Crockpot Apple Crisp

Fall is fast approaching here in the Finger Lakes Region and apples are a big thing in my neck of the woods.  And as luck would have it, New York State is the 2nd largest apple producing state in this country.  We have beautiful apple farms to go apple picking at, fun and tasty apple festivals to entertain us and help keep our bellies full, and this year I am hoping hubby and I can make our way to Wayne County for their 16th annual apple tasting tour which sounds like loads of fun to me.

So, in honor of our soon to be autumn, I decided to cheer it on with a  delicious warm and gooey apple dessert.

This dessert is perfect for those days when you don’t feel like turning on your oven, or if you need a dish simple dish to pass but don’t have a lot of time to fuss.  Top it off with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or dollop of homemade whipped cream and it just keeps getting better!

This dessert recipe is adapted from Food.com.   My adaptation appears below.  If you prefer the original recipe just follow the previous link.  This recipe makes about 6 servings.

Crockpot Apple Crisp

5 Cortland apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. margarine or butter, melted

Generously grease a medium sized crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except apples; mix thoroughly.  Layer half of the sliced apples on the bottom of the crockpot and top the apples with half of the oatmeal mixture.  Repeat with remaining apples and oatmeal mixture.

Place the lid on crockpot and bake on high for 2-3 hours, or until apples are tender. I stirred the dessert a couple times while it was baking. Turn crockpot off and stir once.  Keep covered and allow dessert to sit until ready to serve.

This dessert is a winner in my book.  Fix it, and nearly forget it.  I shared this with my husband’s family and there wasn’t even a spoonful leftover.  I consider that a good thing!!

What is your favorite apple?

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Maple Apple Doughnut Holes

Do you have Halloween entertaining to do?  If so, I have a great recipe that will likely make every ghoul you know happy.  Serve these little treats with a piping cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or apple cider and you’ll likely be the best fairy Godmother on the block.

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These Maple Apple Doughnut Holes are delish, and this recipe makes about 4 dozen – so you’ll have a lot to go around.

I made these with my babycakes maker which I end up using more for doughnut holes than I do for cake pops.  Maybe you’re going to get tired of hearing me talk about it, but it has truly been a great investment.  Did you see the  Baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes that I made last month?  If not, you won’t want to miss them either.

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Maple Apple Doughnut Holes

1 egg

1/3 c. olive oil

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 large Ida Red apple, peeled & grated (about 1 cup)

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. milk

Cinnamon & sugar mixture

In large bowl, add egg, oil, sugars, and grated apple; mix thoroughly. Mix in maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder. Add flour and milk; mix until all ingredients are completely blended.

Using a babycakes maker, bake the doughnuts.  After removing them from the maker, roll in cinnamon & sugar.  Store  in a paper bag to avoid having the cinnamon & sugar-coating disappear.  *If  stored in an airtight container the coating will disappear and you will need to re-coat them before serving.

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Don’t you just love this pretty  Old Luxembourg square bread & butter plate that I served the doughnut holes on?  It’s from Villeroy & Boch.  I am a very lucky girl because they sent me a couple of pieces of their fine porcelain to try out.   They have the most attractive pieces of dinnerware out there – that’s my honest opinion, and I’m not saying it because they sent me their product. When I scroll through their on-line catalogue my wish list continues to grows and grow.  The problem is I can’t decide on just one pattern.  I love them all!

Who makes your favorite dinnerware?  Do you have Halloween plans this year?  Are you a fan of doughnut holes?  Come on people – chime in!

Apple Rum Ice Cream Topping

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The temperatures here have been hovering in the high 70’s and low 80’s here in the Finger Lakes.  It’s unseasonably warm, but you won’t hear any complaints from me. 

As it happens, I found heavy cream on sale during these warm days. Warm days and heavy cream equals; homemade vanilla ice cream. 

Once I bought the cream, I kept thinking apple pie would taste great with the vanilla ice cream I was about to make, but I just didn’t feel that ambitious.  So instead, I came up with a less ambitious project that generated a delicious, and probably healthier alternative – Maple Apple Rum Topping.

Apple Rum Ice Cream Topping

6 small McIntosh apples, peeled, quartered, and sliced thin

4 tbsp. butter

4 tbsp. light brown sugar

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

3 tsp. Bacardi Gold Rum (Or spiced rum if you prefer)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. corn starch

In a small bowl, add brown sugar and corn starch; mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a medium skillet, melt butter.  Add apples, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and cook on low heat until soft and tender. 

