Baked Apple Chips

These are nacho typical chips.  Haha, get it?

Anyway, apples are good for you and these apple chips are a great way to get in your apple a day, as prescribed by the doctor.  And apples are so in season right now.  Apples are the new peach.

Okay, enough.  Better get your ovens ready, before it’s too late.

 

Apple Chips

 

Baked Apple Chips
inspired by Fifteen Spatulas and Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients
2 golden delicious apples
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

What To Do
Preheat the oven to 225ºF.

Stir together the cinnamon and sugar to combine. Set aside.

Decide whether or not to core your apples, then slice them thinly with a mandolin slicer. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, and place the apple slices side by side on the parchment, in a single layer. Make sure not to overlap the apple slices or place them on top of each other, otherwise they won’t crisp up. Sprinkle the apple slices with the cinnamon sugar, and note that if you sprinkle from high above, the cinnamon sugar will disperse more evenly.

Bake the apple slices for 1 hour, then remove them from the oven and flip them over. The apples will be floppy, but they will crisp up later. Return the apple slices to the oven for another hour, then turn the oven off. Let the apple chips cool completely in the oven, this is when they will crisp up.

My Comments
I have no idea what kind of apples I have used so far.  I have a friend with a tree in her yard and used those.  They are red with some green in them too.  I think you should just use your favorite apple or experiment a little to see what you like best.

I did not measure the cinnamon and sugar.  I just mixed some together.  Start with sugar and then add a little cinnamon to your liking.

These are really tasty! Crisp and delicious!

Some Photos Along the Way
Slicing an apple with my friend’s mandolinApple Chips
Apple slices on my silicone baking mat, sprinkled with cinnamon sugarApple Chips
After the first hourApple Chips
Flipped overApple Chips
After the second hour and cooled in the ovenApple Chips

 

These do take some time to make.  Perhaps if you have a food dehydrator it would go faster.  But to me, it’s totally worth the time.  I was so surprised at how good these are! These are so great to munch on and I really hope you give them a try!

Have a great week!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

AHHH! It’s the last day of August! Time to prepare for fall, even though this week is to be very hot and humid here.  We’ve been enjoying some very fall-like weather, which has been great (except for my garden deciding to pretty much be done for the season) and I was recently given a bag of apples from my friend’s tree.  I wasn’t really anticipating anything apple-related for another couple of weeks but whatcha gonna do? I was actually kinda sad because my counter wasn’t full of some kind of produce so I welcomed the apples and got busy.

And boy am I glad.  These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are wonderful!!! When it really is fall, I think I’ll make these every day.  Well, maybe not every day….but I sure would like to eat one every day.  These bars scream fall goodness.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Yup, see those layers? A wonderful crust, topped with cheesecake, topped with spiced apples, topped with streusel, topped with caramel? It doesn’t get much better than this! I just made a half recipe but next time I’m making the whole thing!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
from Our Best Bites (the bars) and the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (the caramel)

Ingredients
Bars – Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter (12 tablespoons), cubed

Bars – Filling
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bars – Streusel
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tablespoons), cubed

1/3 c caramel sauce

Caramel Sauce
You can buy caramel sauce to drizzle on top but I chose to make some.  There are several recipes out there, but I chose to make one from my King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.  In fact, it’s the same as the Caramel Frosting recipe I posted a while back – just don’t do the last step of adding powdered sugar.

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350ºF.  In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly.  Press into a well-greased 13×9 baking pan.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.  Spread over crust.

In a small bowl, toss apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer.  In another bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apple layer.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set.  Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour.  (OR reserve caramel for later.  They can be served without caramel sauce, or sauce can be drizzled on before serving. ) Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Cut into bars.

My Comments
I lined my pan with foil and sprayed the foil with non-stick cooking spray.  That way it’s so easy to just lift out of the pan and makes it super easy to cut into bars.

In the streusel, I used old-fashioned oats.

I made half the caramel recipe and chose to reserve it to drizzle on as needed.  It does thicken up after cooling so just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and it will be drizzle-ready.

Some Photos Along the Way
Crust Ingredients
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Dicing the Apples
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Adding the Cheesecake Layer
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

The Apple Layer
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

The Streusel Layer
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Sauce
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Drizzle Time
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

 

I am always sad to see summer go but I do enjoy fall produce like apples.  My counter won’t be empty for long.  More apples and pears and squash are all coming soon.  I think I’ll sit back and enjoy this time between summer and fall produce with another Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar and a good book.

Have a great week!

Apple Cranberry “Dessert”

Hello! As I mentioned the other day in my Thankful Thursday post, I’ve been under the weather for a few weeks but I’m now much better and going out into the world – the real world and the blog world.  While I was sick, Matt made this WONDERFUL apple cranberry dish.  I made more today.  It’s that good.

