Hot Apple Toddy

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Warm your belly this fall with a Hot Apple Toddy made in your slow cooker with apple cider, clove studded oranges, whiskey, and real whipped cream.

Warm your belly this fall with a Hot Apple Toddy made in your slow cooker with apple cider, clove studded oranges, whiskey, and real whipped cream.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The second August rolls around, I’m all about everything-apple. From the second they are available at the farmers market up until I simply can’t stomach the sight of anything apple related (which usually happens by February or March), I can’t get enough crunchy tart juicy fresh apples, not to mention fresh apple cider, pie, apple brown betty, and even savory dinners with apple. The first time I had hot apple cider out of a crockpot was at a Thanksgiving dinner. The hostess had actually put butter in it. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the fat that floated to the top, I have to admit there was something lovely about the decadent richness the fat added to that warm fall drink. I much prefer, however, to add a dollop of whipped cream at the end.

Warm your belly this fall with a Hot Apple Toddy made in your slow cooker with apple cider, clove studded oranges, whiskey, and real whipped cream.

This classic fall drink, of course, can be made kid friendly simply by omitting the booze, which is exactly why I don’t add it to the crockpot. That, plus the fact that I wouldn’t want any of the alcohol to burn off! You can really use any kind of liquor you want too – rum, bourbon whiskey, whatever warms our belly. My husband is a whiskey lover so that was my liquor of choice, but feel free to set several choices out for your guests and see what they prefer!

Warm your belly this fall with a Hot Apple Toddy made in your slow cooker with apple cider, clove studded oranges, whiskey, and real whipped cream.

Hot Apple Toddy
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Warm your belly this fall with a Hot Apple Toddy made in your slow cooker with apple cider, clove studded oranges, whiskey, and real whipped cream.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 1 valencia orange, sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 20 cloves
  • 6 ounces whiskey
  • whipped cream
  • spices
Instructions
  1. Add cider to crockpot. Stud orange slices with cloves and add them to the crockpot along with the cinnamon sticks. Set temperature to high and heat for at least an hour.
  2. To serve, add a shot of whisky to a mug, then fill with spiced cider and top with whipped cream.

 

Warm your belly this fall with a Hot Apple Toddy made in your slow cooker with apple cider, clove studded oranges, whiskey, and real whipped cream.
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Apple Upside Down Cake

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Nothing says fall like a warm spiced apple dessert, and this Apple Upside Down Cake will definitely impress because it is so incredibly rich and delicious.

Nothing says fall like a warm spiced apple dessert, and this Apple Upside Down Cake will definitely impress because it is so incredibly rich and delicious.

Upside down cake is one of my favorite desserts. Why should pineapple claim all the glory when you can turn just about any fruit into an upside down cake. Banana? Sure. Pumpkin? Why not. Apple?  Most certainly.

A good upside down cake made from scratch starts with butter, a lot of butter, and sugar. I prefer to use brown sugar because it just tastes so darn delicious. The reason I say you can make any kind of upside down cake that your heart desires is because with just a few tricks, you can alter this recipe to incorporate any fruit you’d like. The only question you need to answer is if that particular fruit goes well with buttery sugar. I would imagine the answer would be yes 99% of the time.

Nothing says fall like a warm spiced apple dessert, and this Apple Upside Down Cake will definitely impress because it is so incredibly rich and delicious.

The only other needed tweaks to change this recipe up for other fruits would obviously be to swap out the gorgeous apples on the bottom with your fruit of choice but also to replace the apple sauce in the batter with some kind of puree or mash of your preferred fruit in the batter. But wait a minute… why am I telling you how to make this recipe with fruit other than apple? There are very few fruits that can compare to apple when baked into a sweet dessert, especially right at the start of fall.

 

Nothing says fall like a warm spiced apple dessert, and this Apple Upside Down Cake will definitely impress because it is so incredibly rich and delicious.

To me, the fall season is all about heading back to school, the leaves changing color, cool nights and shorter days, football and soccer, the start of the holiday season, and APPLES. I would almost argue that the start of fall is my most favorite time of year, but the start of every season evokes a different kind of nostalgic feeling in me so I might change my tune at the beginning of, say, spring!  But for now, I’m going to stick with fall being my most favorite.

You can use any apple you prefer, but when baking, and especially when baking with copious amounts of sugar, I prefer the tried and true extra tart Granny Smith apple. Their texture always holds up well to baking and the flavor can’t be beat. You will love this upside down cake because it is not only insanely tasty but it really does represent everything you love about the fall season!

Nothing says fall like a warm spiced apple dessert, and this Apple Upside Down Cake will definitely impress because it is so incredibly rich and delicious.

GET THE RECIPE HERE

Nothing says fall like a warm spiced apple dessert, and this Apple Upside Down Cake will definitely impress because it is so incredibly rich and delicious.
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Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream

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This post brought to you by Breyers. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Self Proclaimed Foodie.

