Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Life’s Better in L.A. with a Plate of Warm Apple Softies and a Dalmatian Mini-Van


I figured I had better get right to the description of those big, soft cinnamon-y apple cookies so you all who came for the cookies, got what you are here for, with no further ado.  They are the perfect after school or work snack…especially served along side a healthy sliced apple and a tall, cold glass of milk.

They are fluffy and tender with a nice punch of molasses and cinnamon.  Even the raisins are elevated since they actually cook in the applesauce and are given plenty of time to plump up and become juicy and delicious.  These cookies feel like a big, warm hug and make your kitchen smell better than any bakery in town.  Seriously, they smell just like gingerbread baking, but they are far easier to make and are super, duper soft—hence the name Apple Softies.  These came from my all time favorite cookbook, The All-American Cookie Cookbook written by Nancy Baggett

Ok, so there is no way possible to naturally work in my awesome Dalmatian Mini-Van I was driving all last weekend so I am just going to do it simply because I can.  It’s my blog, and there really is no where else in the world in which I have total, 100% control.

Why on earth does one drive a Dalmatian Mini Van, you might ask?  I am a Girl Scout leader, and we were involved in a Halloween themed car rally last weekend.  One of the requirements was that our car had to have a costume.

Strangely enough, I decided I LOVED driving a Dalmatian Mini-Van and seriously contemplated leaving it that way FOREVER! I envisioned myself driving day in and day out, blasting, “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and tossing biscuits to all my tail wagging friends out there (yes, I’m totally nuts but we have established that in the past so that is yesterday’s news).  A plain old white mini-van is pretty boring, but a decked out, tongue sticking out van is way cool in my book

WHAT? NOT WAY COOL YOU SAY?!!!! That’s news to me.  Well, not really…my teenage son thought it was a kick to drive around in on Halloween itself, but after that the coolness factor goes way down it seems.  How sad.

Do you have any idea the number of thumbs up, smiles, outbursts of laughter and shout outs I got around town…even on Monday…the day AFTER Halloween?!  Even on the truly dog-eat-dog streets of suburban L.A. (pun intended of course because I am just that cheesy), people would actually let me change lanes in front of them…there was no speeding up and trying to ace me out.

Nice folks would offer up PARKING SPOTS…and no one, not a single soul, flipped me off in those 72 hours!!! That is a record in the Los Angeles area, really.  I am a pretty good driver and yes, most of us good drivers get flipped off at least once a week around here. 

Does that not happen where you live? Good for you.  Don’t move to L.A.  You will be sadly shocked by our lack of driving etiquette.  If you happen to travel out here, please don’t say I didn’t warn you, and come armed with two ready middle fingers, a sailor mouth, a fully functional car horn and a bible to wash away your sins of which there will be plenty.

Anyhow, my car seems naked now that my troop has de-dalmatianed it, and sadly my life as a cranky Los Angeles driver has been reestablished.  Ah well, lucky for me I still have a big plate of cake-y, cinnamon laden delectable cookies waiting to be dunked to wash away my woes.

If you need a way to improve your day, please make these cookies.  They are just that good.  If you really need an excellent day, then decorate your car just like a dalmatian and see the miracle that happens on the roads of where ever you are.  And, just as a bonus, you get to intentionally embarrass your teenage kids.  It’s payback for all of those innocent times you have been falsely accused of totally embarrassing them.  Win-win!

Apple Softies
Recipe from The All-American Cookie Cookbook written by Nancy Baggett
3 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
2 3/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 c. raisins
1 1/2 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 c. unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
3/4 c. plus 2 T. light molasses
1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
2. t. vanilla extract
3 T. sugar for dusting

In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large saucepan, stir together the applesauce, raisins, and lemon zest.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the applesauce is very thick and the raisins are rehydrated, about 10 minutes; be careful not to burn.  Let stand until cooled slightly.  Stir in the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until the butter melts and the ingredients are well blended.  Stir in the egg and egg yolk and vanilla until evenly incorporated.  Stir in the flour mixture until well combined (don’t over mix).  Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm enough to handle, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick cooking spray.  I like to use Silpat mats (silicone mats).  Place on the baking sheets using a medium icecream scoop, about 3 inches apart.  Spread the 3 T. sugar in a shallow bowl.  Grease the bottom of a large, flat-bottomed glass and dip into the sugar and then gently press down on each ball of dough.  I did not sugar mine and did not miss the sugar one iota.    If necessary, wipe the bottom of the glass and regrease.  Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until cookies are soft but slightly firm to the touch.  The edges should be a little darker than the middle.  Transfer to a wire rack after cooling for 3-5 minutes.

Serve with a tall, cold glass of milk or a nice hot cup of coffee. Either will work just fine.

27 thoughts on “Life’s Better in L.A. with a Plate of Warm Apple Softies and a Dalmatian Mini-Van

  1. The mini van is so cool! I’d love to drive one like that 🙂 I love your aapple softies. They look wonderful. Thanks for the tips, I am no a baker so I could really use them.

  2. what a cute looking mini van:) ….
    the recipe is just lovely… thank you for sharing this.

  3. My godchild would love these. I will have to make them for him. I think you should open up a shop all your dishes always looks so yummy. And thank you for all you very kind comments on my blog. Keep baking 🙂

  4. yum! maybe like apple pie in a cookie?

  5. Hi, Geni. What an entertaining post! I’d never come across a Dalmatian-mobile before. Is the Oscar Mayer Wiener mobile a canine relative? (That’s a stretch, but dashhunds are known as wiener dogs, too, right?) OK, it’s late, I’m not making sense on this tangent, and I’d guess I’d better stick to food.

    The cookies look distinctive, too…very autumnal and good for a cider accompaniment, I’d imagine.



    • It’s funny you should mention the Oscar Mayer Wiener mobile. I thought it was just something they used for commercials, but we actually drove by it on the freeway this summer. The kids in my car happened to be starving after a long day at the beach, and I was tempted to shout out across a completely jammed and still freeway and ask for some hotdogs to be tossed our way—like at the ballpark! 🙂

  6. Your cookies look delicious. And I love the mini-van! I never thought of decorating my car for Halloween, but there’s always a first!

  7. The Dalmatian Mini Van looks so cute, I wouldn’t mind driving that around. 🙂

    The cookies look yummy, it’s interesting to see lemon zest as one of your ingredients.

  8. What a cute mini-van….:)) made me smile when I opened up your post:) Recipe as usual fantastic!

  9. MMMM… I can almost smell them! I have some apples from my parents´ garden, perhaps I should sacrifice some of them to this mighty fine cause… I mean – cookies 😀

    Oh, and that van´s a dawg! 😉

  10. MMMM… I can almost smell them! I have some apples from my parents´ garden, perhaps I should sacrifice some of them to this mighty fine cause… I mean – cookies 😀

    Oh, and that van´s a dawg! 😉

  11. If having a dalmatian van is what it takes to have a more pleasant driving experience in LA, I’ll seriously consider it. The tongue is my favorite part! The cookies look just beautiful, and so soft!

  12. Those cookies do look really, really good. I like how “fluffy” they look. And love the van decorations. That’s so creative!

  13. I LOVE your dalmation minivan! I would keep it that way forever! It’s amazing! Oh and the cookies look delicious too, but I am still excited about your minivan! =P

  14. No surprise, those cookies sound incredible!!

    I am LOVING the dalmation van. That is so awesome!! 🙂

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  17. Ran across your blog looking for a Dalmation themed vehicle, thank you!

    How did you do the spots? They look so good! Did you hand make the spots, ears and tongue?

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