Thursday, October 27, 2011

apples, apples, apples! {recipe}

This time of year, I think sometimes the apple gets overshadowed by pumpkin recipes.  I would like to give a shout out to the apple today!

First off, here is a ridiculously decadent dessert that tastes like an ooey gooey caramel apple.  And what says Halloween more than caramel apples?!  Is this calorie friendly....not at all.  But hey, sometimes splurging is SOOO worth it!  One of the things I love about trifles is that they look really impressive for any occasion, but are really easy to  put together.

 Caramel Apple Trifle
1 baked cake (apple, white, pound, or even angel food cake would be great!)
1 can apple pie filling
1 jar caramel sauce
Apple Cider donuts (approx 4-6 depending on size) (or just use more cake...I think I will next time.  It was a little too sweet with the glazed donuts)
1 large box vanilla pudding, prepared
Coarsely chopped oatmeal cookies (Store-bought is fine)
whipped topping (Cool Whip)

In a trifle pan, layer all your ingredients starting with the donuts, pudding, cookies, caramel, cake, apple pie filling, pudding, cookies…etc.

Continue layering until the trifle dish is full finishing with whipped topping and a drizzle of caramel.  I recommend refrigerating for 2-3 hours in advance)
Recipe Source:  Cookies and Cups
Next, a breakfast the whole family will love!  Call them a "hootanany" pancake, call them German pancakes, whatever you will.  In any case, just try them!  I have had plain ol' German pancakes in the past, and don't get me wrong...they are scrumptious!  This version of the old classic is amazing.  It is a great way to use eggs that are getting close to their expiration date as well as taking advantage of apple prices this time of year.  Just try these.  Do it soon.  You won't regret it!

 German Apple Pancakes
8 eggs
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ cup milk
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter
3 medium apples thinly sliced and pared
½ brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Slice up butter in 9×13 pan and place in oven while preparing the Apples. Put apples in warm melted butter, spread them out and sprinkle cinnamon over them…place back in the oven. Beat eggs, flour, milk and salt together for 1 minute. Pour batter over apples. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon (I mixed these together and then sprinkled on)over the entire top, and place in oven for about 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
Recipe Source:  Real Mom Kitchen

The next recipe does not actually contain apples...sorry.  They do have a wonderful apple cider flavor, though! 
There is nothing like sipping hot apple cider when it starts cooling off outside.  Let me tell you how delicious these cookies are after they have sat on top of your cider or hot chocolate mug for a few minutes...the caramel gets all warm and melty...mmmm.
When I read the recipe the first time, I thought it was crazy!  It calls for an ENTIRE box of apple cider packets (yep, the whole box!)  I can honestly say these cookies have made my 'Top 5 Favorite Cookies of All-time.'  A definite must try this time of year!

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
With your mixer cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)

When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. 
Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon.)
Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.) If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.

Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.
Recipe Source:  Scrambled Hen Fruit

And lastly, I cannot end this post without sharing one of my son's favorite Halloween-time lunches.  And sorry, no apples in this one :)

Halloween English Muffin Pizzas
Alright, no real recipe here.  But aren't they cute?!  
I bought some wheat English muffins and slathered them with some jarred pizza sauce.  On the Jack-o-lantern I just used shredded mozzarella cheese, and on the mummy we used string cheese.  Cut out pepperonis into a few different shapes for the Jack o' lantern and use sliced olives for mummy's eyes.  Place on a baking sheet and place under the broiler just until cheese melts and starts to bubble.  Enjoy!

I am always up for trying new recipes, so if there are any you'd like me to try or future posts you'd like to see....I'm all ears!

Happy Fall!



Joni said...

Those cookies look AMAZING!

Shonie said...

I made the caramel stuffed apple cider cookies a few weeks ago and they were sooo delicious. Thank goodness I took them to a friends house or I would have eaten them all! I think I'll try the other recipes you posted too as I love apples! l

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Carla said...

How much brown sugar? The recipe just says 1/2. Thanks!