A bushel and a peck of apples

I may not be blogging every day, but I’m still making my apple recipe every day. Here are days 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Day 6: Homestlyle Banana Bread with Applesauce and Cinnamon

I used the last of my homemade applesauce making two loaves of Homestyle Banana Bread with Applesauce and Cinnamon. I took one loaf to an Oktoberfest party and the other was given to my sons’ teachers for their parent-teach conferences potluck.

(They like my kid. I have to do what I can to make sure it stays that way.)

I had no idea how much cinnamon I’d use during this apple challenge. My spice cupboard to really getting cleaned out this month.

HOMESTYLE BANANA BREAD WITH APPLESAUCE AND CINNAMON

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Using a blender or electric mixer, mash the bananas. Add the applesauce, egg whites, vanilla and both sugars. Blend until smooth.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined, then stir in the oil gently until just blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy of 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get Everything You Want in Life by Cindi Leive and the Editors of Glamour

Day 7: Caramel Stuffed Cider Apple Cookies

I love caramel apples. When I was a little, caramel apples were fall. I’d always get one when my family would go to the local apple orchard and that first sticky bite meant that my favorite season was finally here.

I still love caramel apples, although I don’t let myself indulge as much as I used to. This is mainly because of all the money I’ve paid my dentist over the years. Caramel is not good for my teeth.

Still, I can’t make an apple recipe a day for 31 days without including caramel apples, right?

My dentist would probably say no, so that’s why I made these caramel stuffed apple cider cookies instead.

CARAMEL STUFFED APPLE CIDER COOKIES

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (7.4 oz.) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (10 packets – found next to hot chocolate mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag of Kraft chewy caramels

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (you need this so that the caramel doesn’t stick to the bottom of your cookie sheet).

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

With an electric 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.

Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut (about 2 tablespoons). 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. Shape the dough into a ball, and place on parchment covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.

Bake 11-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. They may not look quite done in the center but that is OK. Once the cookies are done, carefully 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 on the parchment or on a cookie rack. If they are not upside down while they cool they may drizzle caramel out the bottom.

Eat at room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave. (Seriously, heat them up in the microwave or risk breaking a tooth on the hard caramel.)

Recipe courtesy of www.thecookingphotographer.com

Day 8: Apple Cinnamon Bread

More bread for my son’s teachers! Also, his middle school football team finished the season undefeated — both A and B squads. I did not expand my knowledge of football one bit attending his games, but the smile on his face after doing well was worth 45 minutes of confusion.

APPLE CINNAMON BREAD

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 1½ to 2 apples)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper; set the pan aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice and cloves. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add in the oil, applesauce and vanilla and mix until smooth. Next, add the sugar and mix until well-combined.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until the flour is just barely combined. Gently fold in the apples with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a dull knife around the sides of the loaf and turn it out on a cooling rack, remove the parchment paper and place right-side up. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap leftover loaf in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of www.browneyedbaker.com

Day 9: Dried Apple Rings

It took time for me to build up the enthusiasm to go to my kitchen and make today’s apple recipe. It’s not that I’m getting bored with the challenge, but I am getting tired of washing dishes. With two apple bread recipes almost back-to-back, plus apple cookies and cupcakes, I was ready to make something that didn’t require a lot of dishes.

Dried apple rings was the obvious solution. All you need for this recipe are apples, a cutting board, a sharp knife and lemons. You also need a bowl to soak the apples in, a measuring cup for the lemon juice and water, plus a baking sheet and wire rack for the oven.

OK, this recipe required a lot of dishes, too, but at least most of them could be loaded in the dishwasher. It’s my kids’ job to unload that!

DRIED APPLE RINGS

  • 1 tablespoon citric acid or lemon juice
  • Firm, unblemished apples, cored, peeled or unpeeled, and cut into thin rings

Heat the oven to its lowest setting. Dissolve the citric acid in 1.2 liters cold water or you can make up a solution of one part lemon juice to four parts water. Both are effective but using citric acid will preserve the apples for longer.

Add the apples, ensuring they are completely submerged. Leave to sit for 5 minutes. Do this in batches.

Arrange the apple slices on racks and place in the oven, using a skewer to hold the door ajar. At 170 degrees, they will be read (quite chewy) within two hours.

Recipe adapted from countryliving.co.uk

Day 10: Brown Rice with Apples

Rice is a common side dish at my house. It is one of my favorite foods.

My husband won’t say it — because he’s a nice guy — but he gets tired of rice, so I try to punch it up by adding vegetables, spices, using flavored broth instead of water, etc. Rice is so simple, yet you can do so much with it.

Even add apples.

BROWN RICE WITH APPLES

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ¼ cups uncooked instant brown rice (can substitute instant wild rice, too)
  • 2 ¼ cups ready-to-serve fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups chopped unpeeled red apple
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add shallot and garlic; cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in rice, broth, apple and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Drain and discard any excess liquid. Stir in parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury: Fast and Healthy Cookbook: 350 East Recipes for Everyday by The Pillsbury Company

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