An apple a day is easy when they're actually adorable cookies

Aug 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET

As a kid, back-to-school time was always very bittersweet. I was never excited to give up my carefree summers at the lake and late night movie sessions, but I always looked forward to new clothes, new school supplies and a new year of possibilities. Even though we don't have kids yet, I still get weirdly excited over back-to-school ads, and I even whip up cute little edibles, like these apple bites, just for fun.

The best part about these adorable little apples is that you don't need to be Martha Stewart to make them. Just grab a package of cookie dough, some food coloring, candy and pretzels, and you've got adorable apple look-alike treats.

Mini apple bite cookies

Seriously, it's that easy. Just pour the cookie mix, softened butter and egg into a bowl. Use those muscular arms you've been shaping in barre, and stir it up until a soft dough forms.

Mini apple bite cookies

Then you play. Squirt as much of the red food dye as you like to get a nice red color. Then you mix it all up. After that, you roll the dough into small, little, itty-bitty pieces. Now, this next part is totally optional, but I decided to add some sparkle to these apples by dipping the small dough balls into red sprinkles. You can skip it, but I think it adds a fun pizzazz.

Mini apple bite cookies

After they glitter, you plop them into a mini muffin pan, and bake away! Now, don't get discouraged if they sink in the middle a little — that can totally be fixed.

Mini apple bite cookies

If yours sink, simply mix up a foolproof buttercream, add some red food dye and sprinkles and then stick a bit into the "sinking" part of the cookie. You'll never notice.

Mini apple bite cookies

Once you're done with that, you add a little pretzel stem to the middle and cut some leaf shapes from the Sour Patch gummies. And then, voilà.

Mini apple bite cookies

You have apples that'll totally make you and your kid the teacher's pet.

Mini apple bite cookies

Mini apple cookie recipe

Adapted from Living Locurto

Yields 32


  • 1 package sugar cookie dough
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Red food dye
  • Red glitter or sprinkles
  • Pretzel rods
  • Green Sour Patch gummies
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Vanilla buttercream frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl.
  2. Into another bowl, pour the sugar cookie dough, and then add the softened butter and egg. Stir to combine until a soft dough forms. Add in a few drops of red food dye, and stir until you get a red color.
  3. Pull apart small pieces of dough, and roll them into the sprinkles. Place the balls into the greased muffin tin. Bake for about 18 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the pan, and then move them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Stir red food dye into the buttercream. Add a dab of frosting into the centers of the cookies. Break the pretzel rods in half, and stick 1/2 into the top of the frosting (to make the stem of the apple). Cut small leaves out of the green candies, and attach them to the pretzel rod (I did this by adding some frosting to the cut side).
  5. Serve immediately, or chill.

More back-to-school desserts

5 Back-to-school edibles
7 Fun back-to-school cookie recipes
Hot-off-the-grill cupcakes