Bourbon Caramel Apple Upside Down Spice Cake

I’ve been willing Fall to get here for the past few weeks. I am sure I have mentioned it before, it’s my favorite season. Cooler weather, the leaves changing, baking without overheating my house, the list goes on and on. There are a few flavors synonymous with this time of year, mainly pumpkin and apples. And while I normally like to welcome Fall with a new pumpkin recipe, I decided to go with the apples this year for a Caramel Apple Bourbon Upside Down Spice Cake. A bit of a mouthful!

A little backstory on this cake. I got the idea from watching a Fall themed movie on Hallmark Channel back in the Spring. I wrote the idea on a post-it and finally revisited it a few weeks ago. And of course, there were a few fails before I finally ended up with a cake that looked and tasted delicious. My first cake collapsed in the middle. My cake tester led me astray! The cake was slightly undercooked in the middle and there was no saving it. The fail though led me to change the flavor of the cake so it was kind of a good thing. Initially I doctored a French vanilla cake mix and decided the flavor just wasn’t right, so I switched to a spice cake instead. That definitely screams Fall more so than French Vanilla. So, I bought a spice cake Mix and made a few tweaks to it. I also decided to bake the cake in a tube pan to ensure it would bake completely without drying out. Well, it still wasn’t quite right. I used heavy cream when I made my bourbon caramel sauce and I just didn’t like the way it looked after flipping the cake. And while the cake tasted good, I just wasn’t getting enough spice from it.

Thankfully my third attempt was a success! First, I decided to omit the heavy cream from my caramel sauce. Second, I went with a yellow cake mix and added in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves (those yummy warm spices of the season) to really get a strong spice flavor. And third, after I poured the caramel and arranged the apples in the pan, I placed the pan in the refrigerator while I made the batter for the cake. This allowed the apples to set in the caramel so that they wouldn’t move when I poured the batter into the pan. This actually happened with my second attempt at this cake. I had arranged my apples in a nice design and they moved all around once I poured the batter in. I didn’t take any chances with my third attempt though. I spooned the batter into the pan just to be safe.

Just look at how the apples looked before I added the batter. I definitely wanted that look on top of my cake once it was done.

And thankfully since I made those tweaks my cake looked amazing once I flipped it out of the pan. YAY!!!

And even better, the taste and texture of the cake was spot on.

Happy Fall Y’all!

Bourbon Caramel Apple Upside Down Spice Cake

Ingredients:

For the Bourbon Caramel Apple:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup bourbon

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch)

For the Spice Cake:

1 15.25 box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup buttermilk*, at room temperature

1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Make your own buttermilk by adding 4 teaspoons of vinegar to a measuring cup and then adding enough whole milk to make 3/4 cup. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, or until the milk becomes thick and appears curdled.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a tube pan with baking spray and set aside. You could also use a Bundt pan.

For the Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar and butter and melt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is melted and combined remove from the heat and add the bourbon. Return to the heat for about a minute and stir to combine. Let cool slightly.

Pour the caramel sauce into the prepared pan and arrange the apple slices in the sauce making sure to overlap them.

While you make the cake batter refrigerate the pan with the apples and caramel sauce so the sauce can set. This will help the apples stay in place when you add the batter.

For the Spice Cake:

In a medium bowl whisk together the yellow cake mix with the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on low speed, beat the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract until combined. Using a fine mesh sieve (or a sifter) sift the cake mix with the spices over the buttermilk mixture and then beat with the hand mixer on medium speed until just combined.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator and spoon the batter over the apples. Give the pan a few gentle taps on the counter to remove any air bubbles and then bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes and then invert onto a cake platter or other rimmed dish. Let the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing and enjoying. It’s important to let the cake cool before slicing so the apples can set on the cake. If you slice it too soon the apples will slide off.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Strawberry Tiramisu

It’s the dog days of summer which usually means you will do anything to avoid turning on your oven. Thankfully there are many delicious recipes out there that can prevent you from doing just that and today I am sharing one, a Strawberry Tiramisu. This spin on tiramisu is perfect for the summer with the abundance of perfectly ripened strawberries available this time of year.

To begin, you will make the strawberry sauce. In a large bowl combine sliced strawberries with orange liqueur, balsamic vinegar, salt and sugar. After letting it sit for about 15 minutes puree half of it along with seedless strawberry jam in a food processor until smooth and then return the mixture to the strawberries and stir together. It may seem like the mixture is a tad watery, but it will be absorbed by the ladyfingers. No need to fear, your dessert will not be a runny mess when sliced.

