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.

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Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

After only 1 week back to school somehow I’m swimming in assignments already. But busy is a good thing, and with a to-do list ten pages long, things are getting done!

Besides organizing school and work, since being back from Costa Rica I’ve began marathon training, made my 2012 goals for baking (I’ll share these soon), and had to remember how to play the guitar for my guitar lessons. It’s surprising how easy it is to forget how to play! Especially since I’m a beginner. I blame all those cute monkeys outside my lodge!!

Even though I’m busy I can’t complain. In a way, it can keep you sain despite what many people say. I think as long as I’m organized, things will get done. And then I can enjoy the time I have doing things I really like! This cake made my extremely happy. It came together in no time, was delicious, and totally freezable! I made this as a dessert, and then ate this baby for breakfast for a few days after that. I think anything with warm apples is bound to make me swoon. It’s just how I am!

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. To prepare the apples, peel them and slice them into about 1/4 inch thick slices and place them into a large bowl. Pour the sugar over the apples and give them a quick toss with your hands and then add the lemon juice. Let the apples and the sugar sit for about 30 minutes.

This process with soften the apples and the sugar will become liquid.

Add the vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla to the apple mixture and stir together with a spoon.

In another bowl add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves.

Mix together until the baking soda and spices are evenly distributed through the dry ingredients mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and combine with a spoon carefully until the dry mixture is just incorporated.

Spray a 9×9 baking dish with baking spray. Transfer the batter into the baking dish.

Bake in a preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted in the center and comes out clean.

Cool cake on a wire rack to cool completely and then dig in! You can serve this with whipped cream, ice cream, or add some frosting. All are great choices!

Cinnamon Apple Cake
Adapted from Whats Gaby Cooking

Ingredients:
4 cups sliced and peeled apple (I used Honey Crisps, but you could easily use Granny Smith or Gala apples)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

Frosting recipe here!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the apples, peel and core about 4 apples. Slice them into about 1/4 inch thick slices and place them into a large bowl. Pour the sugar over the apples and give them a quick toss with your hands and then add the lemon juice. Let the apples and the sugar hang out for about 30-45 minutes. This process with soften the apples and the sugar will become liquid.

Add the vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla to the apple mixture and stir together with a spoon.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Mix together until the baking soda and spices are evenly distributed through the dry ingredients mixture. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and combine with a spoon carefully until the dry mixture is just incorporated.

Spray a 9×9 baking dish with baking spray. Transfer the batter into the baking dish and bake in a preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted in the center and comes out clean.

Serve with freshly whipped cream, frosting or ice cream. Enjoy!

Freaking Awesome Apple Dumplings

Dear healthy lifestyle,
For the most part I think we get along great. I always follow our fitness schedule, I eat the right amount of carbs, dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables, and I go to our regular doctor, optometrist, and dentist appointments. But other times I plain and simply do not like you, and sometimes cheat on you with your two arch enemies – Tonsa Sugar and Lotsa Butter. They know what I really want.

Sometimes in life we come across little specialties that warm the soul. Like snuggling under the covers on a weekend when it’s raining, reading on a sunny front porch, or dipping our toes into the water for the first time and realizing it’s warm!

For me a big comfort food is warm apples. Warm apples with cinnamon, butter, and sugar specifically. I’m such a big fan of apple crisp, apple pie, baked apples…anything really. This recipe is my boyfriends favorite thing that I make. FAVORITE! That’s hard work for a girl with a baking blog. I continue to try and top this recipe over and over again and fail. But alas, it’s hard to live up to these warm, baked, deliciously sweet rolls of goodness. You should make them.

To begin, peel and core apples.

Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.

Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir.

Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples.

Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan.

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Apple Dumplings
Makes 16 dumplings
Recipe taken from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients
2 whole Granny Smith Apples
2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
2 sticks Butter
1-½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cinnamon, To Taste
1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices.

Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in the buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir a little, and pour entire mixture over apples.

Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan, and through the middle.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the dumplings are nice and brown on top.

Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.