- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Loaded with chunks of fresh apple and sprinkled with a streusel topping that is both crunchy and chewy, these treats are one part cookie, one part pie.

If pears are more your speed, they would be an easy substitute.

Streusel apple pie cookies

From start to finish: 1 hour

THE COOKIES:

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 large egg

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely diced

THE STREUSEL:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup jarred caramel sundae sauce (optional)

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly coat with baking spray.

To make the cookie dough, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to cream together the shortening, both sugars, va nilla, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Scrape the bowl with a silicone spatula.

Beat in the egg and egg yolks, scraping the bowl as needed. Beat in the baking powder and flour, scraping the bowl again as needed. Mix in the apples.

Refrigerate the bowl of dough for 30 minutes.

While the dough chills, heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, make the streusel topping. In a food processor, combine the rolled oats, both sugars, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Pulse 2 or 3 times, or enough to just chop the oats. Drizzle in the melted butter, then pulse 1 or 2 times just to mix. Set aside.

Drop 1-tablespoon balls of the chilled dough on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each. Use your fingers to slightly flatten each cookie; they may be sticky.

Carefully sprinkle streusel mixture over each cookie. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Be sure to let the baking sheets cool between batches. Makes 42 to 45 cookies.

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