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Well, I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that it’s Fall and the time of year for pumpkin and apple picking.
Two things I normally enjoy unless it’s 56 degrees and there are 100 people around me with the same idea. That is what happened to me.
This weekend was the weekend that everyone in the tri-state area decided to get a pumpkin and some apples. The farms near me where packed! Even the small farms that I thought were a hideaway and no one knew about, I found out they did… I was kidding myself thinking this was going to be a quiet leisurely day.
It is a Fall tradition that every year in October (hopefully before Halloween) that everyone has a pumpkin or two or three displayed on their front steps or walkways with some Mums or other fall decorations, so off we went as hunters and gatherers out past the corn maze and hay rides to find the perfect pumpkin.
I won’t even start listing all the pumpkin items on the market (lattes, ice cream, cereal) and now the farm-stands are going pumpkin crazy with pumpkin everything as well. I’ll move on, I can’t take it.
I like a good pumpkin pie and some pumpkin muffins, but I can’t have pumpkin every day. (No offense to all the members that are pumpkin lovers).
The line at the farm was so crazy for a homemade pumpkin pie that we skipped that idea and went straight to the fields to look around and find the pumpkin we wanted. And there it was, clustered with other pumpkins but looking as if it would look so much better back home on my front steps.
Goal number one completed, we had our pumpkin.
Now on to the apples …
I think I can eat apples in many forms every day and be a happy girl.
Although, here is a little bit of info about me… I love apple pie, baked apples and apple strudel but not apple crisp. There is no specific reason why, I have always been like this. If someone has an excellent apple crisp recipe, send it my way and maybe you can change my mind.
My first stop before I head out to pick even one apple, is the line for apple cider donuts.
For this I have a lot of patience while I take in the apple donut aroma. I have to say that the line was moving pretty quickly. The servers had an assembly line moving and before you knew it, I had a warm bag of donuts in my hand covered in cinnamon and sugar.
Another deep breath to take in the aroma before Bob and I went outside with the donuts and some coffee and sat on a bale of hay to enjoy our snack. I took one bite and had my first taste of Fall– pure sugary caloric heaven.
The apple cider donut put me in the mood for apple cider, so I went back inside the farm stand to buy some fresh apple cider, and I noticed they were putting out candy apples and caramel apples. Caramel apples were another favorite of mine as a child, but now I am afraid I would lose a tooth so I passed them by.
I went back outside and Bob was finishing his coffee and donuts and we were ready to pick apples.
We put the apple cider and the rest of the donuts in the car and we were ready for the apple orchard with our bushel.
I have to say that I am the last person who knows what varieties of apples are good for what, except that grandma always used Granny Smith apples for apple pie, so we just got an assortment and then we were on our way home.
In the car, we couldn’t stop talking about the apple cider donuts since we could still smell them. I told Bob about the caramel and candy apples, and caramel apples were one of his favorites too.
Right then and there on the ride home, I decided I was going to try to find some new apple recipes and one of course, had to be apple cider donuts. I have a donut pan just sitting in my pantry that I never used. So it was off to Pinterest for ideas.
Since I am not the baker, below is my attempt at baking.
All recipes are at the end of the post!
I started my baking with the apple cider donuts. Not bad for a first try. I found the secret to a moist apple cider donut is to boil the apple cider down to almost a syrup and of course the more sugar and cinnamon, the better.
I didn’t want to make caramel apples, but I wanted the flavor so I searched Pinterest again and found a recipe for caramel apple cupcakes. Now this I could do. The taste of the caramel apple on a stick and I would still have all my teeth.
This was a very easy recipe and I had to buy the Popsicle sticks for the effect of a real caramel apple .
Now we needed some mulled apple cider and we were all set, so I found a recipe for that too. We enjoyed the cider with our dessert.
Now that Bob and I have had all our apple favorites, I can finally adjust to Fall but just not the cooler temperatures rolling in so fast in the northeast. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that….
I hope you try these recipes and enjoy every bite.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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Apple Cider Donuts
Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction
- 1 and 1/2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice*
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup. Mine takes about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
- Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—for ease, I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donuts bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
- Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
- Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Make ahead tip: You can freeze the donuts, coated or not coated in the toppings, for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave. I usually just zap ’em for a couple seconds.
- Note on the apple spice: Do you have apple pie spice where you live? It’s pretty standard here in the US. If you don’t have access to store-bought apple pie spice, you can make your own with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. – SEE BELOW
- I usually use buttermilk, but I’ve found that any milk (dairy or nondairy) works pretty well. For a denser crumb, you can use 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream instead.
- Don’t have a donut pan? Make donut muffins in your standard 12-cup muffin pan. Grease your pan or use muffin liners, fill each 3/4 full, then bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes about 10-12 apple cider donut muffins.
- Want to make mini donuts or mini donut holes in a mini muffin pan? Grease your pan, add the batter to the pan only about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 8-9 minutes.
I found a recipe for apple pie spice…
- 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom.
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Courtesy of Momontimeout.com
Prep Time – 10 mins Cook Time- 25 mins Total Time 35 mins
There is no better way to usher in fall than with these delicious Caramel Apple Cupcakes. Moist cupcakes loaded with apples and applesauce for double the apple flavor. A decadent caramel frosting top them off beautifully.
Course: Dessert Servings: 12 cupcakes Calories: 244 kcal Author: Trish – Mom On Timeout
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce OR vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded apple Rome, Granny Smith, or other baking apple or combination of two varieties
- 1 11 oz bag of caramels
- 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a muffin tin with parchment baking liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth.
- Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until combined.
- Stir in the shredded apples.
- Evenly divide the batter between the 12 cups.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl.
- Stir in heavy cream.
- Microwave at 50% power for 1 minutes. Stir. Repeat int 30 second intervals until caramels are melted and smooth.
- Spoon frosting onto the top of cooled cupcakes and spread. You want a nice thick layer. If the caramel starts to thicken, microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power, stir, and spread on cupcakes.
- Popsicle sticks are optional 🙂
Hot Mulled Apple Cider
Courtesy of Tonkcats at Genius Kitchen
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 3 cinnamon sticks(3 inch)
- 2 quarts apple cider
- orange wedge
- 1 whole cloves
- Combine brown sugar, allspice, 1 teaspoon cloves, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and apple cider in large saucepan.
- Bring to boiling.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Strain to remove spices.
- Serve in mugs with clove-studded orange wedges.