Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

I can hear it now- “here she goes with another damn apple recipe!”. Yep. Sue Me. Another apple recipe πŸ˜› Actually, please don’t sue me. It would lead to a long drawn out court battle that the media would pick up on and things would come to light that would embarrass us both like my bad habit of eating ice cream in bed and then letting the partially eaten pint melt when I fall asleep and that habit of yours where…well, let’s just leave it as you really need to start closing your window shades at night. Just sayin.

I promise; I’ll move past apple recipes here soon (then I’ll annoy you with cranberry and/or citrus ones πŸ˜› ). But when this one popped into my mind after trying to use up some cranberry sauce, I knew I had to share it. You’ll thank me for this the weekend after Thanksgiving when you have a huge bowl of cranberry sauce in the fridge and you’ve already eaten 12 “day after Thanksgiving” sandwiches covered in that same sauce.

I love the way this turned out. It is rather like fruitcake, in that there is just enough batter to hold the fruits together and man, is it ever full of fruit, but without the dried and candied fruit peel. Not that I personally have any issue with those. I’m a fruitcake fan from way back. I can eat my weight in fruitcake, be it homemade or store bought.

This is wonderfully moist, full of both cranberry sauce and dried cranberries as well as a ton of diced apples. Add in some orange zest and warm spices and this is such a quintessential Fall and Winter style quick bread. It’s easy to throw together, with the most “difficult” part being dicing the apples (I’ll add a tip for how I do that quickly in the recipe instructions). And it makes your house smell SO good while it’s baking. This is the typical quick bread, in that it is even better the second and third days than it was when freshly baked.

You know the drill! <3

Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange oil or orange extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 14 ounce can cranberry sauce (or 1 3/4 cup homemade)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced, cored apple (about 2 mediumish apples; don’t worry about peeling) *note at bottom
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped, toasted pecans
  • Glaze-
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10 inch loaf pan. If you don’t have a ten inch, use a 9 inch and a mini loaf pan or a couple of spots in a muffin tin. Just don’t try to load all of the batter into a 9 inch pan or it will overflow.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, spices and orange zest in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer on low speed, beat together the butter, sugar and extracts until light and creamy. Add in the eggs and beat until just mixed. Add in the cranberry sauce and beat just until mixed.
  4. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, add in the flour mixture all at once. Without stirring, dump theΒ  apples and pecans on top, then mix the batter (use a wooden spoon or spatula, not the mixer) together just until mixed and there are no flourly streaks in it. I say again, as I have before, do NOT overmix quick breads of muffins of you end up with tough bread with tunnels in it.
  5. Bake at 350 until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, with no moist batter, just a few crumbs, about 45 to 55 minutes, depending on what pan(s) you used. If you put some in a muffin tin or mini loaf pan, make sure to check those sooner, at about the 30 minute mark.
  6. Let cool in the pan for five minutes or so, then use a butter knife to loosen from the sides and invert onto a rack to finish cooling. When cool, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over the top of the loaf.

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Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

Spiced Cranberry Apple Bread

*Note- I’ve found that the easiest way to get a nice dice on fruit is to simply not try so hard. I used to stand over them and painstakingly finely dice each piece of apple. Now, I core them, give them a rough chop, then lay a large knife horizontally over the fruit and rock it back and forth, using the knife to scoot the pieces back into the pile as needed. It gets them diced in a minute or so and no backache from bending over a counter trying to make each piece perfect.

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Cider Braised Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Onions

Cider Braised Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Onions

Cider Braised Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Onions

Yay!!!! Halloween is over!!!! I mean…erhmmm, I’m so sad for those of you who enjoy Halloween and have to wait another LONGGGGGGG year for it to arrive again *grins*. I, on the other hand, am 816% ready to have it gone and to move on to Fall comfort foods and cozy cool evenings, crispy leaves under my feet as the puppy drags me at a run across the yard in a vain attempt to catch the cats on her 2 inch tall legs. I crave spiced cider (preferably spiked. I have a husband, kids, cats and a dog. Don’t judge), beef stew, driving home in the afternoon, getting to our driveway and smiling as I smell the scent of a fire going in the wood stove, and flannel sheets.

