Brown Butter Cookies with Homemade Apple Butter

These little beauties are too cute for words and extremely tasty to boot. It really is too bad that they won't make the cut for apt. 2b baking co.'s official menu (they are a bit fragile), but that doesn't mean that you can't make them at home. Do yourself a solid and eat them with cinnamon ice cream and a nice pour of bourbon.

Brown Butter Cookies adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used homemade)
1T bourbon (optional)
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Brown the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently until the milk solids turn light brown and the butter has a nutty fragrance. Transfer butter to bowl and chill until firm, about an hour.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and bourbon, then add flour, cinnamon and salt. Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Chill until cool, but not hard, about 45min.
3. Heat oven to 350. Unwrap dough and gently roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a well floured surface. Cut dough into desired shapes (I used a 1 1/2 inch round cutter) and bake on parchment lined baking sheets until lightly browned. The warm cookies are quite fragile and it is best not to move them until they have cooled a bit.

Once cookies have cooled completely fill 1/2 of them with Homemade Apple Butter, other jam of choice, or even chocolate if you are feeling wild and top with the remaining cookies. Fill the cookies up to 1 hour before you plan to eat them, any earlier and they may get a bit soft.

Bonus Idea: Use the cookies and apple butter as a mix in for homemade ice cream. Delicious!

Apple Butter (A great first canning project)

4lbs good eatin' apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized pieces (I like to use mutsu, macintosh, and gala, but you can use whatever you like)
3-4 cups apple cider
1 1/2-2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
Juice of one lemon

Prepare your jars and lids by washing them thoroughly with soap and water. Place jars in a warm oven (about 200) and place lids on a clean towel to dry completely. You can also wash your jars on the top rack of your dishwasher and leave them in there until you are ready for them.
To make the apple butter

1. In your biggest, heaviest pot (I use a dutch oven) combine the apples and enough cider to cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook the apples until tender. A but of foam will form on the surface that should be skimmed off, it's okay if you can't get it all.
2. When the apples are tender, remove the pot from the heat and puree the mixture until it is smooth (an immersion blender is the best tool for this). Stir in sugar, spices and lemon juice.
3. Cook the mixture at about 220 degrees (simmering) until it darkens in color and begins to pop and bubble in a lava like fashion, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Ladle the lava into your prepared jars, clean the rims with a dry paper towel and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
4. Remove the jars from the hot water bath with tongs and listen for the tell tale pop that means your jars are sealed and safe to be stored in a cool dry spot.