Cinnamon Toffee Fruit Dip

Honey crisp apples are taking over my life.

Every day for the past two weeks I’ve been eating one, and every day I stare at the giant beauty and don’t care that it cost $2. Sometimes I like to jazz it up and make a super unhealthy meal with them. Like this dip. Sugar, spice and toffee, baby.

I love making sweet dips like this. Apples and toffee are best friends forever, and I’m totally ok with eating the friendship.

To make this, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a food processor.

Blend until smooth. Stir in one crushed Skor bar (or a few “mini” score chunks).

Blend quickly for a few seconds.

Place in a serving bowl and serve with apples or fruit of your choice.

Cinnamon Toffee Fruit Dip
Adapted from Noble Pig
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Skor bars, crushed (or 1/2 bag of Heath toffee bits)
3 apples (I used Honey Crisp)

Directions:
In a food processor (or with your mixer) combine cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Stir in ONE crushed Skor bar. Place in a serving bowl and serve with apples or fruit of your choice.

Note: This can also be pre-made and placed back in the refrigerator, it will not stiffen up.

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Apple Pie Muffins

Something unusual happened this week. Something that never happens…I didn’t bake.

Sure, I got up to my usual dinner cooking routine, but I can’t even remember the last time I went an entire week without baking. And now I want to eat something buttery and sweet more than ever! For the first time in a long time, I catch myself staring longingly at the cookies in Starbucks or the pastries at various shops in the mall I work in. It’s funny what a week without home baking can do to a girl. I don’t like it.

This week will be better. I have less school work, and really need to get some baked goods together so that my sweet tooth will not get the best of me when I’m out! I bought a cookie downtown yesterday for $2.75!!! Not. Freaking. Cool.

So, join me in baking our own treats! With crumble topping and butter and all the stuff my thighs hate that makes our mouths water!

To begin, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line 12 cup muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Pour butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in apples.

Use a large scoop to fill each muffin well, filling the cups to the top.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of melted butter, mixing until well blended.

Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins.

Crumble topping is the freaking bomb.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed…or look brown like these.

Cool on a wire rack until set. Then dig in!

Apple Pie Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
Recipe taken from My Baking Addiction

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith Apples

For the topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 cup muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in apples. Use a large scoop to fill each muffin well, filling the cups to the top.
4. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of melted butter, mixing until well blended. Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.
6. Cool on wire rack. Store at room temperature.

NOTE:
– If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own, or simply substitute 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Ever get sick of plain jam?

Me neither! But I had a lot of apples to use up recently and thought I’d make some good, old fashioned apple butter. Before I made my own, I actually never liked apple butter in the past. It was always too sweet and tasted like apple sauce gone bad. So, to get a good recipe, I searched a few of my favorite bloggers and landed on Jaimie’s recipe. I knew it had to be good.

And boy was I right! This apple butter is perfectly smooth and spiced, and pairs wonderfully with bagels, whole grain toast or even apple slices! I personally thought this went nice on a cinnamon raisin bagel. It was such a scrumptious breakfast (for the amount of time it lasted)!

To begin, place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well. Cook in your slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.

Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for about 2 hours.

Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Yield: 2 pints
Recipe taken from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:
3 1/4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used honeycrisp)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch salt
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.
2. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
3. Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for about 2 hours.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.
6. Serve on breads, muffins, pork chops or just eat it with a spoon!

Caramelized Apple Grilled Cheese

Two slices of thick cheddar bread sandwiching cheddar cheese and caramelized apples. HELLO!

Unlike a lot of bloggers I follow, I tend to stick to the regular grilled cheese recipe. Bread+butter+cheddar=heaven. It’s a simple recipe. One we all know and love. But then my world changed. I added caramelized apples to the mix. Awesome.

I was recently bombarded with apples. My boyfriends parents invited us to come for the weekend and just as we were getting ready for bed we noticed our bed sheets were lumpy….we opened the covers and there they were!! About 70 apples on top of the sheets. Nice. So, needless to say I had a lot of apples to take home and use up in some way. And this is one of the ways those apples got made!

To begin, shred your cheddar cheese.

I used white and yellow cheddar because I’m a wild woman.

Slice your apple into thin slices.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan. Add the sugar and cinnamon and cook until bubbly.