One meat I tend to use more often in the Fall and Winter is pork. I love pork, but something about it just seems too heavy for eating often in the Spring and Summer. I think part of it is that I grew up before they started breeding leaner pork and I still think of pork as heavy and fatty, even though that’s not the case most of the time anymore.Β  Apples are in season this time of year too and they play soooo nicely together. I like to think God planned all of those things, because, really, could you imagine using a Spring veggie like asparagus or a fruit like strawberries with pork? Nope. Those go with other meat dishes, but not so much with pork. Pork works better with Fall and Winter foods. Like apples. And onions. And apple cider. Can we say “yummy”, class?

This dish isn’t anything new. I’m not inventing the wheel here. It’s just one of my takes on the ubiquitous pork and apples. But it’s totally delicious, extremely easy, and doesn’t take hours. Did I mention that it’s delicious? Moist, fork tender pork tenderloin, spiced and browned, then finished in a bath of apple cider and surrounded with sauteed apples and onions. So good; so comforting.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Cider Braised Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Onions

  • 2 medium onions, sliced into half moons (about 2 cups)
  • 3 apples (use your favorites. I used a mix from what we got at the orchard a few weeks back), cored and cut into wedges (leave the peel. It adds color, flavor and fiber)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
  • 2 1 to 1.5 lb pork tenderloins (tenderloins, NOT loins)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (the spice measurements for all the spices I’m giving are approximate for this recipe. You may like a bit more or less of one or another)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Smokehouse Maple seasoning (easily found in the spice aisle of your grocery store)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • salt to taste (but be careful; there is salt in the seasoning blend)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in an oven safe large non stick pan (I used my largest cast iron skillet). Add in the sliced onions and apples; sprinkle with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook over low heat until they are softened and barely fork tender, stirring occasionally. When done, remove from the pan and set aside for now.
  3. Add the oil to the same pan and heat until just below the smoking point. Carefully add in the pork tenderloins. Brown on one side, then carefully flip over. Sprinkle half the seasonings evenly over both pieces of meat. Brown the next side, then repeat with the remainder of the seasoning.
  4. Mix the raisins in with the apples and onions, then spoon the mixture alongside and over the meat. Carefully pour the apple cider in the pan along the sides. If you can’t fit it all, that’s ok. Just use what you can.
  5. Carefully slide the pan into the hot oven, being careful not slosh all over yourself (don’t ask me why I felt the need to add that warning, please and thank you).
  6. Cook at 425 for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer stuck into the middle of the loins comes out at between 135 to 140 degrees (it will come up to 145 in the few minutes you let it rest after taking it from the oven; start checking at about 12 minutes just to be safe; nothing worse than overcooked pork).
  7. Let rest for about ten minutes to firm up and come to temp, then thinly slice the meat and serve with the apples and onions spooned over it. This is delicious with noodles or rice, with the fruits and pan juices served on top of the side dish also.
Cider Braised Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Onions

Cider Braised Pork Tenderloin With Apples And Onions

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Spiced Apple Butter

Spiced Apple Butter

Spiced Apple Butter

I remember when I was a kid (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and all children wrote on rock tablets and walked five miles to school, uphill both ways), sometimes for a few days during the Summer, we would go visit my mothers family in Alabama. I loved going to see mommer and popper. It was a totally different world in Alabama than it was on the south side of Chicago. I had cousins to play with, aunts who seemed so much more lighthearted than my mother, though I know now that that was just the viewpoint of a child, and a grandfather who seemed to adore me (that was Popper).

Back then, once breakfast was over, the leftover food was simply covered with a tablecloth to await the next meal. Two of the things that were always on that table were what they called hoecakes (simply a large skillet made biscuit that everyone tore pieces off of) and apple butter. It was just store bought apple butter, but it was something Popper loved, so it was always there. It wasn’t something our mom bought often, and I loved it myself, so I would pig out on it. I recall one time finishing off the last of the hoecake and apple butter and popper laughing his butt off about it, though the aunts were horrified because you just didn’t eat up all of Poppers hoecakes and apple butter.

When I grew up and started canning, one of the first things I made was homemade apple butter. That was one of my first experiences with how much better home canned goods are than then their store bought counterparts. Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe I originally found into the one I use today. It is sweet but not cloying like some I’ve had and has a nice kick of spice to it, but not enough to overwhelm the fresh apple flavor. I have been known to stand in front of the jar in the fridge with a spoon. What? Don’t judge.

