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Monday, October 29, 2012

Appledoodle Cookies (October's SRC pick)

Goodness I am so excited to share this month's recipe for Secret Recipe Club! I was granted the honor of being assigned the blog called, Fried Ice and Donut Holes for the month of October (such an fabulous name for a blog!).  It truly was an honor and so much fun to browse through this blog.  Please do hop on over to Fried Ice and Donut Holes and check out all the scrumptious recipes.  You might want to take a peek at the Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler along with the Buffalo Chicken Shepard's Pie and then be sure to check out the Cashew Chicken recipe too! So many wonderful recipes.  And yes of course I choose to pick a recipe that I could bake.  You know the kind the has flour, sugar and butter in it.  Yes, you know me well!  Always baking over here! :-)
  I have so many apples in my house that have to used before they get rotten so when I came upon the recipe for Appledoodles I jumped on it fast! I could make cookies and the cookies would be made with apples! Granted it was only two apples from my 20+ but still it was a win win situation as the cookies came out fabulous and I had two less apples in my pile of "must-use-soon-apples" before they turn mushy and rotten. 
I loved everything about these cookies.  The fact that they are a spin off of Snickerdoodle cookies caught my eye right away as I just adore Snickerdoodles!  Adding in chopped apples to a favorite cookie was brilliant.  The cinnamon sugar rolled cookies came alive with all things Fall and comforting when the apples were baked into these little gems.  And since I had some peanut butter morsels just itching to be paired with the apples (because apples and peanut butter go together in my world) I threw in a couple handfuls to the cookie batter.  Oh my, what delicious happiness found in a cookie!

Appledoodle Cookies
Cookie dough
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1-2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup peanut butter morsels (my addition)
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon.  Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy - about 3-4 minutes. Add in eggs and beat to combine well.
3. In a medium bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and nutmeg (if you wish).  Add to the wet mixture. 
4. Gently fold in chopped apples and peanut butter morsels.
5. Form balls of the dough and roll carefully to coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place sugar rolled cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 14 minutes turning cookie sheet half way through baking time. Cookies will be golden on the edges and blond in the middle.  Allow cookies to cool on sheets before removing.  Cookies are stored best in an airtight container and will remain soft for about 3 days.  Yum! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Caramel Swirled Apple-Pear Bread (Week #3 of 12 Weeks of Holiday Treats)

Confession.  I baked this bread twice in a 12 hour period of time.  Not once but twice I say. Yes, this quick bread which is packed with chunks of apples and pears, oozing with cinnamon happiness and swirled with a rich loveliness of caramel sauce is NO joke.  I promise you that once you make it once you will then make it twice within a day.  Bake one loaf for yourself and one to give away.  EASY!   Even better, bake a couple as holiday gifts!! This bread would absolutely perfect wrapped up in a pretty package and handed off to friends and family for the holidays.   They will all love and thank you for it over and over again -  I can promise you that.  So put your apron on and get out your apples and pears!  It's time to make a lovely quick bread.

Thus I present to you my #3 entry for the 12 Weeks of Holiday Treats. I can't thank Brenda from Meal Planning Magic for all the hard work and dedication she has put towards making this 12 week party happen.  Hugs of gratitude to sent to you dearest Brenda!
 Feel free to make this bread with just apples as the original recipe only used apples.  Also feel free to use store bought caramel sauce (simplicity is crucial during the holidays!) or you can use the recipe I posted last week for Homemade Caramel Sauce - it's super yummy and very easy to make. The original recipe also called for pouring caramel sauce over the top of the bread when baked and cooled.  Such a good idea!  I did not do so for either of my breads but I promised myself that the next time I make this recipe I will. 
Caramel Swirled Apple-Pear Bread
(recipe altered slightly from one of my all time favorite blogs - Bakingdom)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 medium apples - peeled, cored and cut into small chunks (shredded is fine too)
1 medium pear - peeled, cored and cut into small chunks (shredded if you prefer)
1/4 - 1/2 cup caramel sauce - homemade or store bought
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x5 loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Set dry mixture aside.
3. Beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time - mix well inbetween each one.  Add in 1/3 of flour mixture, mix to combine and continue with remaining 2/3's flour mixture.  Do not over beat as that will create a "tough" bread.
4.  Gently stir in prepared fruit.
5.  Pour 1/2 of bread batter into prepared pan and then pour caramel sauce over batter. Finish by topping with remaining bread batter.

6. Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Rotating pan half way through.  A toothpick inserted in center should come out with only a few crumbs stuck to it when bread is done. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and enjoying.  Don't forget, you can always drizzle some caramel sauce over the top of your bread before sure looks good that way!

 Happy Caramel Swirl Apple-Pear Bread Baking!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Homemade Caramel Sauce ( Week #2 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

Chocolate sauce or caramel sauce....which one do you prefer? I kind of lean towards both. Especially when they are homemade! Chocolate sauce is perfect over good vanilla ice cream and caramel goes perfect over anything apple.  And well, geez both of them go perfect with just a spoon! 
Since I have already tried my hand at making homemade chocolate sauce I couldn't wait to do the same with homemade caramel sauce.  I seized the opportunity recently keeping in mind that caramel sauce would be a lovely present for friends and family this coming holiday season along side a jar of chocolate sauce
With the encouragement of my participation in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats group (thank you so much Brenda for hosting this group!) I present to you today a super easy and extremely delicious recipe for HOMEMADE Caramel Sauce.  Hooray! Amen. YUM!
The recipe below will fill one good sized jar.  Double the recipe if you wish to make multiple jars.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
(recipe slightly altered from Countertop Confessions)
1 stick salted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (the original recipe calls for milk)
2 Tbsp light corn syrup (the original recipe does not call for corn syrup - I added it to help with keeping the sugar and butter from separating)
1 tsp vanilla
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Add in brown sugar once butter has fully melted.  Stir constantly as you bring the melted butter and sugar to a boil.  Allow mixture to boil for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved completely.
2. Stirring constantly, add in milk.  Mixture will snap and pop...not to worry this is normal.  Stir in corn syrup.  Allow sauce to return to a boil and do so for 2 more minutes. 
3. Remove pan from heat.  Add in vanilla extract.  Stir well to combine.  Sauce will be smooth and deliciously beautiful.
4. Cool for 30 minutes before pouring into a pretty jar and wrapping it with a ribbon.
Happy Homemade Caramel Sauce Making!
 To enjoy the other talented bloggers of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats see links below.


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