He made it for dessert, as that’s what it’s intended to be.  And it was good.  For dinner, he had made some pork chops and Herb-Roasted Potatoes Poupon and it was the perfect end to the meal.

I must admit, I ended up mixing up leftover pork chops, potatoes and apple cranberry topping all together for lunch the next day…it was soooo good.

Then a few days later I put some on top of a couple Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes.  And it was good…probably didn’t need the maple syrup but what the hay…

When I ran out of pancakes, I made oatmeal.  I mixed it in with great anticipation.  And this too was good!

I believe Matt put it on ice cream and loved it.

It’s too good not to share it with you.  One dish that can be served in so many different ways? Oh yeah!

 

Apple Cranberry Dessert

 

 

Apple Cranberry “Dessert”
from Cooking Light
yields 6 cups, or so they say (they also call it “baked apples”)

Ingredients
2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 Gala Apples, cored and chopped (about 3 pounds)

What To Do
Combine all ingredients in a large microwave-safe dish. Microwave at high 20 minutes or until apples are soft, stirring occasionally.

My Comments
I made half the recipe today.  I didn’t realize this at the time but Matt must have made half the recipe too.  It makes a lot.  No, I didn’t measure it – sorry…

Both times we used different kinds of nuts.  I guess we never have walnuts in the house.

Also both times we used different kinds of apples.  I don’t know what kind Matt used, but today I used Golden Delicious and it turned out just fine…delicious, one might say.

 

So even though it’s not apple season, I hope you give this recipe a try.  I’d never microwaved anything on High for 20 minutes before but it really works.  It’s so good and so easy to put together.  And the entire house smells really good as it’s cooking!

Okay – I’m going to go eat some! Have a great week!

Peanut Butter Yogurt Honey Dip

In case there’s anyone still out there trying to eat healthier this year, here’s a great snack for you! This dip is great for you and your family, easy to take to work or school, works well as part of a brunch menu or to take to a party.  With only three ingredients, it’s easy to whip up (or whisk up, as the case may be) and you can dip a variety of foods in it.  Of course, if you’re dipping candy bars in it, the healthy aspect might change a bit…

 

Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip

 

Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip
from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients
6-oz container of plain greek yogurt
3 T creamy peanut butter
3 T honey

What To Do
In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and honey. Stir until combined and smooth. Serve with apple slices or other cut up fruit.

My Comments
I find it’s best and easiest to use a whisk to combine the ingredients.

Refrigerate any leftovers (or make ahead and refrigerate until you need it).  Dip will set up a bit (won’t be as runny) after being in the fridge for a while.

 

This dip is so delicious!! It smells really good too.  I served this with a variety of fruit as part of Christmas brunch.  I also served it with apples and pumpkin bread for a fall gathering and it tasted good on the bread too!

So go ahead, get your dip on.  You deserve a tasty snack to keep you going throughout the day.

IMG_9114 (2) (428x640) with text

Apple and Sausage Pie

Fall is definitely in the air now! We are having cool, crisp mornings and evenings and tree leaves are starting to turn all kinds of pretty colors.  Apples are still in season and if you have an apple orchard near you, I encourage you to get out there and pick a variety to have on hand.  Then I encourage you to make this dish!

 

Apple and Sausage Pie

 

Apple and Sausage Pie
from Simply Recipes

Ingredients
1 basic pie dough recipe, rolled out and lining a 9 or 10-inch pie dish, or 8×8 baking dish, chilled (or one frozen pie crust)
2 large tart Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 medium onion, chopped (about half a cup)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 Tbsp butter
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage (bulk, or removed from casings)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded fontina, provalone, and or asiago cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten

What To Do
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line the inside of a pie shell with heavy aluminum foil, pressing the dough against the side. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil, poke the bottom of the pie crust with the tines of a fork to create air vents. Return crust to oven, bake for an additional 4 minutes, or until the crust just begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the apples, onions, and sugar, cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. In the last 30 seconds or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer mixture to a separate bowl. Increase the heat to medium high and in the same skillet add the Italian sausage. Cook, stirring only infrequently, until sausage is browned on all sides and is cooked through. Remove from heat. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a dish lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat.

In medium sized bowl, mix together the cheeses and beaten eggs.

Place sausage on bottom of pre-baked pie crust. Add the cooked apple onion mixture over the sausage. Pour the cheese egg mixture over the apple mixture and spread it so it evenly covers the pie.

Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

My Comments
I do use the pie crust recipe provided on the Simply Recipes site.

For the apples I have used Granny Smith and also have used other kinds and every time I’ve made this pie, it has turned out yummy.

For the 2 cups of shredded cheese – I normally use whatever I have but this last time, I used a bag of shredded 5-Cheese Italian made by Kraft and it was extra delicious!

 

I think I may say this a lot, but this pie is really good for breakfast…even though it’s intended for dinner.  Regardless, I hope you try it out this fall.  Enjoy!