So…you took my advice from last week’s post and went on a little adventure to pick some fresh apples, huh? Whether you brought the young ones or just your significant other – I’m sure you had a fantastic, apple filled day.
Apple picking, for me at least, is one of my fondest memories growing up. I remember the day so vividly. My brother was four and I just turned eight. Just like a little brother would, Brandon (my brother) stole one of my apples out of my bag and chucked it into the abyss. At this point of my young life, I thought my whole world was over. I was so mad. I reached down to the grass below me and picked up an old rotten apple. I locked onto my target and threw it as hard as I possibly could at the back of his head. Bulls-eye! Immediately after impact, the apple exploded and rolled down his back. Tears instantly rolled down his face, followed by a quick cry for “MOMMYYYY!”
Two things transpired from this one incident.
One- I hated seeing my little brother cry from my actions so I promised to never hurt him and to only protect him.
Two- I had one hell of an arm. My dad couldn’t believe it.
In fact, when we got home, my dad threw me a glove and we started to throw a baseball around “for fun.” (aka-to test my athletic ability.) My mother, who was still pretty upset with me, ordered me inside to help her in the kitchen.
When I dreadfully walked into the kitchen, it was a scene I will never forget.
My mother, who always wore her hair down, had hair up in a messy bun. She had an apron on, which was covered with sugar and flour. Underneath the apron was a bulky fall sweater, which was rolled up to her elbows. The kitchen was warm and the whole house smelled of sweet delicious cinnamon and apples.
“If you want to play like a boy, you’ll also need to learn how to play like a girl in the kitchen.”
So I sat there and watched my mother in awe create these delectable apple creations.
Now, I challenge you. It’s your turn to try out some apple recipes and make memories. Sure, we can do the basic b*tch apple pie, but that’s so boring. Instead, let me amp up the apple world with a few recipes that will work perfectly for the holidays. Trust me when I say, you’ll never forget the first time you bake or cook with apples.
APPLE CINNAMON MONKEY BREAD
2 cans (17.5 oz each) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Supreme Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
1 medium tart apple, peeled, chopped
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup butter, melted
- Heat oven to 350 °F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening or cooking spray
- Set aside icing tubes from cinnamon rolls. Separate each can of dough into 5 rolls; cut into quarters.
- Place apple in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Add ¼ cup sugar mixture to apple; toss to coat. Sprinkle half of apple pieces in the pan. Roll half of dough pieces in sugar mixture; place on apples in pan.
- Sprinkle with remaining apple pieces. Roll remaining dough pieces in sugar mixture; place on apples. Pour melted butter over top.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown across the top. Cool 10 minutes; run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Place heatproof serving plate over pan and turn over; remove pan. Cool 10 minutes longer
- Drizzle reserved icing over top of bread, allowing some to drizzle down sides. Pull apart to serve; serve warm.
APPLE CINNAMON BAKED OATMEAL
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup diced apples (medium size)
- ½ cup applesauce
- ½ cup milk, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil – melted and slightly cooled
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F
- Lightly grease, or spray with nonstick cooking spray, an 8- by 8-inch glass baking dish
- In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Mix in diced apples, applesauce, milk, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Stir in coconut oil until all ingredients are well combined
- Spread mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until set and top is a light golden brown
- Allow dish to cool down in the baking dish for at least five minutes before slicing.
- Serve warm with optional garnishes, such as warm milk drizzled over the top and additional chopped walnuts.
CARAMEL APPLE CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
- 8 oz cream cheese
- Caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- Toffee bits
- Sliced apples for serving
- Place cream cheese on a serving dish and pour as much caramel sauce as you desire over the cream cheese.
- Then sprinkle a generous amount of toffee bits
- Serve with slice apples
- 5 pounds of cooking apples
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Combine the apples, cider, and orange juice in a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft – roughly around 30 to 40 minutes
- Then, remove the pan from the heat. In small batches purée the apples and any cooking liquid from the food mill.
- Return the purée to the Dutch oven, and add the sugars, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Cook, still stirring, until the purée thickens slightly – about 10 minutes
- Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Transfer the butter to a clean jar and cool completely. Store refrigerated for up to 1 month.
And if you’re absolutely CRAVING the taste of apple pie, try this out instead….
EASY APPLE PIE BITES
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 8 (½-inch) slices
- 1 (8-ounce) can Pillsbury Original crescent rolls
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside
- Unwrap the crescent roll and separate the triangles
- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
- Evenly spread butter onto each triangle
- Sprinkle each triangle with a lot of sugar and cinnamon mixture, and sprinkle with the pecans or walnuts
- Wash the apple and cut into 8 equal slices
- Place a piece of apple on each triangle of dough (on a wider side) and roll it in a croissant
- Arrange crescent roll croissant (bites) on a cookie sheet
- Spread the remaining butter on each crescent roll croissant and sprinkle with the additional sugar and cinnamon
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving
Passing on traditions is a vital factor in my family. I hope I have inspired you to pass these recipes on to your loved ones or children, as well.
Stay tuned next week!