Next you will make the mascarpone – whipped cream mixture. Beat heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Next, fold in mascarpone cheese & orange zest until the whipped cream and mascarpone cheese are well incorporated and no streaks of either remain.

Now it’s time to assemble. Begin by spreading some of the strawberry mixture in the bottom of your dish. Then add a layer of ladyfingers on top and then spread half of the mascarpone cheese mixture over them. Repeat the layers ending with the remaining half of the mascarpone cheese mixture. Decorate the top with sliced strawberries and then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before slicing and serving.

This is a light and refreshing dessert that isn’t overly sweet… Perfect for these warmer days!

Strawberry Tiramisu

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons orange liqueur*

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 cups sliced strawberries, divided**

1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 8oz. container mascarpone cheese

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 7oz. package ladyfingers

*I used Cointreau

**About 1.5 lbs

Directions:

In a large bowl stir together 3 cups of the sliced strawberries, the liqueur, balsamic vinegar, salt and granulated sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Transfer half of the mixture to a food processor (or blender) along with the strawberry jam and blend until smooth. Pour the pureed mixture back into the bowl with the remaining marinated strawberries and stir together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract with a hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold in the mascarpone cheese and orange zest until both are incorporated well and no streaks of either remain.

To assemble: Spread 3/4 cup of the of the strawberry mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 square baking dish. Top with a single layer of ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Top the ladyfingers with the remaining strawberry mixture and then top with another layer of ladyfingers. And finally, spread the remaining mascarpone cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Top with the remaining cup of sliced strawberries. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before slicing and serving.

Recipe modified from Food and Wine

No-Knead Olive Bread

I love bread recipes that don’t require too much work. And if you agree with me, then No-Knead Bread recipes are perfect for you as well. Instead of having to knead the dough to form the gluten strands that give the bread its texture, you allow the dough to rest for 12-18 hours. And for someone who is never quite sure if they have kneaded their dough too long or too short this is the perfect method. Today I am sharing with you a No-Knead Olive Bread. Don’t like olives, read on to get ideas on other No-Knead Breads you can try instead.

To start, in a large bowl I mixed all the ingredients – flour, sea salt, yeast, oregano, garlic powder, chopped olives and water – together using a wooded spoon and then shaped the dough into a ball before covering it with a piece of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

I let the dough rest on my counter for about 18 hours, I did peak at it a few times during those hours to make sure it was rising. Hence using a piece of plastic wrap and then aluminum foil on top. And I happy to say that it did rise considerably, although it didn’t have many air bubbles.

After shaping it again into a ball and letting it rest for an additional 30 minutes I baked it in my Dutch oven. And after letting it cool I had a delicious bread to slice into.

What’s great about this recipe is that it can easily be switched up. The base of it is the flour, sea salt & water. And from there you could add in anything to satisfy your taste buds. Think a Cranberry Walnut Bread, a Jalapeno Cheddar version, or maybe a Sun-Dried Tomato & Pesto one… The possibilities are endless.  

No-Knead Olive Bread

Ingredients:

3 cups + 2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 cup chopped olives*

1 1/2 cups warm water (95 F)

*I used 1/2 cup black olives and 1/2 cup pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives

Directions:

In a large bowl stir together the flour, sea salt, yeast, oregano, garlic powder and chopped olives. Add in the warm water and stir. The dough will be sticky. Shape into a ball and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Let it sit on the counter at room temperature for 12-18 hours. The dough will double in size and be covered in air bubbles.

Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 F.

Lightly dust your work space with flour and turn out the dough. Using lightly floured hands shape the dough into a ball and then transfer to a large piece of parchment paper*. You want your piece of parchment paper to be large enough to fit in your Dutch oven**.  Score an “X” into the top of the dough with a sharp knife and then cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap for 30 minutes. During these 30 minutes, place your Dutch oven in the preheated oven.

After the 30 minutes carefully remove your pot from the oven. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of your dough and place the dough, along with the parchment paper, into your Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the bread is golden brown on top. Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the bread, along with the parchment paper, to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Make sure to check your parchment paper to see what the highest and safest temperature it can be used at.

