Tag Archives: apple pie

Making The Most Out Of Fall With “Apple Brownies” and a DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

14 Sep

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Apple season is in full swing here in Upstate NY – so every weekend I am out there picking, which is a great time – but what’s even MORE fun is then getting to figure out what new and delicious things I can make with the apples!

There’s always going to be apple pie, apple crisp (served warm with vanilla ice cream – yum!), applesauce, and apple butter – those are all basically a given, as I love to eat and share all of them with those I love – but I figure, why not try something different with this newest batch?

When I saw this recipe for Apple Brownies, my mind first assumed that it was a chocolate treat – but once I read the description that stated this was a recipe for a “Cinnamon-spiced blonde brownie” I was actually even more excited than when I was when I thought chocolate would be involved! A bar with nuts and apples sounds like the perfect fall treat, doesn’t it?

 

Apple Brownies (Recipe courtesy of All Recipes)

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
3 medium apples – peeled, cored and
thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×9 inch baking dish
2. In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar, and egg until fluffy. Fold in the apples and walnuts
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon
4. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish
5. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean)

 20140914_090156  20140914_090605 My favorite little kitchen helper wants to make sure I don’t drop any apple peels…

I think what I like about this and other apple cakes/bars/cookies is that they really can be passed off as dessert, a snack, or even breakfast and they go well with milk, coffee, tea, or cider – so you can bake these for a ton of different occasions!

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They turned out so good – much more like a cake than a bar or brownie though- but that’s fine by me! the brown sugar gives it a nice caramelized taste, and the nuts are the perfect addition. Very moist, and if you pair paired with this delicious DIY pumpkin Spice Latte mix then you’ve basically got the perfect fall breakfast!

Pumpkin Spice Latte {homemade recipe for 1 week of yummy drinks!} – Recipe courtesy of A Farm Girl’s Dabbles.com

Ingredients
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 T. pure vanilla extract
1 T. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground dried ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
strong coffee
slightly sweetened whipped cream
cinnamon
dark chocolate shavings
Preparation
In a blender, combine all the pumpkin spice mixture ingredients. Puree for about 30 seconds. If you
want a smoother mixture, puree for a couple minutes, or until the mixture is to your desired
consistency.

Pour 1/2 cup (more or less, depending on your preference) of the pumpkin spice mixture into a large
mug. Microwave for about 20 seconds, then add 1 cup of hot strong brewed coffee and stir. Top with
a nice lofty pile of sweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. And if you’re looking for
extra deliciousness, top with chocolate shavings. So pretty!

Pour the remaining pumpkin spice mixture into a quart jar or similar sized container and top with a lid.
Store in the refrigerator. When ready to make another drink, shake the jar well and repeat the
assembly of the pumpkin spice latte. The pumpkin spice mixture will keep well for up to 1 week in the
refrigerator.

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Personally, I skipped the whipped cream and chocolate shavings – I wanted to just try the pumpkin latte mix without the frills (plus I always skip the whip on my Starbucks lattes – just doesn’t do it for me) and I really liked it, it wasn’t exactly like any of the coffeehouse versions – but I loved the pumpkin and cinnamon combo with my coffee – and I love that it will be good for the next week so I can start my mornings off the right way!

 

Fall is here – and I couldn’t be happier!

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Ringing In Pumpkin Season With This Super Easy Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter

6 Sep

September = Fall. You may disagree with this statement, as I know fall doesn’t technically start until the later part of the month, but I don’t care. In my world, September is when it all begins – apple picking, pie making, pumpkin scented candles, pumpkin spice lattes (Starbucks helped me out with that one by releasing them early this year!), leaves changing, a cool crisp breeze in the air – it all adds up to the best season of all – and I am so glad it’s here once again!

Last year, I made tons of apple stuff – from Apple Crisp to Classic Apple Pie, to Applesauce and Apple Butter that I gave as Christmas gifts – let’s just say that we picked a LOT of apples, and not one of them went to waste!

This year, I want to try and focus a little more on Fall’s other signature flavor – the pumpkin! There’s always pumpkin pie or pumpkin cookies or pumpkin bread – all of which are amazing and delicious – but I thought maybe another item I could potentially jar and give as Christmas gifts might be just the ticket – so when I stumbled across this recipe for Pumpkin Butter I knew I had to try it out!

Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter (Recipe courtesy of Moms with Crockpots)

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 hours

Ingredients
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
½ cup apple juice
¾ cup granulated sugar
1½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

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The ingredient list for this one is pretty simple!

Instructions
1. Set your crock pot on low heat.
2. In the bottom of the crock pot, thoroughly combine all of your ingredients.
3. Cover and let cook for about 5 hours, stirring occasionally, until pumpkin butter is thick enough to stick to
a spoon turned upside down.
4. Spoon pumpkin butter into a jar and let cool completely in the refrigerator before using.
5. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to one week or the freezer for up to 6 months.

I decided to double the recipe, since the ingredients are so few and cheap, and I figured if it turned out awesome then I would have twice as much to enjoy! So for whatever reason – I don’t have pumpkin pie spice at home – never have, I don’t know why – but luckily you can substitute the following to make the 3 teaspoons you need of pumpkin pie spice for the doubled recipe:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

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The finished product. Doesn’t look like much really, but I really love the texture of it – it turned out really smooth and the flavors combined to make it a really delicious spread (which definitely took some time to thicken up – so don’t panic if you finish making it and its still hot and seems thin – it will get thicker as it cools!). The only change I would make is that I personally would add more of the pumpkin pie spice to it – as is its great, but a little more spice would kick it up into the next flavor dimension for sure! Next time I make it I will definitely be giving that a try

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This stuff would be great on bagels, bread/toast, english muffins, or even pancakes or french toast! Hmm…maybe I can convince my husband to bake us some delicious white bread to enjoy the pumpkin butter on…HAPPY FALL!

Products I love – the Apple Corer/Peeler/Slicer

6 Nov

Ok, seriously – how did I live my life without this? The apple corer/peeler/slicer is amazing – easy to setup (with its suction cup base that firmly attaches to almost any countertop), and easy to use (with options to just peel the apple, or to core/peel/slice all at once!) – it has made my life SO much easier! For only $15, it has saved us literally hours of peeling time – and it’s definitely a Product I LOVE and cannot live without – especially during my favorite season of all – APPLE SEASON!

WalterAPples

 My husband takes care of operating the corer/peeler/slicer, as Walter keeps an eye on the peels (making sure none touch the ground, of course!)

It’s certainly no secret that I LOVE FALL – and one of the best things about living in Upstate New York during fall (aside from the gorgeous foliage!) is the apple picking – there are tons of farms near us, and we take FULL advantage of the chance to snag super fresh apples all season long

Picking APplesWe picked 52 pounds of apples last weekend – our 9th apple picking excursion this fall, and I can’t wait to make tons of apple goodies with them!

Since this past weekend was probably our last outing of the season (sad but true), I want to make sure I am making the most of it. So – I will be making more applesauce to give as gifts this Christmas, and I will also probably whip up a few apple pies, as well as apple crisps to share with friends and family. Oh, and another thing I will be making is Apple Butter – a new recipe for me, and one that I will be canning to share with loved ones as well!

Crock Pot Apple Butter (Recipe Courtesy of The Neaves Nest)

Ingredients
16 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons or more of honey to taste

Directions
Pour water in the bottom of your crock pot. Dump in peeled, cored and sliced apples. Top with sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Cook on low for 4 hours. Blend with hand blender or a regular blender. Stir in honey. Taste to see if you prefer a sweeter butter and add more honey if you wish. I found that letting a little cool off in a spoon before trying it allowed more of the flavors and sweetness to come out.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s seriously easy – just set it and leave it – and let it fill your house with it’s amazing apple smell! Like I said, I plan on canning this, so I make a big batch, but you can always cut it in half if you just want to make enough for you to spread on toast (or eat with a spoon, no judgment…)

So I recommend you head over to amazon and grab yourself an apple corer/peeler/slicer, and then use it to whip up some delicious apple recipes – which will you make – the apple butter? Pie, crisp, applesauce? Or do you have another apple recipe you love to make?

Applesauce – Easy To Make, Delicious To Eat, Fun To Give!