If you’re new to canning, don’t stress it. If you can boil water and put a lid on a jar and just be smart and clean, you’ll have no problem. The hardest part of this apple butter is cutting the apples and if you use an apple corer/slicer, it goes quickly This apple butter is totally worth it. Sweet, thick, spicy, it’s delicious spread on a warm biscuit, in a PB&J sandwich, used in baking, or just from a spoon as you stand in front of the fridge πŸ˜€ This is a wonderful way to use some of Autumns best apples.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Spiced Apple Butter

  • 8 lbs fresh apples, sliced and cored (no need to peel)
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar (use light or dark; you choice. I prefer dark)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  1. Pour the cider and cider vinegar into a large pot. Over the years, I’ve found that a tall, narrow pot works better than a short wide one. You get less splatter on the stove and as apple butter thickens, it DOES splatter.
  2. Dump your apple slices into the cider/vinegar mix. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, until completely soft and limp. Give it a stir a couple of times to make sure the apples on top get down in there. A little while in, the apples will start releasing a lot of juice and all of the slices will soften up.
  3. At this point, I let them sit for about an hour to cool down. You can do this, or if you’re brave (translate; foolhardy πŸ˜› ), you don’t need to. Either way, next step is just pureeing the apples. I scoop them up in my 4 cup measuring cup, blend them on puree in my blender, transfer each batch to a large bowl until I get them all done, then just transfer them back to the pot.
  4. Once back in the pot, add in the two types of sugar and all of the spices. Stir well to break up the brown sugar.
  5. Cook the apple butter on low heat, stirring frequently, until it is thickened. You want to be able to take a spoonful of it, put it on a chilled plate and not have it get surrounded by a puddle of liquid. It’s ok if there is some, but you want thickened butter with just a bit of liquid around it. This is going to take a few hours. You don’t want to raise your heat to try and make it go faster, because once it starts to thicken, it will burn to the bottom of the pot pretty easily. Another way to check doneness is if you spoon up a spoonful and it doesn’t leak off of the spoon, but stay mounded.
  6. When it’s ready to go, ladle it carefully into sterilized (I get 6 to 7 pints) pint jars, to a quarter inch of the top. Clean the rims with a clean, hot damp cloth and place the lids and rims on the jars, finger tight. Don’t tighten the bands or they could cause the jars to break when boiling.
  7. Boil in a boiling water canning bath for 10 minutes. Carefully take out of the pot and set on a clean towel to cool. You’ll hear the pop of the lids as each one vacuum seals. When completely cool (always give about 24 hours), label the jars and transfer to a cool place for storage.
  8. The following if a canning tutorial if you’re new to canning. I promise; canning is easy. Just stay away from the sites that say it’s ok to just invert your jars once you add the hot contents or any other practices that could cause safety issues. Your health and that of your family isn’t worth the risk. canning tutorial Now go make some biscuits for this!

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Spiced Apple Butter

Spiced Apple Butter

 

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Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

 

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread 1



It’s FINALLY starting to get chilly during the day here. Am I the only weirdo who does a cheer for that? We’ve been able to leave the windows open and get fresh air, but it’s been warm during the day and only cooled off at night. Now, I had to close all but one window and it’s 66 in the house; a bit chilly, but nothing that socks and a sweater don’t take care of. I’m ready for comfort food weather; for nesting inside with a cup of tea and a blanket over my lap. I’m ready to be standing in front of the wood burning stove, listening to the crackling wood. I want to breathe in crisp air that smells of coming snow.

Ok, enough rhapsodizing. Yes, I know. Another apple recipe. But how can I resist? It’s apple season and they taste so good this time of year before they get shoved into cold storage! While I’ve said before that I have the type of cooking personality that doesn’t always pay attention to season- chili in August, anyone, Pumpkin bread in April?, there are some things that simply begged to be made at specific times of the year.