**If you don’t have a Dutch oven you could also use a heavy-duty pot.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Spice Market Carrot Cake

I’ve been using the same recipe for carrot cake for years. It’s a basic recipe with the only add-in being walnuts. No pineapple, coconut and/or raisins that you find in some recipes, but it’s delicious and moist nonetheless. I did try a different recipe a year or two ago and it just wasn’t that good. One of the reasons it never made it on here. I recently came across a recipe though that was completely different from any one I had seen before, a Spice Market Carrot Cake, that I instantly knew I wanted to try. I decided to make it for Easter this year. Which led me to wonder why is carrot cake so popular for Easter? Does it have anything to do with rabbits and their affinity to carrots? While I couldn’t find a definitive answer, I did learn this tidbit…  Carrot cake became popular in the 1970’s during the dieting craze. People apparently thought that by using carrots in a cake it would make the dessert seem healthier. I can get behind that. It’s like the theory that chocolate is a vegetable (some say fruit) since it’s a product of the cacao bean.

So, what makes the Spice Market Carrot Cake so special? It has a Moroccan-inspired flair thanks to the addition of ras el hanout – a Moroccan spice blend – and dried fruit (for the cake I made I went with apricots, but, you could use pitted dates instead).  Thankfully I didn’t need to go in search of ras el hanout and was able to make the blend myself using allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric and nutmeg. And to top the cake off, a twist on the traditional cream cheese frosting that I personally think is the best frosting for carrot cake, a Ginger-Orange Cream Cheese Frosting that includes ground ginger and the zest and juice of an orange.

This cake was a hit! All the flavors worked well together, and while I normally love nuts in my desserts, especially walnuts, I didn’t miss them one bit in this cake!

Spice Market Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon ras el hanout*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

3 cups (1 lb.) finely shredded carrots

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup honey

1 cup chopped dried apricots

For the Frosting:

1 orange – remove 2 teaspoons of zest and squeeze for 2 tablespoons of juice

1 8oz package cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 – 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

*To make the ras el hanout stir together 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon & turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper, coriander, nutmeg and allspice.  

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 3 8-inch round baking pans with baking spray.

To make the cake: In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, ras el hanout, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl stir together the eggs, carrots, oil and honey.

Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined and then stir in the chopped apricots. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and then bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

I like to wrap my cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before frosting, but, you can frost them once they are completely cooled.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the orange juice and ground ginger and continue beating until both are incorporate. Switch the speed to low and gradually add in 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Continue beating until well incorporated. Gradually add in an additional 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is spreadable. Stir in zest.

Frost and stack the cakes and then decorate as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

Cookie Palooza: Snickerdoodle Biscotti

Welcome to day 2 of Cookie Palooza 2021. Today I am bringing you a twist on a holiday favorite. While Snickerdoodles are great any time of the year they are especially great around the holidays. It could be because they are a nice complement to a hot cup of cocoa or because they can easily be transformed into a holiday cookie by using colored sanding sugar in lieu of white sugar to be rolled in. Either way, they are always a welcomed addition to any cookie platter. Today though, we are making them into another holiday favorite… biscotti.

I started by making and refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes.

While the dough was chilling I prepped an extra-large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. I opted to use one baking sheet to ensure that the biscotti would cook evenly.

Once the dough was chilled I divided it in half and shaped both pieces into a 10×4-inch rectangle. The dough was quite sticky so I wet my hands with water beforehand. I would suggest shaping the dough right on the parchment paper. You may have trouble transferring it from your counter to the baking sheet otherwise. Next, I generously covered both loaves with a cinnamon-sugar mixture and gently pressed it into the dough.

After baking in a 350 F oven for 25 minutes I removed it and using the parchment paper I transferred it to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. While the loaves cooled I lined my baking sheet with a fresh piece of parchment paper. I must say, the top of the loaves reminded me of what snickerdoodles look like after they are baked. That cracked look with the cinnamon-sugar coating.

After letting the loaves cool for 10 minutes I used a serrated knife to slice them into 3/4-inch pieces. I then placed the biscotti, cut side down, back on my prepared baking sheet. I baked them for 10 minutes, flipped them, and then baked them for an additional 10 minutes. I then let the biscotti cool completely on the pans before enjoying.

I’ll admit that some of my pieces were slightly bigger than 3/4 of an inch. They were closer to an inch. Oops! Needless to say though, they were delish. They definitely tasted like your traditional Snickerdoodle.

These would make the ideal food gift for anyone who enjoys a sweet treat with their warm beverage or anyone who loves a good snickerdoodle!