26 Sep

Confession: I have already gone apple picking three times this season, and will be going at least once more. Maybe twice. Or three times….but anyway, who’s counting? And besides, I need a lot of apples because this year I decided to make and jar applesauce to give as gifts at Christmas time. It’s been my first attempt at jarring, and honestly, it is so easy, I don’t know why I haven’t been doing it for years

A Apples

 Thankfully I have a VERY tall husband who can reach up to the very tops of the trees to pick me those perfect apples!

 

But first, I must make the applesauce – which is probably the easiest thing to make ever. I just peel and core the apples, cut them up into chunks and toss them in a big pot with a little water, and let them bubble away on the stove for a good 20-30 minutes. Once they are soft, I will mash them with my handy potato masher, and add some cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar to taste. Give it another 5-10 minutes or so on low, and voila – you have delicious homemade applesauce!

Homemade applesauce is so delicious that I figured I HAD to share it with the world – and by the world, I mean my family and friends – and that meant it was time to roll up my sleeves and get canning!

There is a TON of fancy equipment out there for canning/jarring, but I decided to forego that since I was new to the whole thing, and I went with this Ball Home Canning Discovery Kit, which came with instructions, 3 pint jars, and this cool basket/rack that fits right into a stock pot and holds 3 pint or 4 half pint jars. Not only does it work perfectly, but it was only $10 – what a deal, right?

Jarring

Here’s me – all ready to seal up some jars!

 

Here’s how easy it is:
-Fill the jars (leaving a little space at the top)
-screw on the lids (not too tight – you want air to be able to escape)
-Set the jars and basket into a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes (covered)
-Remove the lid and let the pot go for 5 more minutes
-Remove the basket from the water, and leave the jars in an undisturbed place overnight (you might be able to hear them “pop” – which means they have sealed!)

Check out the official instructions on the Ball website

I’ll wrap these up with cellophane and ribbon and cute little tags, and they will make perfect Christmas gifts! What better to give than something from the heart and homemade!

If you aren’t an applesauce fan, then maybe you could try a classic Apple Pie, or even these adorable Mini apple pies perhaps? Or there’s one of my other faves – Apple Crisp…yum. So many apple possibilities, so little time!

The Cherpumple Lives!

25 Nov

A while back I mentioned how I was going to be attempting to make a cherpumple for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Well, I am happy to report that the experiment was a success!


…and I couldn’t have done it without the help of Walter, who prevented this powdered sugar from dirtying the floor by acting as a towel

It was really pretty easy. I baked the (frozen store bought) pies on Monday night and stored them in the refrigerator until Tuesday night, when I mixed up the boxed cake mixes and baked the pies into them.

 

The original Cherpumple directions simply advise to cook the cakes as per the box directions. Well…that didn’t really work out so well. There was so much moisture in the pies that the cakes took forever to bake, and in some places didn’t set up very well. I ended up leaving them all in for over an hour, and there were still places that were soggy after that long. What I ended up doing was scraping the soggy parts of cake off the layers, and then cutting pieces of cake off the ends and placing them on top of the pies. It worked out pretty well in the end.

 

So, here it is – the cherpumple – a cherry pie inside a white cake, a pumpkin pie inside a yellow cake, and an apple pie inside a spice cake – all layered and slathered with cream cheese frosting

 

So the big question is – how was it? It was sweet. Really, really sweet. Personally, I liked it. I liked the pie and cake combo, and the frosting was a nice added layer of smooth sweetness.

 

Will I be making it again next year? Well…probably not. It was fun and delicious, but at the end of the day a scratch made apple or pumpkin pie is always a winner, so I think it will stick with the classics in the future. But, it is fun to try something new once in a while, and this was certainly an interesting concoction, to say the least!

Cherpumple – What The Heck Is That?

6 Nov

Some of my best friends are coming from Virginia for Thanksgiving, and they are not picky eaters so I don’t have to worry too much about what I serve them (luckily!). However, my one friend did make one request… he wants a cherpumple. When I told him I would make it, he got more excited than I have ever seen him (seriously, that’s how pumped he was about the prospect of this dessert!)

The Cherpumple

Does that dessert look scary to you? Because it scares me! I am not sure how I would eat attempt to eat it, much less attempt to make one!

