is an important flavor component.

If you choose to use a premade pie crust, just cut out circles about 1.5 inches in diameter.

Then you can make a small portion of the crumb topping for your apple pie cookies by using a smaller ratio of dough ingredients: 1/3 cup butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3/4 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup of flour, and a pinch of salt.

Mini Apple Pie Cookies

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HOW TO MAKE DUTCH APPLE PIE COOKIES

  • Start by finely chopping two large apples, you want them at a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice. I like to use one Granny Smith and one Honeycrisp or Fuji, but you can use whatever apples you prefer. It’s also up to you if you peel the apples or not. Apple peels have a lot of nutrition so I leave them on.
  • Place the chopped apples into a large bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (fresh or bottled is fine).
  • In a medium saucepan mix 1 cup of water, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar (that’s just plain white sugar, not the powdery kind), 4 teaspoons of cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon), 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a small sprinkle each of salt, nutmeg, and all spice.
  • Bring it all to a simmer, then stir in the chopped apples. Continue stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes, until the apples are soft.
  • Remove the apple pie cookies filling from the heat.
  • Next you will beat a cup of Butter Flavor Crisco, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. I mix it on medium speed until nice and creamy. (If you are swapping butter for the Crisco, make sure it is completely softened to room temperature)
  • In another bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats, 2 1/4 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • With the mixer running, add about 3/4 cup of the mixed dry ingredients, followed by a tablespoon of water. Continue alternating dry ingredients and water, using up to 8 tablespoons of water. When you finish mixing it all together, the dough should be crumbly but able to hold together in a small ball.
  • Pull out 1 cup of the dough to save for the apple pie cookies crumb topping.
  • Shape the remaining dough into one inch balls. You should get about 3 dozen. Spread them two inches apart on a baking sheet greased with more Butter Flavor Crisco, or butter.
  • Flour the bottom of a glass and use it to press each ball of dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Bake the crusts for 5-7 minutes at 375F, until the edges are golden and firm. Then remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  • Place a small spoonful of apple pie filling in the center of each cookie.
  • Combine the reserved cup of crumbly dough with 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, then sprinkle it over each cookie.
  • Return the apple pie cookies to the oven and bake at 375F for 5 more minutes until the topping is lightly browned.
  • Cool one minute on the pan then move to a cooling rack.

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Apple Pie Cookies Recipe

PRINTABLE APPLE PIE COOKIES RECIPE

DUTCH APPLE PIE COOKIES
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

Apple pie cookies are the perfect way to satisfy that Dutch apple pie craving in single serve shareable bites. Trust me, these cute crumb topped cookies are like mini apple pies, and a must for holiday baking! These cookies are made from scratch, but there are some notes on ways to use storebought items if you're short on time. Adapted with permission from Genius Kitchen.

Course: Dessert
Keyword: apples, autumn, baked recipe, baking, christmas baking, cute food, fall recipe, holiday baking
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 145.71 kcal
Author: Diana Johnson
Ingredients
Apple Pie Filling
Crust and Crumb Dough
  • 1 cup Butter Flavor Crisco plus some for greasing cookie sheet
  • 3/4 cup golden brown sugar tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6-8 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Instructions
Apple Pie Filling
  1. Start by finely chopping two large apples at a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice. Discard the cores and seeds. Totally up to you if you peel the apples or not. Apple peels have a lot of nutrition so I leave them on.

  2. Place apples in a bowl and toss with lemon juice.

  3. In a medium saucepan mix water, granulated sugar, cornstarch , cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and all spice. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the chopped apples.

  4. Continue stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes, until the apples are soft, then remove the apple filling from the heat.

Crust and Crumb Dough
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Grease a baking sheet with Butter Flavor Crisco (or butter).

  3. Next you will beat the Butter Flavor Crisco, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until nice and creamy.

  4. In another bowl, mix together old fashioned oats, flour, baking soda, and salt.

  5. With the mixer running, add about 3/4 cup of the mixed dry ingredients, followed by a tablespoon of water. Continue alternating dry ingredients and water, using up to 8 tablespoons of water. When you finish mixing it all together, the dough should be crumbly but able to hold together in a small ball. If it doesn't hold together add more water a tablespoon at a time.

  6. Pull out 1 cup of the dough to save for the crumb topping.

  7. Shape the remaining dough into one inch balls. You should get about 3 dozen. Spread them two inches apart on a the greased baking sheet.

  8. Flour the bottom of a glass and use it to press each ball of dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick.

  9. Bake the crusts for 5-7 minutes at 375F, until the edges are golden and firm. Then remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.

  10. Place a small spoonful of apple pie filling in the center of each cookie.

  11. Combine the reserved cup of crumbly dough with 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, then sprinkle it over each cookie.

  12. Return the cookies to the oven and bake at 375F for 5 more minutes until the topping is lightly browned. Let them cool on the sheet (out of the oven of course!) for a minute before moving to a cooling rack.

Recipe Notes

Swapping Butter for the Crisco

  • The reason I prefer the Crisco is that it gives the apple pie cookies more of a flaky pie crust texture than butter does. That said, you can substitute butter if Crisco is a no go for you. Trust me, I get it.
  • If you use butter instead, use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of butter to account for the different water content between butter and Crisco.
  • Also make sure that your butter is completely softened to room temperature.

Using Canned Apple Pie Filling

  • If you’re short on time you can skip making your own apple pie filling. Grab a big (like 20 ounce) can of apple pie filling. Empty it into a bowl and use scissors to chop it up nice and fine. Just know it will be quite a bit sweeter than the original recipe.

Using a Premade Pie Crust

  • A premade pie crust will give you a different flavor and texture, but can work in a pinch.
  • If you choose to use a premade pie crust, just cut out circles about 1.5 inches in diameter for the base of your cookies.

  • Make a small portion of the crumb topping for your apple pie cookies by using a smaller ratio of dough ingredients: 1/3 cup butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3/4 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup of flour, and a pinch of salt.

Nutrition Facts
DUTCH APPLE PIE COOKIES
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 145.71 Calories from Fat 60
% Daily Value*
Fat 6.71g10%
Saturated Fat 1.56g10%
Sodium 51.28mg2%
Potassium 48.74mg1%
Carbohydrates 20.25g7%
Fiber 1.12g5%
Sugar 9.79g11%
Protein 1.66g3%
Vitamin A 5.46IU0%
Vitamin C 0.57mg1%
Calcium 9.4mg1%
Iron 0.67mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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