My husband picked up a handful of gorgeous Gala apples about a week ago and I held back one for this bread. The original recipe for applesauce oatmeal bread that I got from the King Arthur website didn’t call for fresh apples, but I couldn’t resist. That recipe also didn’t call for raisins or crystallized ginger or as much spice or wheat germ or toasting the nuts. In a nutshell (see what I did there? Huh, huh huh? πŸ˜› ), it was pretty boring. Not anymore. My seven year old told me I need to make this bread every day because, “it’s soooo good, momma!”. High praise from a little boy for something that is not overly sweet.

This bread is nice and moist. With applesauce, diced apples and a small amount of oil, it was bound to be. Add in the spices, raisins, toasted nuts, toasted wheat germ, and crystallized ginger and this is actually both quite tasty AND not totally bad for you. It goes together quickly. Just keep in mind… “Mise En Place”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; having what you need already measured out and near your work space helps so much. When I don’t do this, that’s the times when I forget to add something. Don’t be me. πŸ˜›

You know the drill… get to cooking!

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider (you could sub apple juice concentrate)
  • 1 cup diced apple (one medium apple)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oats (NOT the instant crap)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (if you prefer a sweeter bread, feel free to use sweetened applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans (toast for ten minutes in a 350 degree oven, then cool.)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ ( you can sprinkle them over the nuts and toast them in the same pan with the pecans, but watch carefully; the wheat germ can burn easily)
  • 3 tablespoons diced crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and boiled cider (or apple juice concentrate). Add in the raisins and diced apple.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the spices. Mix with the wet ingredients, stirring until just barely combined.
  3. Add in the oats, applesauce, pecan/wheat germ mixture and diced ginger. Stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with some oats to make it purty πŸ˜›
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in the pan set on a rack for ten minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to finish cooling. Serve this warm with butter and jam or maybe some honey butter.

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread 3Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp



I obviously love baking. I mean, 90% of this blog is centered around baked goods of one type or another. I love quick breads, crisps and cobblers,, muffins, scones, biscuits, cookies, etc, etc, etc. But you notice something you don’t see in that list? Pies. I love to EAT pies, but with the exception of making both pecan and pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don’t like MAKING pies. Rolling a pie crust, crimping it, getting it in the pan, so on and so forth drives me batty. I know that relaxes some people, but I’m not one of those people. Kneading bread dough, shaping it into a perfect loaf? That, on the other hand, relaxes me, makes me feel accomplished and all that rot.

So, what does someone who doesn’t like making an apple pie do when she has a craving for apple pie? Other than going to the store and buying one from Marie Callender? πŸ˜› She makes a crisp! What better way to get all the apple pie flavor without the hassle of a crust? Plus, there’s that whole streusel thing and Lord knows I use any excuse I can find to bake something with streusel.

This recipe came from Ina Garten. I didn’t do a bunch to change it. I took out the orange juice and all the citrus zest; I’m just not a fan of apples with lemon and orange zest, unless, by chance, cranberries are in the mix too. I also added 1/4 cup of flour to the filling, because I didn’t want a soupy mess of liquidy apples. I added a touch more cinnamon to the topping and a third LESS brown sugar, because, well, cinnamon and with the full amount of brown sugar, it would have been way too sweet. And you know when I’M saying something would be too sweet, it would be too sweet, lol. And I used a pretty wide variety of apples; Macoun, Winesap, Granny Smith, Jonagold and Mcintosh, because I wanted a variety of flavor and texture in this. Otherwise, all Ina all the time. Or something like that.

This is a wonderful crisp. It’s NOT however, made size wise for a family of two, unless they have neighbors they can give some too. This makes a good sized pan. You can always cut it in half. You have the wonderful buttery, cinnamony, crunchy streusel on top and underneath it are tender, warm juicy apples lightly flavored with sugar and spice. Top this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a puddle of heavy cream and you’ll be in heaven.