 

So what exactly IS a cherpumple, you might ask? It’s a towering cake monstrosity constructed of a pumpkin pie baked into a spice cake layer, an apple pie baked into a yellow cake layer, and a cherry pie baked into a white cake layer, and the layers are stacked (or glued) together with cream cream cheese frosting.

 

Charles Phoenix is the inventor of this (slightly ridiculous) dessert. How did he come up with the idea for the cherpumple? Well, he was eyeing the remains of his family’s Thanksgiving meal and noticed that everyone took a sliver of each pie—cherry, pumpkin and apple—and some cake. “I was inspired,” he says, “to combine all my family’s traditional holiday desserts into one.” Read more about him and his invention Here

So here ‘s the recipe:

The Cherpumple “Monster” Pie Cake

Ingredients:
– 1 8″ frozen pumpkin pie
– 1 box spice cake mix
– 1 8″ frozen apple pie
– 1 box yellow cake mix
– 1 8″ frozen cherry pie
– 1 box white cake mix
– eggs and oil according to the cake mix
– 3 tall tubs of cream-cheese frosting
– 3 8.5″ round cake pans

Bake pies according to instructions and cool to room temperature overnight. Mix cake batter according to instructions. For each layer pour about 1 1/3 cup of batter in the cake pan. Carefully de-tin the baked pie and place it face up on top of the batter in the cake pan. Push down lightly to release any trapped air. Pour enough batter on top to cover the pie. Bake according to box instructions. Cool and remove from pans then frost it like you mean it.

 

Ok, so I know I will definitely be using all store bought cake mixes and pies, but as for the frosting, I will definitely make my own, probably a combo of cream cheese and butter base (plus powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk – you know, all the usual frosting suspects), and this is really because it tastes a LOT better than packaged frosting, and it is really easy to make from scratch too!

 

My biggest concern with this is that I have a feeling it will fall apart when I attempt to assemble it. What I am planning on doing is baking the pies the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, then baking the cake pies on Wednesday, and I will be refrigerating them until I am ready for assembly, and I will make sure the frosting is cool too, and that will hopefully help all layers stay firm during assembly! Worst case scenario? I pretend I wanted it to fall apart and that it was meant to be served in bowls and eaten with spoons

 

Either way, I am looking forward to the new culinary challenge, as appearance has always been the hardest thing for me master when it comes to desserts. I can make some tasty desserts, but they don’t always look like the picture in the recipe…maybe the cherpumple will force me to pay more attention to detail and it will end up being the prettiest dessert ever! Like this one…

 

…Either way, I can’t wait to taste it, and will definitely be posting some pics after Thanksgiving. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…

Dirt N’ Worms – A Classic Halloween Treat

21 Oct

 

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year – a time for some classic baking, stuff like apple pie, apple crisp, spice cake, pumpkin muffins and pie, cookies, breads…the list goes on. And on.

 

But fall means more than baking – it means it’s time to celebrate Halloween! Ghosts, scary movies, costumes, candy – what’s not to love about this spooky holiday? One of the best parts of Halloween is dressing up and heading to parties with friends, and since I never like to arrive empty handed to a party, I wanted to make something different and appropriately Halloween themed. I asked my husband for help on this, and he immediately came up with the idea of making dirt and worms. I initially scoffed at this suggestion, thinking “that’s for little kids”, but then I realized – oreos, pudding, gummies – what’s not to like about dirt and worms?

 

Dirt and Worms
Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. butter, softened
2 (3 oz.) pkgs. instant French vanilla pudding
3 c. milk
12-16 oz. Cool Whip
1 lg. pkg. Oreo cookies
Gummi worms

 

Directions

In small bowl mix together cream cheese and butter. Set aside. In another bowl mix together puddings and milk. Combine above mixtures and fold in Cool Whip.
Crush Oreo cookies. Layer in serving bowl as follows:
1/3 cookie crumbs
1/2 pudding mix
1/2 gummi worms
1/3 cookie crumbs
Rest of pudding mix
Rest of gummi worms and crumbs, allowing some “worms” to peek through the “dirt”

It was delicious and everyone loved it, it’s a hit for those of all ages, and a fun dessert to bring along to a Halloween gathering! Or…any gathering for that matter!