Add the apples and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to wait for assembly.

Get out your awesome bread. That bread is looking mighty fine today if I do say so myself.

Assembly line time. Butter one side of each slice of bread.

Add some grated cheese to two slices of bread.

Add 1/2 of your apple mixture on top of that cheese. Add some more cheese on top of those pretty caramelized apples. Put a buttered slice of bread on top to make a sandwich (buttered side out of course).

Grill until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Eat up! I ate this with some awesome potato salad. Mmmmm.

Caramelized Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Recipe slightly adapted from Closet Cooking
Makes 2 sandwiches

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 dash of cinnamon
2 apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
1/2 cup shredded good cheddar cheese
4 slices of good bread (I used cheddar bread)
2 tablespoon butter

Directions:
Get four slices of bread ready by buttering one side of each slice. Shred your cheese.

Peel and core your apples. Slice them into relatively thin slices.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan. Add the sugar and cinnamon and cook until bubbly. Add the apples and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

Assemble sandwich by adding (to the non-buttered side of two slices of bread) cheese, apples, and a bit more cheese. Put the plain buttered bread on top of each cheese and apple mixture (buttered side out).

Grill until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Butterscotch Apple Blondies

It snowed for the first time this season yesterday. It wasn’t too bad. Instead of crumpling my face into Mr. Wrinkles and complaining, I decided to bundle up and enjoy the beauty of the winter wonderland around me.

And it WAS beautiful. It wasn’t too cold and the snow was perfect for packing and making a snowman – although I didn’t get to. Biting my mittens off made me want to go skiing so. freaking. bad.

With the colder season I’ve been baking a lot with apples. After the fall harvest my boyfriend and I were left with over 50 apples to bake and cook with. FIFTY! Luckily, I was in the mood to try new things and ended up coming up with a variety of recipes ranging from apple butter to cookies to these blondies. I brought these blondies into school and they were devoured in a matter of minutes. I hope you enjoy them!

To begin, preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking or baking spray. Then, cream butter and brown sugar in mixer until smooth.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until combined.

On low, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mixing until just combined.

Stir in the chopped apples and butterscotch chips until evenly distributed.

Spread in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until the center is set.

Let cool completely before slicing or frosting.

It’s hard, I know…

Now, onto the buttery crazy-delicious icing. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.

Add brown sugar and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Stir in powdered sugar with a whisk.

Let cool until it thickens enough to spread.

Stir before spreading on top of blondies and then pour that deliciousness on top.

Let frosting set for 30 minutes and then cut into bars.

Dig in! Awww, yeah.

Butterscotch Apple Blondies
Adapted from Cookies and Cups

Blondies
Ingredients:
2/3 cup room temperature butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peeled, chopped tart apple (about 1 large)
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking or baking spray.

Cream butter and brown sugar in mixer until smooth.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until combined.

On low, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mixing until just combined.

Stir in the chopped apples and butterscotch chips until evenly distributed.

Spread in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until the center is set.

Let cool completely before slicing or frosting.

Brown Sugar Frosting
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Stir in powdered sugar with a whisk.

Let cool until it thickens enough to spread.

Stir before spreading on top of blondies.

Let frosting set for 30 minutes and then cut into bars.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

I made you some cookies. Healthy cookies? Maybe, they have fruit! And oats. Yum. They also have butter and sugar in a blend of deliciousness. I’ll let you decide their health points.

These cookies are a blend of apples, walnuts and oats with a swirly mixture of sugar and cinnamon. They are also thick and chewy and feel so satisfying as you chew. I like a good cookie, and Joy the Baker did these one’s right. So give ’em a try, and let me know how it goes!

Peel and dice the apple and toss with lemon juice. Set aside for later. Beat the sugar and butter in the bowl until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg one, beating for 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly beating on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and apple chunks last.

Spoon onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-13 minutes. I like my cookies chewy so I cook them for about 9 or 10 minutes.

Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 small apple, peeled, diced small (i used a granny smith apple)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Peel and dice the apple and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.

Beat the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg one, beating for 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly beating on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and apple chunks last.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 13 minutes or until they’ve reached your desired doneness. I like mine a little underdone and cook them for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.