We are well into November, which means it’s time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving meal. Not Christmas yet though, despite the fact that almost every retail store I’ve been to has their trees up already. Straight from Halloween to Christmas! It’s crazy. But Thanksgiving is just a little over 2 weeks away so let’s talk food. I’ll share a few recipes over the next couple of weeks.
The more I cook the more recipes I have stored up either here on the blog or in a ridiculous collection of books and binders that I can turn to. I come from a family of 4 girls, all of whom enjoy cooking. So when it comes to holiday meals we all start searching for things we’d like to make. We almost never make the same thing twice, except for my Grandma June’s dressing which is always on the table, as is her apple pie. But we like to branch out and try other ways to prepare vegetables, desserts and sides.
This simple apple galette would be a lovely Thanksgiving dessert, but could easily make its way to your table on a weeknight. It’s simple to prepare and doesn’t require many ingredients or much time. You can use a scratch pie crust or a store bought one to make it even simpler.
This caramel sauce takes this simple dessert to a special place and I am so thankful to my good friend who introduced me to it! Go grab yourself a few jars. It’s also terrific as a dip for raw apples slices, so whatever you have leftover from this galette you can use as an afternoon snack. You’re welcome.
This is different enough from a pie that you could get away with having a traditional apple pie and this galette on the same dessert table. The thin-ness of this galette makes me feel a little better about eating dessert, even though it’s probably not too much better for me. The cream cheese is subtle and pairs well with the apples and caramel, but you could easily leave it out if you don’t have any around or if you just don’t care for it.
I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving. I really enjoy this holiday and this year we get to spend it at the lake with my husband’s family, which will be lovely as always. What are you planning to make for Thanksgiving? Do you have any recipes you make every year?
Fleur de Sel Caramel and Cream Cheese Apple Galette
1 round pie dough
2 Granny Smith apples
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-4 tablespoons Fleur de sel Caramel Sauce
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Peel and core apples, then slice thinly.
Mix apples with 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar until smooth. Set aside.
Roll dough out on a large piece of parchment paper into a 12 inch circle.
Spread cream cheese onto dough leaving a 1 1/2 inch border.
Arrange apples in 2 concentric circles, overlapping as needed, on top of the cream cheese.
Warm up 4 tablespoons of the caramel sauce in a small bowl in the microwave. Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples.
Fold the dough over the edges of the apples.
Whisk egg in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of water, then brush onto the dough.
Transfer parchment to a large baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes, until crust is golden and apples are tender.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with the rest of the caramel sauce.
Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream and more caramel sauce.
Ok, so I know it’s almost spring and dishes like apple crisp aren’t exactly spring-type desserts. It’s more appropriate for fall or winter. But I made an exception for this most spectacular apple crisp. And let’s be honest, I don’t discriminate when it comes to sweets. Any time, any type, any where. I’m game.
This apple crisp incorporates the wonderfulness of browned butter and is really rich and deep in flavor. The oat crisp is crunchy and delicious and the abundance of apples make this crisp more like a crust-less apple pie than your typical crisp.
The original recipe calls for an 8×8 pan. I used a 9×9. An 11×7 would be good. And you could probably use a 9×13, but the apples and the crisp topping layers will be thinner as you use a bigger pan. You could also bake this in individual ramekins for a little more formal dessert.
I sliced the apples very thinly (32 slices per apple to be exact) because that’s how I like them. This little gadget cores and slices apples into 8 equally sized pieces with one cut. It’s definitely a time-saver, and definitely a uni-tasker, but one of my favorite kitchen tools. Go get yourself one! It made all the apple slicing easy. But you do still have to peel them. I kind of hate peeling apples, probably because I’m not very good at it and come close to losing a fingertip every time I do it.
I assembled this one afternoon and didn’t end up baking it until the next night. So you can make this a day in advance and bake it straight from the fridge, which makes this a good dessert to serve for a dinner party because you can make it ahead and then pop it in the oven when you sit down for dinner and it’ll be ready once everyone is done eating. Serve this with warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Blue Bell if you can get it where you live. Nothing beats Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla when you’re topping a warm fruit dessert. But any vanilla ice cream will do! Enjoy!
