Apple Piñata Cookies
I hosted an apple harvest party and served Apple Piñata Cookies, a 3-D Rice Crispy Treat Apple Tree filled with Candy Apple M&M’s®, Berry Apple Fruit Snacks and more! You have to try these fun treats!
Compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser. #FlavorofFall #CollectiveBias
Fall is the perfect time to throw a party and serve up lots of apple recipes. A few days ago I hosted a group of my friends for a festive fall luncheon. We dined on Honey Mustard Chicken and Apple Tortellini Salad, Mott’s Apple Sauce served in hollowed out apples, some cheeses I brought back from Amsterdam, and so many amazing desserts.
My friends flipped over my Apple Piñata Cookies which were filled with M&M’s new Candy Apple flavored candies. I found them at Walmart, which is the only place you can buy them, and knew immediately the little red candies would find their way inside apple shaped cookies.
My piñata style cookies not only looked like apples, where filled with candy apples, but they also had apple flavored icing on top, made with Mott’s® Apple Juice.
Another dessert that blew my guests away was a 3-D cereal treat tree filled with the Candy Apple M&Ms. The tree sat in the center of the dining table and after we finished our lunch my guests were able to pull branches, cereal treat leaves, and M&M apples off the tree and eat it for dessert.
I also tried out a recipe for Berry Apple Fruit Snacks. I wanted them shaped like apples so I ordered an Apple silicone mold which didn’t arrive before the party. So I used a pumpkin shaped mold instead. I think they turned out pretty well and they were a nice healthy alternative to the deserts.
To balance out all the sweet treats, I also hollowed out some fresh apples and filled them with Mott’s Apple Sauce then I added an edible leaf and stem. Everyone thought they were really cute. I even served some Mott’s Apple Juice in hollowed out apples too.
I was really excited to see my friends having such a good time and it was wonderful to watch them enjoy my food. It’d been a very long time since I gathered a group of ladies for lunch in my house. I will have to be sure to do it again soon.
I borrowed lots of festive apple decor from my mom including some of her amazing paintings which really dressed up my kitchen island and dining room table. The house looked like fall had arrived even though it was still mighty hot outside.
I prepared quite a lot for this party and don’t want to overwhelm you (an me, for that matter) by showing all the recipes in one post, so today I’ll share the recipes for the Apple Piñata Cookies and Berry Apple Fruit Snacks, then later I’ll show you how I created the 3-D Rice Crispy Treat Tree.
Apple Piñata Cookies filled with Candy Apple M&M’s
Ingredients: (Cookie dough recipe adapted from LilaLoa.com)
Makes 8 large (4 inch three layer) cookies
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened slightly
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
red gel or paste food coloring
Apple juice royal icing:
7 tablespoons Mott’s Apple juice (plus 1-3 teaspoons more to thin icing)
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
red gel or paste food coloring
Stem and leaf:
chocolate dipped cookie sticks or pretzel sticks
wafer leaves ( or create your own leaves using modeling chocolate or fondant)
4 inch round cutter shaped into an apple (or use an apple cutter)
3 inch round cutter
Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and some drops of red food coloring. Add more coloring until you get a really bright shade of red and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and stir just until it’s mixed in. Once you add the flour the color will tone down.
Roll your cookie dough out to 1/4 inch thickness either on a flour dusted cutting board or between two non-stick silicone mats.
Cut out 16 apple shaped cookies that are 1/4 inch thick. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 min.Note: I used a 4 inch round cookie cutter and simply shaped in into an apple. I didn’t want to use an actual apple cutter as I didn’t want the stem or leave cut out, but you could if you prefer to ice the stem and leaf.
Roll the remaining cookie dough out to 3/8 inch thickness. Cut out some apples, set them on a parchment lined baking sheet, then cut a circle out of the center of each cookie. Re-roll dough and repeat making a total of 8 cookies with holes it the middle. Refrigerate for 30 min.
Note: It has to be thick enough for a Candy Apple M&M to fit inside so it’s important for the dough to be at least 3/8 inch thick.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bake cookies for 12 to 14 min. allow them to cool completely.
Warm the Mott’s apple juice in the microwave for 15-25 seconds, just until warm.
Make the royal icing by beating the confectioners sugar, meringue powder, apple juice, almond extract, and red gel or paste food coloring until light and fluffy (about 7 to 10 min.) I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this job.
Stack your cookies with one solid cookie on the bottom, one with a hole in it in the middle, and another solid one on top. Try to find the cookies that match up the best.
Pipe a bead of icing on the backside of one of the holey cookies and stick it to a whole cookie. Fill the hole with Candy Apple M&M’s then pipe a bead of icing around the edge of the cookie and stack another whole cookie on top.
The only place you will be able to find the Candy Apple M&M’s is at Walmart, so you’ll definitely want to go grab some bags this fall. I found them in the candy section of my store alongside the Candy Corn M&M’s.
Pipe a border of icing around the edge of the Apple cookies. Then thin out the remaining icing with a little bit more apple juice. Stir in 1 teaspoon at a time until you can drop a spoonful of icing into the bowl and it should completely flatten out.
Pipe the thin icing inside the border of the Apple cookies flooding the entire area. While the icing is still wet, add a chocolate cookie stick stem and wafer paper leaf.
Allow the icing to dry completely overnight.This cookie recipe is so good that these cookies can sit on your counter for days and still taste fresh. The apple flavored icing has just a nice hint of apple flavor. I might use this recipe whenever I’m making decorated cookies.
It was so much fun to see how my party guests reacted to these cookies. At first I didn’t tell anyone what was hiding inside, they just assumed they were individual cookies. Then they picked them up and realized there were three cookies stuck together and could hear the candy rattling around inside.I love the element of surprise especially with my desserts.
Berry Apple Fruit Snacks
2 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup Mott’s Apple Juice
1 1/4 cups pureed fruit (strawberries, raspberries, and cherries) from about 14 ounces of fruit
1/2 cup Mott’s Apple Sauce
Sprinkle gelatin over apple juice and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile bring fruit puree and apple sauce to a boil.
To make my fruit puree, I put frozen strawberries, cherries and raspberries in a pot, brought them to a boil, pureed them, put them through a sieve to remove the seeds, then measured out 1 1/4 cups and poured the puree back in the pot. You can leave the seeds if you don’t mind them.
Add the juice/gelatin into the hot puree and stir to combine.
Pour into silicone molds. If you have apple molds, use them, if not a pumpkin mold works in a pinch. Refrigerate for 1 hour then freeze for 30 minutes. Pop out of molds. Store in the refrigerator.Note: It is very important to freeze these for a while so they pop right out of the mold. Allow them to thaw a bit before serving.
I have to admit these weren’t sweet enough for my tastes, but many of my guests really loved them. If I made them again, I’d add a bit of honey.
I was compensated by #CollectiveBias for this #FlavorofFall campaign, but all opinions expressed here are my own.
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