I’m kind of in a caramel apple mindset this autumn! I recently posted a recipe for Caramel Apple Oat Squares and now I have another caramel apple recipe to share. I think I like caramel apples so much because of the gooey, buttery caramel and crisp, slightly sweet and tart apples. Yum! What could be better? Maybe nothing. Or maybe this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake. It has yummy bits of caramel and chopped apple, and a sweet, crunchy, brown sugar/oatmeal topping. There’s also some Greek yogurt mixed in the cake batter to make it extra moist. It tastes best served warm, while the caramel bits are still soft and gooey. It makes a sweet autumn breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or tea!Continue reading
Do you like breakfast pastry? Or how about coffee cake? If you do, then I think you’d really like this recipe, because it’s a combination of both. It has a thin, rich cakey layer that’s topped with apple pie filling and drizzled with a creamy glaze, which gives it that pastry touch. So it’s the best of both breakfast worlds!
This Apple Almond Coffee Cake is great if you need to make something that serves a larger group of people, too, because it’s made in a 10 x 15″ pan. If you’re not crazy about apple pie filling, you can substitute another fruit pie filling like cherry or peach–I thought apple would be good for autumn. This would be great for a special breakfast or brunch any time of year, but since the holidays are coming up, you may want to keep this in mind for a holiday weekend brunch. It could also work as a dessert too, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream on top.
APPLE ALMOND COFFEE CAKE by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home
Makes a 10 x 15″ pan, about 16-20 servings
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
- 4 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted or untoasted, for sprinkling on top of icing
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 10 x 15″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; add to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and mix just until combined. Spread 3 3/4 cups batter evenly into prepared 10 x 15″ baking pan.
Spoon pie filling into a medium-size bowl and cut apples into smaller chunks with a knife. Stir in cinnamon, blending well, then spoon and spread filling, in a thin layer, onto the batter to within 1″ of edges. Spoon remaining batter in small dollops over the filling.
Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool coffee cake in pan on a wire rack.
In small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and Half & Half (light cream). Drizzle over warm or cooled coffee cake (you don’t have to use all the glaze if you just want a light drizzle). Sprinkle glazed coffee cake with sliced almonds. Let glaze set at least 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
Did I mention this coffee cake was especially good in the morning with a nice hot cup of coffee? It helps make getting out of bed a little easier on a chilly morning! 🙂 Do you have a favorite coffee cake recipe you enjoy making this time of year?
It’s always fun trying out different ways to make salads–it makes salad-eating a little more interesting! In the summer months, I like adding strawberries and blueberries to my salads. So I thought I’d try making a more “wintry” salad with apples and pears, inspired by this recipe. There’s also creamy crumbles of feta cheese mixed in, along with some healthy pecans that give this salad a nice flavor and crunch! I learned recently that pecans are rich in antioxidants and contain heart-healthy mono and ployunsaturated fats. They’re also rich in fiber–a handful of pecans contain the same amount of fiber as a medium-sized apple! I had received a complimentary sample of Bergeron Pecans through the National Pecan Shellers Association, and they were a perfect addition to this salad!
APPLE PEAR PECAN SALAD by NancyCreative, adapted from Kraft Foods
Makes 6-8 servings
- 8 cups of packaged salad mix (about a 5.5-ounce package) or coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries, divided
- 1 medium or large apple, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium or large pear, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 1 cup pecan halves or coarsely chopped pecans, toasted or untoasted, divided (I used Bergeron Pecans)
- 1 bottle of your favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (regular or lite)
In a large salad bowl, toss together the lettuce, half of the dried cranberries (1/3 cup), and all of the chopped apple and pear. Then add in half of the crumbled feta cheese and half of the pecans (1/2 cup) and toss all ingredients together. Sprinkle the remaining dried cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese on top. Serve on individual plates and drizzle each serving with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.
Toasting Pecans: For more crunchiness and flavor, you can toast your pecans in the oven by spreading in a single layer in a shallow baking pan; bake at 350˚ for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. To toast pecans on the stove top, place them in an ungreased skillet and cook on medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. To toast pecans in the microwave, place up to 1 cup pecans in a microwaveable shallow dish; microwave on high until crisp, stirring every 30 seconds.
This salad is great with a meal–a larger serving of it can even be a meal in itself! What types of recipes do you like to use pecans in?
Linked to Tidy Mom–I’m Loving It.
I like making my own flavored water, and now that it’s autumn, I thought I’d try a water recipe with the flavors of fall. I was inspired by a recipe for apple-cinnamon water at Sarah’s Cool Stuff–apples and cinnamon are such a classic fall flavor combination. There are sliced apples and cinnamon sticks in this, and I added some slices of fresh ginger root for a little extra mild spice. It’s really refreshing!