6 medium-sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Topping
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and salt in a medium sized bowl.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your hands until butter is incorporated but with many pea sized pieces. Mix in the pecans. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
For the Filling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Watch the butter closely once it has melted. It will start to foam and bubble, once it begins to brown and smell nutty, remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl combine apple slices, brown sugar and cinnamon and toss together. Pour the butter over and toss to coat apples.
Pour apples in baking pan, then spread topping evenly over the apples, pressing down slightly. Place on a baking sheet if you’re using a small pan to catch any drips.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until topping is crunchy and browned and the edges are bubbling. Let cool slightly before serving.
When it becomes seasonally appropriate I immediately start cooking and baking comfort foods. I cannot wait until it’s cool enough to cook a pot roast! This one. It’s beyond terrific. But it’s 85 in Houston today, so even though we are technically in the season of fall, it doesn’t feel like it here and the thought of having the oven on makes me uncomfortable. I know I shouldn’t complain because it’s not totally abnormal, this is what you get in Texas (certain parts of Texas at least…I miss you, Amarillo). But soon enough we’ll have highs in the 50s and I’ll be able to wear jeans without sweating and I’ll be able to make these for a party where everyone is in boots and scarves and sipping hot chocolate and frolicking in the leaves.
These bars are simply perfect with their buttery shortbread crust, sweet apple filling and crunchy oat topping. The ingredient list is basic and they aren’t at all difficult. Served with some sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream this is my idea of the perfect dessert. If you have an apple pie craving but don’t have the time to make one, these are a perfect substitute. I’ve used “perfect” three times so far. And they truly are wonderful. I want one right now.
I tried them a second time with cherry filling and made a half batch. Half of them fell apart on their way from pan to plate, so I need to do some tinkering with baking time and some amounts. But they were delicious and everyone who tried them sang their praises. With the crust and topping you could use any kind of fruit filling, but the apple is nice for this time of year. Please share if you try out anything spectacular! Enjoy.
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened slightly
1 pinch of salt
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats + 3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, softened slightly
1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make the crust: Combine the butter, flour and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until crumbly and well combined. (You can do this with a pastry blender as well.) Pat the dough into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan so that it is even and firmly packed. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Make the topping: In the same bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly and well combined, use your hands if necessary. Set aside while the crust cools.
Place the apples on top of the cooled crust, spacing them evenly and leaving about 1/4 inch edge around. Spread any remaining sauce from the can evenly over the apples. Gently spread the crumb topping evenly over the apples, then sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oats.
Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into squares.
I gave in and bought a donut pan. It was 30% off at Sur la Table. How was I supposed to resist? It’s just this simple one from Wilton and will only set you back $10.
I’ve made fried cake donuts a couple of times, but frying makes such a mess. The worst part, in my opinion, is dealing with the oil afterward. Baking donuts eliminates the mess AND makes you feel a little bit better about eating the donut. I must admit something, though. And it should come as no surprise. They’re not as good as fried. Frying gives such a lovely crunch to the exterior that you just cannot duplicate in the oven. They are still good, just not as good.
Originally I tried the recipe printed on the wrapping of the pan for basic baked donuts. They looked lovely, especially after a good coating of powdered or cinnamon sugar. But they weren’t fantastic. They were dry, crumbly and close to tasteless. So I went on the search for a moister cake donut recipe and found this one for sour cream blueberry donuts. I adapted it a little and turned it into an apple cinnamon sour cream donut. The kids and I have been reheating and enjoying these for breakfast, but they really are best the day they’re made. They are super moist and the grated apple provides just a little texture.
This recipe makes about 10 donuts. Be careful not to overfill your pan because you will have half donut, half muffin top type things. I tried both brown sugar and white sugar with the recipe below. Not a huge difference, but I did prefer the white sugar. I also tried more sour cream and less applesauce, and liked the variation with more applesauce thinking it added more apple-ness to the final product. Definitely do use a plastic bag to pipe the batter into the pan. You’ll have a mess on your hands otherwise. Enjoy!
These sandwiches made for such an easy dinner. Grilled cheese is always delicious, but the addition of tart apple slices and yummy bacon make it extra tasty. I usually add sliced tomato to grilled cheese sandwiches, but I might make these apple & bacon grilled cheeses my new go-to sandwich.
I used white cheddar cheese, granny smith apple, thick sliced bacon and sourdough bread spread with dijon mustard for the sandwiches. You could make these in a skillet, or in a panini press (which is what I chose to use). Serve along side a bowl of tomato soup or a green salad.
