This was a quest to see how many apples I could use up in one recipe. I started off making or should I say, trying to make, apple cider. Using my food processor I ground up about 6 apples for about five minutes. There should have been juice out of that. Well, after all that, all I had was fresh apple sauce and not much juice. Onto the stove it went to break it down for juice. Hmmm. I think I did something wrong. After straining the cooked sauce I only had about a cup of cider to do something with. The cider along with some of that applesauce, and some shredded apples; went into the cupcakes. Thus the welcoming of Triple Apple Cupcakes with Cider Frosting of course! Prepare for a good amount of apple flavor with every bite!
The Recipe for Triple Apple Cupcakes:
1/3 cup apple cider
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 apple, peeled and shredded
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon*
- Use pure apple cider and cook it to reduce 1 1/4 cups down to about 2/3 cup. (You may use uncooked apple cider except that you won’t get as much apple flavor) Chill the remaining 1/3 cup.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. ( About 18)
- Whisk together the liquid ingredients from the cider to the vanilla.
- Stir the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the liquids and stir until it is combined but not over mixed.
- Pour or scoop the apple batter into the prepared tins.
- Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until they test done. (toothpick inserted comes out dry and not sticky)
- Prepare the frosting as they cool.
The Recipe for Cider Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp. reduced apple cider
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- Beat the cream cheese with the butter and the vanilla until it is light and fluffy.
- Add one tablespoon of the cider and mix it in well.
- Add one cup of the powdered sugar and beat it well again.
- Pour in the remaining cider and the lemon juice and continue beating.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until it is smooth and not grainy and also to the desired sweetness.
- Swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle the tops with a little cinnamon.*
*Once again I used the delicious vanilla cinnamon from Tupperware! It was such a nice touch on the top of the cupcakes as well!
There seems to be a continual hype about pumpkin these days. It is the season for these fellows but of all things to get so excited about it this time of year, it seems that the pumpkin gets the most attention.
The cooking class students didn’t quite feel the same about pumpkins, however, but I encouraged them to help each other create this amazing dessert and taste it too. Once again there was the resounding actually. “It’s actually good!” It was very exciting to make some little tiny and adorable Pumpkin Parfaits for the staff and some of their friends. We made these in disposable cups at school and I made them here that way too because they are fun to share and enjoy with others. Use your imagination for the bottom and perhaps use up some bits of crackers in the process!
Pumpkin Parfaits are so easy to make! It took us the hour cooking class to make them at school but on your own they take less than a half of an hour.
The Recipe for Pumpkin Parfaits:
For the base:
1 package graham crackers, crunched (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp. melted butter
The creamy layer:
1 cup whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. cream (half and half)
The pumpkin layer:
1 cup cold milk
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1 16 oz can pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla*
1 tsp cinnamon
- Crunch up the graham crackers so they are in small bits but not crumbs. (I say crunch so they are not crushed)
- Stir the melted butter into them and scoop a spoonful into each cup. (about 10 medium size cups) Set aside a little for the topping.
- Place the cups in the fridge to chill while you make the next layers.
- Beat the whipping cream until it is firm using a medium size bowl. Chill the whipped cream.
- Beat the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla until it is smooth. Add the 2 tbsp cream and beat it until it is light and fluffy.
- Fold the whipped cream in with the cream cheese mixture until it is smooth and well incorporated.
- Scoop the filling into 2 zip lock bags. Use a larger one for most of it and a small one for about 1/2 cup of it for the topping.
- Squirt some creamy filling into each of the cups.
- Begin the pumpkin filling by mixing the milk with the pudding. The mixture will be quite thick.
- Whisk in the pumpkin, the vanilla and the seasonings. The batter will be a nice golden brown.
- Place the pumpkin filling in another zip lock bag and finish the parfaits with a squeeze of the pumpkin.
- Snip a small corner off of the small bag of creamy filling and pipe a small swirl on top of the parfaits.
- Add a dusting of crumbs, a sprinkle of cinnamon and your parfaits are ready to eat. Or, you can chill them until you are ready to serve them.
These delightful Pumpkin Parfaits will keep for up to four days chilled. *When I put together a batch of these recently I used vanilla cinnamon in place of regular cinnamon. I found this wonderful ingredient from Tupperware!
It seems it is the season for warm baked loaves and apples. So we have another wonderful loaf to tempt you. The coarse crumbly topping adds a cozy look and it tastes very yummy too! This Apple Cinnamon Loaf is very simple to put together; it only requires a few bowls and spoons.
The Recipe for Apple Cinnamon Loaf:
3 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. milk
3 tbsp. sour cream
2 cups grated apples
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1/2 cup rolled oats
4 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp. chopped pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Use two bowls- one for the dry ingredients and one for the liquids. (Consider the sugars part of the liquids.)
- Whisk together each bowl of ingredients separately and then add the dry ingredients to the liquids. Whisk it together to make a spicy batter laced with apple bits. Now go rinse that bowl that had the dry ingredients in it, shake it out and put it back in the cupboard.
- Mix together the topping ingredients in a small bowl.
- Pour the batter into the two prepared pans, sprinkle the tops with the oats mixture and place them in the oven.
- Bake the loaves for 1 hour and 10 minutes. The top should be nice and crispy and the middle should be baked through.
- Serve it warm with butter or at room temperature. These loaves freeze well.
If you didn’t already notice, this loaf is just an apple version of my Zucchini Loaf! Tricky, huh.
Yes, summer is coming to a close, but there are still some warm afternoons. Don’t get those pumpkin drinks going just yet!
This Lemonator has a good load of Vitamin C to prepare you for shorter days. It is fresh and fruity and you can make it all year round!
The Recipe for Strawberry Lemonator:
1 1/2 cups lemonade, homemade or purchased
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup pineapple sorbet
3 oz ice
1 lemon Vitamin C drink dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- Place all ingredients in a blender on low speed to start and then on high until the drink is smooth.
- Serve immediately for your end of summer boost.
Serves about 4
Making the most of the last couple of weeks of summer means taking more meals outside!
Dining outdoors with Fresh Barbecue Salmon on the menu is such a treat if it is done right.
Making BBQ Salmon that is full of flavor:
- Use fresh caught salmon that has not been frozen, to begin with.
- Don’t be afraid of seasoning! Salmon needs a lot to be full of flavor and moist.
- Place your salmon fillets on a double layer of heavy duty tin foil.
- For the seasoning I started with Old bay seasoning, then plenty of salt and pepper, some dill and then I used a vegetable peeler to slice some butter to layer over that. I patted some brown sugar on that and then added the lemon slices. Another sprinkle of dill over that and it was ready for the hot grill.
- I took it over there on a flat baking sheet and slid it onto the BBQ.
- I had the temperature set at about 375 to 400 degrees. Some of the butter and sugar melted off of the foil but that didn’t matter. The smoke caused by that just added to the flavors!
- For 4 fillets that were a total of 2 1/2 pounds, it took about 20 to 25 minutes to perfect “doneness”.
- I peeled the lemon off the fillets and squeezed them just a little over the fillets and then brought them to the dinner table. (As I slid them off the foil I made sure to leave the skin behind.)
- We had a hard time saving a fillet for my daughter! They were that yummy!