You know the drill…. πŸ˜€

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

  • Filling-
  • 5 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (bottles is fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Streusel-
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl (and I mean large if you’re going to have any room to stir without flipping apples all over the counter), combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir well, making sure to reach the bottom of the bowl, to make sure all the apples get coated.
  2. Dump the apple mixture into a heavily buttered 4 quart dish that you set inside of a large rimmed baking dish, or even a cookie sheet. This is just to catch any possible overflow. Also, remember, the larger the surface area the dish has, the quicker the crisp will cook plus the more streusel you can fit on top. πŸ˜€ The dish I used, while pretty, wasn’t able to fit all the streusel on it. But that’s ok; it just means I have streusel in my freezer again.
  3. Rinse and dry your bowl, then pour the flour, both sugars, the oats and the spices into it and whisk to combine.
  4. Dump the cold sliced butter into the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut it in, cutting until you have pebble sized chunks. What I usually do is use the pastry cutter to start, then once it’s more or less mixed, I stick my hands in there and press it between my fingers for a minute or two. You’d be surprised at how much blended the streusel gets doing it that way.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the apple filling. You want a nice thick layer. If you have any left, just put it into a ziploc bag and freeze it for another use.
  6. Bake the crisp at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the edges show nicely bubbling juices.
  7. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Trust me on this. Molten apples kinda burn.
  8. Serve with ice cream or heavy cream. Enjoy!
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

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Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake



Growing up in Chicago, places like apple orchards weren’t exactly on the list of weekend getaways. When my dad lived in one of those old hotels in Hyde Park, this one called The Saranac, he used to take me to The Museum Of Science And Industry or maybe The Field Museum when I visited him. On rare occasions during the Summer, we might head out to the Indiana State Dunes and spend the day getting sunburned…I mean, playing in the lake. Nahhh, I mean getting sunburned. Nobody worried about sunscreen back then. By all rights, none of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s should have any skin left. I remember a sunburn I got when I was 17 that left me the color of a Coke can and blistered. My dad wanted me to go to the ER, but I refused.

But I digress. Imagine that. Me. Going off on tangents.Β  As I was saying, there were no orchards in the middle of Chicago. Since living in KY (half my life now, actually), and raising my kids here, it has never failed to make me a bit jealous when my kids would go on field trips to apple orchards or “pick your own pumpkin” spots. It was always just so…. southern to me. In a wonderful way, mind you. So when the idea to go to an orchard with the boys popped into my head, I ran with it. The one we went to is so cool. The apples were fairly well picked over this late in September, but we still got some. But there was also a huge play area that Joshie and Jordan loved, a cafe that we hope to eat at next time and tons of homey apple and “countryish” products at a store there. I hate that it took me until I was this ancient to discover orchards!

So what did I make with what apples we got? Not a darn thing. We didn’t get enough to spare for anything but out of hand eating. It was just coincidental that I had made this cake Saturday.

This is one awesome coffee cake, if I do say so myself *preens a little* It’s a tamer version of a crumb coffee cake. I stuffed this with apples, cranberries and cinnamon chips, as well as a crumbly mixture on top and in the middle. This is ultra moist due to the apples with a lovely flavor due to, well, all the varied ingredients. This is such a perfect Autumn cake. Typical of many coffee cakes, this is even better in the days following baking it, as opposed to fresh from the oven. The flavors need time to meld and then it is spectacular. The recipe was very loosely based off of one I got from a yahoo groups newsletter over a decade ago. Anyone else remember those groups fondly!?

This is a tiny bit more involved than “throw and dump”, but nothing you can’t handle. Trust me.

You know the drill….

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

  • Filling/Topping-
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted, finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Cake-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of either fresh apple cider or (preferably, if you have it) boiled cider**
  • 2 1/4 cups of peeled and chopped apples (about 4 small apples)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, soaked for 20 minutes in 3 tablespoons hot water, then drained
  • 1 bag Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips (you COULD make this optional, because I know these can be hard to find, but please try to find them!)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a tube pan. Alternately, spray it with a flour/oil baking spray such as Bakers Joys Or Wiltons (which is my favorite) Set aside
  2. Make your filling- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts. Add in the melted butter and mix until it is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, in a large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar. beat on low speed with a hand mixer until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl down and add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  5. Combine the buttermilk and apple cider/boiled cider in a measuring cup.
  6. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl with the butter, starting and ending with the flour (1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the buttermilk, 1/3 of the flour,Β  remaining buttermilk, remaining flour), beating on low speed JUST until combined after each addition.
  7. Gently fold in the apples, cranberries and cinnamon chips.
  8. Spoon half the batter into the prepared tube pan. Evenly top with half the crumb mixture, then the other half of the cake batter. Then top with the last half of the crumb mixture. Gently pat it down to help it adhere to the top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, no loose liquidy batter. Let it cool in on a rack in the pan for about ten minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the sides of the pan and around the center hole. Do this a couple of times just to make sure it’s completely loosened.
  10. Carefully (use pot holders and/or a towel. This is till gonna be hot) invert the pan over your (protected) hand (works even better if you can use two hands and someone else does the inverting and shaking. Don’t ask me how I know this. Ahem.) and carefully shake the cake out. Invert it immediately back onto the rack to finish cooling.
  11. Let cool until completely cool before slicing, about two hours. Like I said above, this is even better the next day.