Grilled Cheese with Apple & Bacon
4 slices of sourdough bread
8-10 slices good cheddar cheese
4-6 slices cooked bacon
8-10 slices tart green apple
Spread bread with Dijon mustard, then layer cheese, bacon, apple and cheese. Top with second slice of bread.
Butter outside of the bread and grill on hot skillet or panini press.
The past week has been a very eventful and exciting one. A week ago today, we headed to the hospital to welcome this little guy into the world. Despite his surprise arrival eight days early, we could not be happier that he is finally here.
Since the arrival of Carson, I haven’t been doing much cooking or baking. Carson was born on Sunday and Ben’s parents and my mom made it to Amarillo in time to be some of the first to meet him. My parents have been here since then and my mom has been making breakfast, lunch and dinner for us as well as cleaning up and doing laundry for me. I don’t know how we’re going to survive once they leave this afternoon! Thankfully Ben’s parents and Aunt Claire will be here on Tuesday, so we won’t be on our own for long.
Last night Patti brought over a pork roast, rolls and gravy; my mom made mashed potatoes and a salad; and my mom and I made this apple cake. It was a simple dessert and I’m planning to make it again for Thanksgiving. The ingredient list is short, and there are no special skills required to make this cake…which is more tart- or pie-like, really. I found the recipe here on A Whisk and a Spoon.
We ate the cake with a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. It was the perfect combination.
Courtesy of A Whisk and a Spoon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved
1 1/4 pounds (3 to 4 small to medium) Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup AP flour, plus mor for dusting the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
Powdered sugar for dusting
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the base of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment, then smear with thick layer of butter. Dust with flour; turn pan over and tap lightly to remove excess flour. Melt butter in small saucepan (you can take it a step further and lightly brown it, if you like). Set aside.
Beat together eggs and half the sugar in a bowl (it’s not hard to do by hand). Continue to beat while slowly adding remaining sugar until thick; it should form a ribbon when dropped from a spoon. Add the vanilla seeds to the batter and add the pod to the melted butter.
Peel, quarter and core apples, then trim ends and slice thinly.
Remove vanilla pod from butter and stir butter into egg-sugar batter. Combine the flour and baking powder, then stir it into batter alternately with milk. Stir in apples, coating every piece with batter. Pour batter into pan, using fingers to pat top evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes, then rotate pan; bake for about 25 minutes more, until cake pulls away from pan and is brown on top; a thin-bladed knife inserted into center will come out clean when it is done. Cool 30 minutes on a rack.
Remove the sides of the springform, cut the cake into wedges and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
My house now smells of deep frying, I have a pot of oil cooling on the stove that I have no clue what I am going to do with, and a sink full of sticky dishes. On the bright side I have a rack of apple cake donuts and donut holes covered in cinnamon glaze awaiting consumption. I guess I can’t complain.
The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
There were quite a few donut options for this deep-fried challenge. All the Daring Bakers could choose from a yeast donut, a buttermilk cake donut, filled bomboloni or pumpkin donut. I was quite close to choosing the pumpkin since I have been on a pumpkin kick lately, but chose the buttermilk cake donut and added some grated apple and cinnamon to the dough.
The recipe says the dough will be sticky. I was not prepared for the level of stickiness. Use as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking to the cutters and your counter. I even found that after my first cutting and re-rolling the donuts cut and handled much better thanks to the additional flour that had been incorporated. Do not be shy with the flour.
After frying these beauties to a golden brown, let them drain on paper towels. After cooling you can glaze them. I used a simple glaze of powdered sugar, cinnamon and milk. If you don’t want to glaze, you could dip the donuts in cinnamon sugar while they’re still warm and get a nice crunchy exterior. Or just sprinkle them with powdered sugar. (more…)
I haven’t had my camera for a few weeks now, but I’d been doing pretty good remembering to take pictures with my iphone. Unfortunately, the last few yummy things I’ve made haven’t been photographed before being consumed. This is one of those things, so here is the picture from The Pioneer Woman’s website, where I got this delicious recipe.
I usually make fun of recipes like this that use pre-prepared foods like canned crescent rolls. And Mountain Dew…what is this all about? But these looked and sounded too good to shun on the basis of a few ingredients.