One thing I should note, the original recipe called for dipping the finished biscotti in white chocolate. I opted to omit that part since a) Snickerdoodles aren’t normally dipped in chocolate and b) I like to dip my biscotti in tea or hot cocoa and I felt that the white chocolate would just get in the way of that.

Snickerdoodle Biscotti

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup sugar, divided

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 cup rum*

3 large eggs, at room temperature

*could use brandy or bourbon instead

Directions:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, melted butter and rum. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until no streaks of the flour mixture remain.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 1 extra-large baking sheet or 2 medium baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the dough in half and using moistened hands shape each half on the prepared baking sheets into a 10×4 – inch rectangle.

In a small bowl stir together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle generously over the both doughs. Gently pressing it in.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until pale golden.

Remove from the oven and using the parchment paper transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Leave the oven on and line your baking sheet(s) with fresh parchment paper.

Using a serrated knife, cut the biscotti loaves crosswise into 3/4 – inch slices. Place the slices cut side down on the prepared baking sheet(s).

Bake for 10 minutes, and then flip the biscotti and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet(s).

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe from Baked From Scratch

Apple Cranberry Pie

Are you deep into prepping for Thanksgiving? Or, are you just showing up somewhere with an empty belly and possibly a bottle of wine in hand? Or, maybe you are like me, you bring the desserts? If you are the latter, today I am bringing you a pie that’s quick to prepare and combines two traditional flavors of Thanksgiving… Apples & Cranberries.  Simply stated an Apple Cranberry Pie.

Now, cranberries are not a favorite among many. Most prefer it in the canned jellied form when it comes to eating it with their holiday meal, and don’t get me wrong, I won’t pass up a slice or two of it, but, even though fresh cranberries are tart and not enjoyable to snack on like a blueberry, they can be turned into a delicious sauce. While I don’t go all out and cook a Thanksgiving meal, I will whip a batch or two of cranberry sauce around this time of the year. For this pie, I used some of the same ingredients I use in my cranberry sauce (orange zest & ginger) along with the traditional sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg from apple pie to create a filling that would allow both fruits to complement each other.

When it comes to making pies, I take a major short-cut and use store-bought pie crusts. It’s fool-proof and a great time-saver. The one time I decided to make a pie crust from scratch it didn’t bake evenly and even though my pie filling was delicious the failed crust just took away from it. One day I will attempt to do it again though. For this pie, I opted to use a frozen pie crust as my bottom crust. In a large bowl, I folded all the pie ingredients together and then spooned it into the crust.

Since I was planning on making a decorative top crust I let two refrigerated pie crusts come to room temperature and then lightly rolled them out on a floured surface before slicing them into strips to create a lattice design on the pie. I also cut out a few leaf and acorn designs to apply to the crust. I then brushed it with a beaten egg and sprinkled it with turbinado sugar. I used turbinado sugar since I had it on hand and it gives the crust a nice golden color, but, you could use regular sugar instead. Alternatively, if you are not planning on making a decorative top crust, you can use 2 refrigerated pie crusts to make your pie. Simply roll out one into your pie dish, fill it and then top it with the second pie crust. Seal the edges, cut slits into the top crust, brush with an egg, sprinkle with sugar and then proceed to bake it.

I placed the pie on a baking sheet and baked it in a 400 F preheated oven for 20 minutes. I then lowered the oven temperature to 350 F and tented the pie with aluminum foil so it wouldn’t brown too quickly on top and baked it for an additional 35 minutes. I removed the foil for the last 5 minutes so the pie could get a nice golden color.

After letting the pie cool completely it was time to slice into it and enjoy a piece. And I must say all the flavors worked well together. The orange zest helped to cut the tartness of the cranberries and the sugar, of course, brought out the sweetness of both the apples and the cranberries. I was also about to taste hints of the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Another great thing, the pie held together perfectly when sliced. No runny messes.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Apple Cranberry Pie

Ingredients:

1 box refrigerated pie crusts (2 count)

3 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled & sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons orange zest

1/3 cup flour

Egg Wash:

1 egg, beaten

Sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place 1 pie crust in an ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly into the dish.

In a large bowl, gently mix the remaining pie ingredients with a rubber spatula until well incorporated. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie dish.

Top the filling with the second pie crust and press the edges together to seal. Cut 4 slits in the center of the top crust. Brush the pie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 350F and tent the pie with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes. Or until the filling begins to bubble. If desired, remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking so the crust can brown a bit more.