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**If you want to make your own quickie version of boiled cider (boiled cider has a much more intense apple flavor than regular cider, so is worth the trouble.), take 1 cup of fresh cider and pour it into a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat a bit and continue boiling until the cider has reduced down to about 1/4 cup. Let it cool before using.

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

 

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle



The idea for these scones came into my head around the beginning of June. But I knew if I put up this combo of flavors in the middle of what turned out to be an unbearably hot Summer in many places, no one would give them a second glance. And these deserve to be glanced at. Well, they deserve to be eaten, but it’s ok to look at them first. They aren’t the worlds prettiest baked good, but what scone is?

So I waited until the weather cooled to make them. They are a perfect breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee or a great afternoon snack when the “hangry’s” are making you growl. πŸ˜› All the flavors in here meld so well into the flaky, buttery scone.

When I first thought of them, I had no plans for a glaze. But they looked naked. So it occurred to me what goes well with both apples and bacon? Maple, of course. I was a little worried about the cheddar part, but it actually works great. I mean, everyone loves maple and apples, and who doesn’t smear their bacon through the syrup on their plate, right? Well, the cheddar can be our new secret cause it’s darn good!

These go together quickly. Mix it up and pat it out. You can do the typical wedge cut with these or, as I did, just use a biscuit cutter.

You know the drill…. πŸ˜€

Mrs. Cupcake, who just finished a lovely lunch of a scone and some tea.

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons chilled salted butter, sliced thin (yes, salted. I know I usually use unsalted, but I wanted to try the salted with this being a savory scone.)
  • 8 ounces bacon, fried until crisp, cooled and crumbled
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped apple, about 2 small apples (peels on or off, your choice. I left them on)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Glaze-
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (plain old table syrup like Mrs. Butterworth or Log Cabin is fine)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets or line with silicone mats.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the cold butter; just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Whisk together the heavy cream and the egg. Pour this all at once into the center of the flour/butter mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix it, getting all the dry flour off of the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Dump the bacon, apple and cheddar into the dough. Stir well to combine. Dump it all onto a lightly floured board or counter and gently knead it a handful of times, just to incorporate the add ins. It may seem dry, but the moisture from the apple and the bacon will soften it up within just a minute or so.
  6. Pat the dough into a large circle of about 3/4 inch thick. Then either use a sharp knife to cut it into wedges or use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Cut as closely together as possible if doing that, because when you reroll the scraps to make more, they can get tough. I got ten scones using a biscuit cutter.
  7. Bake at 375 until golden brown and firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a minute, then let finish cooling on a rack.
  8. For the glaze, simply combine the powdered sugar, syrup and cream. Whisk until creamy and relatively lump free. Either drizzle over the scones or dip the tops of each scone in the glaze, depending on whether you want a light or heavy coating.

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Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce



Tomorrow night, when Downton Abbey comes on, I, along with half the United States, will be parked in front of my TV watching it. The difference is, that I will be doing so with a outrageously huge slab small piece of this cake and a cup of tea. Mrs. Patmore would be proud of this one and Lord Crawley, for all of his snobbishness, would love it. Mary would however, turn her nose up at it’s simplicity because…well, because she’s Mary.

Of course, I will have to make another one of these cakes to be able to enjoy that outrageously huge slab, erhmmm, dainty little slice because this one is about gone already.