Once apples are tender, add maple syrup, remaining cinnamon, rum, and brown sugar mixture; stir until liquid thickens.  It should appear slightly caramelized. 

Remove from heat and serve warm, or refrigerate and warm in the microwave prior to using. 

This topping is not overly boozy flavored.  The rum does give it a unique flavor.   You can add more rum if you’d like a little more zip, or you can make this without alcohol – just add a teaspoon of vanilla extract in place of the rum. 

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I think a piece of yellow cake or some toasted pecans would also have fit perfectly in this equation.  But only if you aren’t watching calories!

What is your favorite ice cream topping?  Do you buy it, or make it from scratch?

Cortland Apple Cake

This month I haven’t done much baking.  At least nothing new and out of the ordinary.  Missing my blogging a little, and in anticipation birthday celebrations in our family, I decided to bake something related to autumn – my favorite season.

As visions of sugar plums apples danced through my head I scoured a couple of cookbooks and the internet looking for ideas.  When I couldn’t settle on a recipe I decided to play the mad scientist.

Now, there is a warning attached to this recipe * Do not, I repeat – do not, bake this cake in a Bundt pan.* I did and seriously regretted it.  With that said, I have wonderful things to say about this cake.  It is a course, sweet, packed full of flavor, super moist  cake.  It truly depicts my idea of a delicious autumn dessert.  A definite go-to recipe in the future.  My only mistake, I opted for a Bundt pan instead of a rectangular cake pan.  As the cake baked some of the sugar caramelized and caused it to stick (not burn) to the bottom of the pan – even after I had spayed it with a big dose of cooking spray. To avoid this problem in the future I will use a rectangular cake pan.

I opted to use Cortland apples for this recipe.  I love the juicy, sweet,  and slightly tart flavor the Cortland packs.  It’s a great versatile baking apple. 

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Cortland Apple Cake

1/2 c. margarine, softened

2 c. sugar

2 eggs, room temp

2 c. flour

1/3 c. orange juice

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. grated Cortland apples

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl; add margarine, sugar, and eggs.  Beat ingredients until fluffy.  Add the remainder of ingredients; fold in the grated apples last. (How easy is that??)

Spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Lightly coat the parchment paper with cooking spray too.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Cool and serve plain, or with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

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What is your favorite autumn dessert?  Is it made with apples?  Pumpkins?  Or, something else?

Apple Filled Oatmeal Cookies

This last weekend we went apple picking at Reisinger’s Apple Country in Watkins Glen, NY. The small dwarf trees made picking perfect, and although it’s still a little early in the season to pick some of the varieties I really love I didn’t let that deter me.

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Above are some other eager apple pickers.  The trees were loaded and it didn’t take long to fill our bag.

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I love to bake with apples.  Everything tastes good with apple in it – pies, cakes, muffins and cookies.   The majority of apples we picked were Ginger Golds, an early apple that doesn’t store well for long.  They make a great eating apple and are a good pie apple.  Ginger Golds are mild in taste but have a slightly tart finish.

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I decided to make cookies with some of the apples we picked.  The recipe I used is modified slightly from my Better Homes and Gardens (red & white check) Cookbook.

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Recipe – Apple Filled Oatmeal Cookies

Filling

1 1/2 c. finely diced peeled apple

1/2 c. granulated sugar

3 TBSP. water

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 dashes of nutmeg

Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and cook until the apples become tender and the filling thickens.  Set aside.

Cookie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray non-stick cooking spray on two small, or 1 large cookie sheet  

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1 egg

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. milk

1 TBSP. honey

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 c. quick-cooking oats

1 c. all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, add margarine, egg, and brown sugar.  Beat for about 30 seconds until fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly.    Drop with tablespoon onto greased cookie sheets about 2” apart.  Make a depression in the center of each cookie and fill with a teaspoon of filling.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the cookies from cookie sheet and place on baking rack to cool.  Makes about 1 dozen.

The jury is still out on one aspect of this cookie – the filling.  I think it’s a little too sweet, hubby doesn’t thing it is.  I think I would cut the sugar down to 1/4 cup.  I’ll let you be the judge on this one.

And now for a little promoting. If you are looking for a fun, eclectic new blog then you have to check out Mike and Molly’s House .  This site is way too cool.  A husband and wife team cover an array of topics from gardening, building, projects, cooking, to money.  They also have great stories to tell, and Mike and Molly TV to watch.  I say this is one of the best blogs I’ve seen in a long time.  Check them out – say hello – and tell me I’m so right 🙂

Enjoy!