Tag Archives: apple season

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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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!

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 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?

Embarrassing Confession (+Pumpkin +Chocolate)

9 Aug

 

I LOVE FALL – this is not a new love, and I have obsessed over the autumn season for a LONG time (maybe it has something to do with all the amazing things you can do with APPLES?). Love everything about it – the foods, the colors, the weather, the décor, the activities, the holidays – nothing beats it in my book. That being said – it’s now time for me to make my embarrassing confession- ready? I HATE SUMMER. There. I said it. I hate the heat, the sun beating down on me, the bugs, the humidity, grilled foods are not my first choice, and I am not too much of an “outdoor girl”, so getting to spend summer days outside does not appeal to me. At all. When I admit this to people – most of them are shocked and appalled, as the majority of people love summer. Sad (and slightly ashamed) to admit – I am just NOT one of them

So when people complain about the back to school ads and fall decorations and Halloween candy coming out earlier and earlier every year, I listen and nod along with them – but am secretly thrilled with the ever early arrival of fall (I got my first email for a “back to school sale” a few weeks ago and screamed out loud – that’s how exciting fall is to me!). I decided that since it was back to school time, then its fall recipe time too – and then I came across these Salted Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies on Picky Palate, I knew they would be the recipe to usher in the start of (my) fall season!
Salted Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ingredients
• 1 stick/8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 2 tablespoons molasses
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal Flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• one 10 ounce bag chocolate chunks (2 cups)
• A few pinches Fleur de sel salt or sea salt for sprinkling on top of cookies
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Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place butter and sugars into stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses, pumpkin, egg and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add flour, salt and baking soda, mixing to combine then add in chocolate chunks. Using a scoop/tablespoon, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet. Flatten cookies with hands then sprinkle lightly with salt if desired.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until baked through
Makes about 15-20  2 inch cookies

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Me and my sous chef Walter – his main job function is cleanup should any debris accidentally litter the floor

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Pressed and salted cookies all ready for the oven!

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…Aren’t they pretty? Look at that pumpkin color, and that salt!

The only things I did differently from the written recipe were that I used all brown sugar (because I was out of white), and I also sprayed nonstick cooking spray on my fingers to flatten the cookies so the dough wouldn’t stick to my hand

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The end result? A cake-y, chocolate, delicious cookie! You could definitely taste the salt and chocolate, and the pumpkin makes it super moist, but unfortunately, the pumpkin taste gets lost in the shuffle, it’s VERY subtle, and that saddens me, as I would prefer as much pumpkin flavor as possible! But my husband loved that it was not as pumpkin-y, so to each their own I suppose

I will make them again for sure – what a fun way to take a chocolate chip cookie and put a salty, autumn-y twist on it!