And, yes, I just used the words “worlds best”. Would I use those words if I didn’t mean it? You all know that I like simple desserts; I’ve made more things like this than I have fancy ones. This is one of those desserts that you look at and think, “ehhh, it looks pretty boring.” Then you give it a taste. And you’re blown away. This cake is wonderful for all its simplicity. I had it fresh from the oven and it was great…room temp and it was great, room temp with the sauce and it was great and then chilled and it was great. Get the feeling I like this one? :-p

I used a mix of tart and sweet apples in this cake. I like to mix it up when I am using apples in a dessert like this. Also, feel free to cut down on the amount of spice a bit if you’d prefer. I like things to be fairly heavily spiced, but I know not everyone shares my quirks. This is beyond easy to throw together. The most time consuming part is chopping the apples. After that, wham bam, thank you apples and it’s mixed.Β  The sauce doesn’t take but a few minutes too and it’s so worth it. It just puts this cake over the top. Add a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you’re trying to totally put this into the category of decadent.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Mrs. Cupcake…who is going to get the last slice of cake before the kids do

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a 350 oven until lightly browned
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • Creamy Sauce-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat until thick, creamy looking and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat just until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Add to the butter mixture and beat until well blended, scraping bowl once to get all the mixture in there.
  5. Pour in the apples, cranberries or raisins and walnuts and stir well to combine. Make sure the apples are well coated. This will look “apple heavy”, but trust me, it works out.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about ten minutes. Serve warm with the sauce. or cool with the sauce…or warm or cool with no sauce πŸ˜›
  7. Creamy Vanilla Sauce-
  8. In a small pot, combine the butter, cream and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for about ten minutes, until it has started to thicken somewhat. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

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Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars



I am notorious for totally sucking at making apple pies. I add far too much cinnamon and don’t slice my apples thinly enough, leaving some pieces half raw and others too mushy. I also stunk at pie crusts.Β  Well, I used to be anyway. For holidays, I STILL tend to buy Marie Callendars Dutch Apple Pie. Why, if I no longer suck? Cause 1) I’m lazy and 2) I love them, so I keep using the whole “I stink at making apple pies!” excuse. Sooner or later, my husband will catch on that I continue to buy $8.00 pies when I could just as easily make one for half the cost, but for now, when Thanksgiving day gets here, I have a Marie Callendar pie waiting in the freezer. Darlin’, if you’re reading this, I’m lying right here…honest, I still stink at making pies *bats lashes and looks innocent*

But, to be honest, I may just leave that pie in there this year and make these bars. I had originally planned on a bar that could be more hand held and had a double crust. But, as happens with me often, and with a lot of bloggers, it morphed into something different. This is still caramel apple pie, but less hand held bar (even though it was done is a square pan) and more “cut a slab of this bad boy, put it on a plate and smother it in caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream” sort of pie. It CAN be hand held, if you’re on the run, since it’s not drippy unless you put far too much caramel lol. But it’s really more of a plate dessert.

This is more multi-step than I usually do, but none of those steps are difficult. Make the dough for the crust and while it’s chilling, prepare your streusel and the pie filling. Then roll out your dough, put it in the pan, top with the filling, then top with the streusel. Voila… ready to go. You DO need to let this cool until it’s completely cool however. Really, with any fruit pie, you should do that. How many times have you cut a warm pie and ended up with half of the filling oozing out into the pan? Let it cool and if you want it warm, you can nuke it for 30 seconds. Trust me. It will set up firmer and not be an oozing mess. Once ready to serve, cover it as desired in caramel sauce (in my case, about 8 or 9 cups worth) and maybe some ice cream. Eat, Enjoy. Thank me. Oh..this crust makes enough for two, so if you’re not wanting to double up the filling and streusel and make two pans, just freeze the other half of the dough until you need it. It never hurts to have some on hand.