You can also add some ground cinnamon if you like, for a stronger cinnamon flavor, but it will color the water more brownish and it tends to clump up in the water when refrigerated. I recommend just adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to your water if you decide to try that, and mix it in before you add the apple slices and other ingredients.
Make this in the evening, refrigerate overnight, and it will be ready to drink the next day. The water does get a little cloudy as it refrigerates. The apples will start to brown a little the next day, but the water is still good to drink for a day or two after you make it. To help prevent the apples from turning brown, you can squeeze fresh lemon juice on the slices as you’re slicing the apples.
I sliced up 2 different kinds of apples for my water to add extra color–a Gala apple and a Granny Smith apple–use whatever types of apples you like best! Although I used a tart Granny Smith apple in this batch of water, I recommend using sweeter apples–I really liked the slightly sweet flavor of the water when I made it another time with 2 Gala apples.
APPLE CINNAMON GINGER WATER by NancyCreative, adapted from Sarah’s Cool Stuff
Makes a large pitcher (half-gallon) of flavored water
- 8 cups of water
- 2 medium organic apples (sweet apples work best–Fuji apples are a good choice), cut into thin slices (if you don’t use organic, peel your apples so you don’t get the pesticides from the skins in your water)
- 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks
- 6 thin slices of peeled fresh ginger root
Fill pitcher with 8 cups of water. Slice apples, putting the slices in the water right away (this helps prevent the slices from browning too soon). Add cinnamon sticks and ginger root, and stir all ingredients together in the pitcher. Refrigerate overnight before serving. When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher and stir right before serving or add ice to individual serving glasses and pour your flavored water over the ice.
If you prefer a fizzy water drink, you can use Seltzer water instead of regular water (Club Soda is high in sodium and Tonic Water is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, so Seltzer water is best).
Note: This water has a very light, mild flavor–if you want a stronger apple flavor, you could also mix in some unsweetened apple juice to taste.
If you’re wondering what you can do with the fruit when you’re done drinking the water, here are some ideas: If the apple slices are still crunchy and just slightly brown, I eat them-or I eat them as I’m drinking up the water. You can also put the apple slices, ginger root slices, and cinnamon sticks in your compost pile.
What fruits do you like to use to flavor your water?
This recipe was kind of an experiment one day when I was craving an apple dessert. I didn’t have time to make a pie and didn’t have any apples, but I did have a can of apple pie filling. So I tried making this apple bread. I peeked at it while it was baking, and it was rising very nicely. After it was done, looking like a beautifully risen loaf, I let it cool on top of the stove in the loaf pan and went off to do something else for the next 10 to 15 minutes. When I came back, much to my dismay and shock, the loaf had sunken! Really sunken. After staring at it for a few minutes, I decided that it wasn’t quite so bad-looking after all…the sunkeness gave the loaf a somewhat rustic look . I decided to dust it with some powdered sugar and thought that was a nice touch. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it! This imperfect-looking sunken loaf was very appealing to me for some reason.
I still hadn’t tasted it, so that was the next step. Well, I thought it was great–it was very dense and moist…a cross between apple bread and bread pudding. If you’re craving something with an apple pie taste but want something easy and quick, you just may want to try this out. There’s really no way you can mess it up, because it’s going to be sunken…but I just think that adds to the charm of it. And it’s yummy, so who cares if it’s sunken? 🙂 Here’s the recipe if you want to try it out…
SUNKEN APPLE PIE BREAD by NancyCreative
Makes one 9×5″ loaf
- 1/2 cup (1 stick butter, softened)
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 (21-oz.) can apple pie filling
- powdered sugar for dusting on top of the loaf
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.
Open the can of apple pie filling and spoon entire contents into a small bowl. Cut apple wedges into small chunks (thirds or fourths) with a knife; set aside.
In large bowl, cream softened butter and brown sugar until well-blended. Add eggs and blend well.
In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, blending well. Add these dry ingredients to the butter-sugar-egg mixture, and blend everything well. Then add in the apple pie filling (with your cut-up wedges) and stir mixture until well blended, but don’t over mix.
Pour mixture into your greased and floured 9×5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until top of loaf is set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (it may not come out totally clean because of the denseness of the bread). If your oven tends to run hot, start checking it at 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes…it will start sinking into it’s sunken form as it cools.
Remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar while it’s still slightly warm. You can eat it then, or let it completely cool before eating it…the loaf will be easier to slice when it’s completely cool.
Have you done any experimenting in the kitchen lately and been happy with the results?
Linked to Sweets for a Saturday.