Let cool on a wire rack.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

I recently posted saying I finally found the perfect pumpkin muffin recipe for me and here I am posting another one. So, what’s the difference? Well, I consider these Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins to be more like donut holes and I find them to be more dessert-like than for breakfast. But most importantly, they are delicious nonetheless!

A definite plus about this recipe… You don’t need a stand mixer or a hand mixer to make the batter. You whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another and then whisk both together to make the batter. Next, using a cookie scoop (or a small spoon) drop the batter into a mini muffin pan sprayed with baking spray (no cupcake liners needed either!).

Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for about 12 minutes and let them cool slightly in the pan…

Before rolling in melted butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture for the topping. YUM! And, while I normally don’t like glazes and coatings (they can be a tad bit too sweet for me) I will say that while these mini muffins are delicious without the coating, they are amazing with it so don’t skip it.

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

  • Servings: 24 Mini Muffins
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the Muffins:

1 3/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup whole milk

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a mini-muffin pan (24 count) with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cooled melted butter and brown sugar. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree and milk and continue whisking until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk everything together until just combined and no streaks of the flour mixture remain. The batter will be thick.

Using a cookie scoop, drop scoops of the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the muffins to cool slightly.

While the muffins are cooling combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a small bowl.

Once the muffins are cool enough to handle dip them in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Apple Fritter Bread

Are you tired of apple recipes? I hope not, I have one more that’s just as good as the previous two I posted recently – Apple Pie Spice Cake & Apple Butterscotch Cookies. Today I am bringing you an Apple Fritter Bread. All the deliciousness of an Apple Fritter without the guilt of it being fried. And just for a quick recap, an Apple Fritter is a deep-fried donut filled with apples and cinnamon.

With this bread, cinnamon coated apple pieces are layered between the batter and then swirled in before baking.

The result, each slice is filled with apple cinnamon goodness. For that final apple fritter touch, the bread is drizzled with a sour cream icing. If you are not a fan of icing though this bread would be just as delicious without it.

Apple Fritter Bread

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Sour Cream Icing:

3 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Milk, if necessary

*I used whole milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9.25 x 5.25 loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the apples, light brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the sugar and butter until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and vanilla until the mixture in smooth. With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread half of the apple mixture on top. Top the apples with the remaining batter and then top with the remaining apple mixture. Gently pat the apples in the batter and use a knife to swirl the apples into the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

Once cooled, make and drizzle with the sour cream icing. In a medium bowl whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. If you find that the mixture is too thick whisk in 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until it’s a consistency easy to drizzle.

Place the wire rack with the cake over a baking sheet or a piece of wax paper and drizzle with the icing. Let sit for a few minutes to let the icing set before slicing.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

Peach Crisp

When I saw this recipe in the most recent issue of Food Network Magazine I knew I wanted to try it before peaches where nowhere to be found at my local supermarket. Truth be told though, I’ve had more bad peaches this summer than good ones. What’s up with that? I found that while I brought them home from the supermarket rock hard so I could eat them over the course of a week, within a few days the skin was wrinkling on some of them and others were completely rotten. To make sure the peaches I used for this Peach Crisp were good I opted to buy tree ripe peaches that were quite enormous but thankfully perfectly ripe (hence the name) without being overly sweet.

To start I made the crisp topping by mixing together old-fashioned oats, almond flour, light brown sugar and salt in a bowl. I then added in melted butter and stirred everything together with a fork until the mixture began to form clumps. Now, I used almond flour, as that is what the recipe called for and I had some because I want to try my hand at making macarons, but, you easily swap the almond flour out for all-purpose flour. I placed this in the freezer as I worked on the peach portion of the dessert.

I sliced the peaches in half and then sliced each of the halves into halves (basically I quartered the peach) and then sliced each piece into thirds. In the end, each peach should give you 12 slices. The peaches I used were so large that I probably could have gotten away with just using 3.

I transferred the slices to a large bowl and added in brown sugar, flour, orange juice, vanilla extract and nutmeg. The original recipe called for lemon juice, brandy (optional) and orange zest. I had already decided I wasn’t going to use orange zest in the recipe. Truthfully, I didn’t feel like buying an orange for a teaspoon of zest, but, I ended up completely forgetting to get a lemon when I went food shopping. And while I did have brandy on hand, it was apple flavored and I just didn’t think the flavors would go well together. Thankfully though I did have orange juice which is a good substitute for lemon juice and gave me some of the orange flavor the zest would have. I decided to use 3 tablespoons of the orange juice since the original recipe call for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of brandy and since I had so many peach slices I figured the extra liquid wouldn’t hurt.