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

  • Crust- (lightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold
  • 2/3 cup solid shortening, cold
  • 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water (the original recipe called for 4 to 5, but that was nowhere near enough)
  • Filling-
  • 5 1/2 cups cored, peeled and chopped (bite sized chunks) apples, about 5 apples. I used a mix of tart and sweet apples
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup Kraft caramel bits (found in the baking aisle)
  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cups oats (NOT instant)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • caramel sauce for topping
  1. Make the crust- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×9 square pan with foil, using two long pieces, each going in the opposite direction. (line one way, turn pan, line the opposite way, so that all four sides of the pan have a layer of foil) In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and shortening until it looks like small pebbles or peas.
  2. Add the ice water, no more than 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add water until the dough comes together when mixed and isn’t sticky, just firm and holding itself together when pressed. Wrap dough in foil or plastic and chill while you make the streusel and filling.
  3. Streusel-
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until it is crumbly with, again, pea sized pieces. It’s ok if some chunks are a bit larger. Set aside.
  5. Filling-
  6. In a large bowl, toss the apple chunks with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the flour, spices and sugar. Pour over the apples and mix well, making sure to stir from the bottom, as the flour will settle. Add in the caramel pieces and stir well.
  7. Put together-
  8. Get your chilled dough. Cut in half and store half for later use. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out into a square that measures about 2 inches larger than the pan, about 11×11. Easiest way to gauge- just hold the pan upside down over the dough and eye how large it is. If you need more dough, just use some from the saved half. That half can still be used for mini tarts or tassies. Gently (I use a dough scraper) lift the dough up and lay it in the pan. Press gently down into the pans, going up the sides about 2 inches. If it is uneven, carefully cut tiny bits off of the higher areas and use it to patch onto the shorter ones.
  9. Pour the filling over the prepared crust, smoothing top. Sprinkle the streusel over the filling. Bake at 375 minutes until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges, about 60 to 70 minutes.
  10. Let cool in the pan until completely cool. Cut and serve, drizzling (pouring copious amounts of…) caramel sauce on top of each piece, reheating for about 30 seconds in the microwave is desired.

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Caramel Apple Pie Bread With Streusel Topping

Caramel Apple Pie Bread With Streusel Topping

Caramel Apple Pie Bread With Streusel Topping

 

I remember when I was a child… or maybe I’ll be poetic and say, “I be remembering when I was but a wee tyke”. No, that doesn’t work. I feel like I should be wearing a Leprechauns outfit and eating Lucky Charms. So… I remember when I was a child, back in the Stone Age. Every Autumn our school would start selling caramel apples, or “Affy Tapples” as they were named. Yes, that was the specific brand name. I think they are still available in the Midwestern area. I always loved when they came around. End of the school day, there people would be, small booth set up in the school lobby, selling Affy Tapples for 25 cents. I would wager that the kids today pay a dollar or more for theirs; damned inflation. But, I would go there, tarnished quarter grasped in my dirty little hands and then I got it…. that much loved apple. Is there anything better in Autumn than a caramel apple? You get that tart juicy apple dripping down your chin, a blanket of sweet chewy caramel that gets stuck in your teeth and then the crunchy peanuts. The perfect treat when it comes to a mix of flavors and textures.

I wanted to recreate that experience with this bread, with one exception. I don’t use nuts a whole lot, one, because I am not a huge fan, though I have my times when I like them and two, I just can’t eat them much anymore, what with aging teeth lol. So no nuts in this bread. You could easily add a half cup or so of your favorite nut (would have to be salted chopped peanuts to be authentic though) to the batter.

This is a really good quick bread that goes together fairly quickly. One tip though- don’t shred your apples until just before you get to the step of adding the flour to the batter or they may have time to turn brown. It doesn’t take long for an apple to oxidize at all.Β  Sweet, moist, great for dessert or a quick breakfast. Have some hot coffee waiting, or tea if you’re like me, and enjoy.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

Caramel Apple Pie Bread

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder (Don’t mix this till just before you need it or you could end up with a volcanic science experiment hehe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1 /2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded tart apple (I used Granny Smiths and just shredded them on a box grater, I also didn’t peel mine; feel free to peel yours if you want, but there’s really no reason to do so) (remember; shred just before using so they don’t turn brown)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup quartered Werthers Baking Caramels (takes about 20 caramels to get that amount)
  • Streusel-
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Make your streusel first and set it aside until ready for it- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. In a medium bowl on low speed with a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add in your sugars and beat well. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. beat well.
  4. Add in the buttermilk/baking powder mixture. Mix well (darn, I’m using that phrase a lot)
  5. Dump in the flour, salt and spices. On low speed, mix just until combined.
  6. Gently fold in the caramels, the apples and the raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the bread with the streusel.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. A small bit of moist crumb is ok; liquidy is NOT.
  9. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. Be aware, this one is touchy to unpan due to the streusel. Make sure you have it totally loosened before trying or most of the streusel is going to end up on your counter and not on the bread.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.