Apple Treats

It's been a while since I posted!  We have been very busy with wedding preparations and moving me into our new house.  It's an exciting, but very busy time.  I love our new kitchen, and have been enjoying cooking in it.  It's fun to finally get to use all the wonderful gifts we have received the past few months.  This past Friday night I got to enjoy my first baking in the house. My fiance was hanging out with friends for the night, so I decided a baking night would be a fun stress release from work, planning, and unpacking!

First, I started with an apple pie.  With Father's Day this weekend, I decided to attempt my first by scratch apple pie.  My dad loves apple pie, so I wanted to make his favorite.  I found a really simple recipe online and tried it. I think it turned out pretty well for my first attempt.  I definitely need to keep trying and working on it, but my dad enjoyed it!

 

Here's the recipe I used -

Ingredients:
Pillsbury ready made pie crust
7-8 baking apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  1. Mix in bowl the cinnamon, flour and nutmeg. 
  2. Place crust in pan, add apples and sugar mixture. 
  3. Dot with butter. 
  4. Cover with top pie crust. 
  5. Brush with milk and sprinkle sugar on top.
  6. Bake at 375°F for 50 minutes or until done.
 To create the lattice work, I used a pastry knife and cut strips out of the Pillsbury pie crust.  I placed one set of strips down on the pie going vertical.  Every other strip was then folded back halfway. I then placed a strip horizontally over the unfolded strips.  Once I unfolded the other strips, there was a woven pattern.  You continue to do this technique until all strips are in place, alternating which strips are folded back.  I mean to get a picture to explain this better, but forgot! For a great explanation of the lattice work (with pictures) click here: Simply Recipes: Pie Crust Lattice Top.


I had some extra apples left over, so I decided to make some apple cupcakes as well!  Some of the my fiance's friends were coming over later, and I thought they might enjoy a snack.  I also wanted to have a back-up in case the apple pie was a disaster. I looked around a while until I found a cinnamon apple recipe that sounded great.  I actually used the cupcakes from one site, frosting from another, and decorations from a third website!  I like to make things my own and play around with the recipes some.


Below are the recipes I used.  I did make a couple adjustments.  I used cinnamon apple sauce to give a little more cinnamon flavor.  I also removed the nuts from the crumb topping, I wasn't sure if anyone was allergic to them.  I forgot to reduce the amount of butter (with the removal of the nuts), so I didn't have a very crumbly topping.  But I covered the top of the cupcakes with the mixture, and it added a little more flavor to the cupcake.

Cupcake Ingredients
      3 tablespoons butter, softened
      1/2 cup white sugar 
      1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
      1 large egg
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla
      1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
      3/4 cup applesauce
      1 cup apples, diced {which ever kind you like}
Crumble Topping Ingredients
      1/2 cup flour
      1/3 cup brown sugar
      1/4 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)
      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      3 tablespoons butter, softened

Cupcake Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. I got 17 cupcakes from this recipe, if you need more, you can easily double the recipe.
  3. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  4. Add the egg, and then the vanilla
  5. Beat until well combined
  6. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices
  7. Measure applesauce
  8. Add half of the dry ingredients, alternating with the applesauce
  9. Peel, core and chop apples into small pieces
  10. Fold apples into mixture
 Crumble Topping Directions
  1. In small bowl combine all ingredients, then add softened butter. Mix with fork until well combined.
  2. Add about 1/4 cup batter to cupcake liners.
  3. Sprinkle on Crumble Topping.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For the frosting, I used a caramel frosting recipe I found.  With my decorating, I didn't use much frosting and so I had a LOT leftover.  I should have at least halved the recipe.  I am freezing it, though, and trying it out on some chocolate cupcakes this week.

Frosting Ingredients
         1/2 cup butter (4 ounces)
         1 cup brown sugar
         3 to 5 tablespoons milk
         1 box confectioners' sugar (1 pound), about 4 cups

Frosting Directions
  1. Cook butter and sugar together until well blended and sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Add 3 tablespoons milk and 1 box of confectioners' sugar. 
  3. Beat and add just enough milk to spread. 
After letting it all cool, I was finally ready to frost.  I had been baking and cleaning for a couple hours and was getting tired!  This decorating was pretty simple though.  I used a small round tip and a pastry bag.  I just piped horizontal and vertical lines to mimic lattice top of the apple pie.  I then piped around the edges to represent the crust.

Hope you enjoy making some apple treats for your friends and family!