Once the peaches and other ingredients were mixed together well – I made sure that the peaches were coated by the mixture – I transferred them to my dish along with any juices that remained.

I then topped the peaches with chopped pecans and the crisp topping. I used my hands to break up the slightly frozen topping into small pieces that I scattered on top of the peaches.  

After baking it in a 350 F preheated oven for about an hour I let it cool on a wire rack. Once cooled I covered it with aluminum foil and refrigerated it. To enjoy, I heated it up a spoonful or two and topped it with vanilla ice cream.

Peach Crisp

Ingredients:

Crisp Topping:

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup almond flour*

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Peach Filling:

4 large peaches or 5 medium peaches (about 2.5 pounds)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons orange juice**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped pecans***

* Could use all-purpose flour

** Original recipe called for 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon brandy (optional) and 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

*** Could use walnuts instead

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Make the crisp topping: In a medium bowl whisk together the oats, flour, sugar and Kosher salt. Pour in the melted butter and use a fork to stir everything together. Once the mixture begins to clump place in the freezer while working on the peach filling.

For the peach filling: Cut each peach in half and remove the pit. Cut each half in half and then slice each half into thirds. Place the peach slices in a large bowl and add in the sugar, flour, orange juice, vanilla and ground nutmeg. Give everything a few good stirs to make sure each peach slice is evenly coated.

Transfer the peaches to a 9-inch pie dish. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.

Remove the crisp topping from the freezer and using your hands break the topping into small pieces and scatter on top of the peaches in an even layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for an hour. Until the crisp topping is lightly browned and you can easily slice into one of the peach slices.

Remove from the oven and enjoy right out of the oven or place on a cooling rack to cool. If you are planning on refrigerating it for later, cool to room temperature and cover with aluminum foil to refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Serve on its own or enjoy with ice cream!

Recipe from Vallery Lomas

Peppermint Chocolate Squared Cupcakes

Merry Christmas in July! It’s probably hard to think about Christmas during this time of the year, especially with everything going on in the world. I am longing for those cooler days though. I totally get that summer is supposed to be warm and some days hot, but, I just feel that this summer has had more days of unbearable heat and humidity than in recent years. Even the days that haven’t been that hot have been too humid for my liking. If it’s 83 degrees, I want it to feel like 83 and not 93 because of other factors. In my post for last year’s Christmas in July recipe, Chocolate Peppermint Chunk Cookies, I discussed the origins of the “holiday.” This year I am sharing a tidbit of information I recently learned, people actually have Christmas in July parties! Sorry, if this comes across as a shocker to me. I have heard of Christmas in July for years, but, never knew that people actually had parties to celebrate. Sounds like a fun idea, but, I definitely wouldn’t put up my Christmas Tree this early in the year regardless of how much I love Christmas. Instead, to celebrate Christmas in July I am sharing with you a Peppermint Chocolate Squared Cupcake recipe.

To amp the peppermint flavor in the cupcakes not only did I add peppermint extract to the batter, but, I infused peppermint into the milk by crushing peppermint candies and adding them to the milk while heating it so they could dissolve into it. And while the frosting also called for milk, I opted to just use peppermint extract to give it a peppermint flavor. The final product, a cupcake that’s making me long for all the sweet treats that are to come with the holidays!

Peppermint Chocolate Squared Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12 Cupcakes
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup whole milk

4 starlight peppermint candies, crushed

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the Frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

4 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate (I used 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Sprinkles or additional crushed peppermint candies to decorate.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

For the Cupcakes: Start by making the peppermint milk. In a small saucepan over medium hear (or using a glass measuring cup in a microwave) heat the milk and crushed candies together until the milk is hot but not boiling. Stir to melt the candies in the heated milk. Pour the heated milk over the cocoa powder in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly. 

In a medium whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Once the cocoa mixture has cooled, whisk in the sugar, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts until the mixture is smooth. Then whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20 -25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cool make the frosting. In the bowl of a food processor combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, melted chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk, vanilla and peppermint extracts and pulse the ingredients together until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes using your desired method and then top with sprinkles and/or crushed candies.

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

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