If you’re looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spice Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty! If you're looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty! I have never enjoyed a fresh fig before I made this recipe. Can you believe it? I consider myself reasonably seasoned when it comes to food (pun totally intended), yet how is it possible I have never enjoyed this delicacy? I was raised to believe figs only belonged one place – smothered in sugar in the middle of a short bread packaged cookie. How could I have been so disillusioned? Plus, how could I have never enjoyed these gorgeous fruits when they grow in abundance here in Oregon, a state in which I’ve proudly resided in for over a decade. I’m just appalled that these have been absent from my life but I vow to make up for it with massive fig consumption in the coming years. If you're looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty! If there’s one thing that pairs well with figs, I will tell you it is hazelnuts. But, combining perfectly sweetened spiced roasted figs with crunchy roasted hazelnut pieces cannot make a complete dessert without the creamy addition of vanilla ice cream. Growing up, Breyers was the brand you would always find in our freezer. That’s why I was especially happy to find this Breyers Natural Vanilla that is made exactly how you want ice cream to be made: with fresh cream, milk and sugar – pure and simple. Did you know that all Breyers vanilla is real and from sustainably farmed, Rainforest Alliance Certified™ vanilla beans? Also, Breyers only sources milk and cream from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones*. If you're looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty! I wish I could take credit for the creation of this recipe, but I can’t. Breyers is celebrating its 150th birthday and has partnered with celebrity chef Curtis Stone and his wife, actress Lindsay Price Stone, to create 12 recipes featuring Breyers Natural Vanilla, inspired by every month of the year, to give families a way to celebrate birthdays and special occasions with Breyers all year long. This was their recipe for August which was absolutely perfect for me because our local farmers markets just so happen to be showcasing their gorgeous figs and hazelnuts.  A little fun fact for you: Did you know Breyers was founded in Philadelphia in 1866 when William A. Breyerhand cranked his first gallon of ice cream, which featured fresh fruits and nuts, and sold it to his neighbors? I bet you didn’t realize that people have been eating Breyers ice cream that long. I sure didn’t! If you're looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty! This recipe was especially fun to make because it was fast, easy, and it forced me to finally use fresh figs! If you're looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty! You can tell when they’ve been broiled to perfection because all of this lovely sweet syrup starts oozing from the figs. When you serve the sweet warm figs up with your ice cream and hazelnuts, be sure to drizzle that fig syrup over the top as well. So good. I had some friends over for dinner and served this for dessert. Saying it was a huge hit would be an understatement. I encourage you to make this for your friends and family and you’ll see what kind of conversations come about from serving them fresh figs! If you're looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty!

Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice cream

Serves: 4 / Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 4 minutes

Make-Ahead: Figs are best served warm with ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. each ground cinnamon, ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 8 ripe figs, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/3 cups Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

1. Position broiler rack 6 inches from heat source and preheat broiler. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, mix sugar and spices. One at a time, dip figs, cut side down, in sugar mixture to coat. Then coat figs a second time with sugar mixture and arrange cut side up on baking sheet.

Broil figs, watching closely, for about 4 minutes, or until sugar melts and begins to caramelize and figs soften slightly and begin to ooze their juice.

3. Divide figs among 4 bowls. Spoon 1/3 cup of Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream into each bowl and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Be sure to follow Breyers on  PinterestTwitter, and Facebook!

Disclaimer: *Suppliers of other ingredients such as cookies, candies & sauces may not be able to make this pledge.  The FDA states that no significant difference has been shown between dairy derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows.

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If you are looking for an easy yet sophisticated dessert, Spiced Roasted Figs with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream are simply elegant as well as super tasty!
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Dessert Cowboy Caviar

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If you’re looking for a interesting take on a classic summer recipe, this Dessert Cowboy Caviar looks just like the original but tastes nothing like it!

If you're looking for a interesting take on a classic summer recipe, this Dessert Cowboy Caviar looks just like the original but tastes nothing like it!

Have you ever had Cowboy Caviar? My guess is you have even if you didn’t know what you were eating was Cowboy Caviar. If you don’t know what Cowboy Caviar is, allow me to tell you. It’s basically an appetizer or side dish made from beans, tomatoes, corn, avocado, and cilantro. You serve it up cold and it makes a great addition to any summer potluck.

If you're looking for a interesting take on a classic summer recipe, this Dessert Cowboy Caviar looks just like the original but tastes nothing like it!

Well, I wanted to get a bit crazy and make something that had the look and feel of Cowboy Caviar but tasted nothing like it. I’m happy to say this recipe was a total success.

If you're looking for a interesting take on a classic summer recipe, this Dessert Cowboy Caviar looks just like the original but tastes nothing like it!

In order to go for the look and feel of Cowboy Caviar, but to make it into a dessert, I made the following substitutions: dark chocolate chips for the black beans, kiwi for the avocado, strawberry for the tomato, banana for the corn, the blueberries ended up looking like olives (an unintentional win), and I used fresh mint in lieu of cilantro. I held all the flavors together with my secret ingredient – lemon curd.

If you're looking for a interesting take on a classic summer recipe, this Dessert Cowboy Caviar looks just like the original but tastes nothing like it!

I served this lovely treat up with some cinnamon pita chips. Not only did it end up looking exactly as I had envisioned, it tasted even better than I had hoped!

If you're looking for a interesting take on a classic summer recipe, this Dessert Cowboy Caviar looks just like the original but tastes nothing like it!

GET THE RECIPE HERE

If you're looking for a interesting take on a classic summer recipe, this Dessert Cowboy Caviar looks just like the original but tastes nothing like it!
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Apple Brown Betty

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One of my favorite fall desserts is my version of Apple Brown Betty which consists of thinly sliced fresh apples with a no oat sweet and buttery topping.

One of my favorite fall desserts is my version of Apple Brown Betty which consists of thinly sliced fresh apples with a no oat sweet and buttery topping.

One of my favorite fall desserts is my version of Apple Brown Betty which consists of thinly sliced fresh apples with a no oat sweet and buttery topping.  

This recipe almost didn’t make it on the blog. Here’s why: Last weekend my dad came up for a visit. When family visits, I love to cook for them and they love to eat what I cook. What also happens, though, is that I have no motivation to actually take photographs of what I’m making or take the time to write out the recipe. The problem, though, is that I make something, then we eat it, and I say “Oh man, that’s good. I really needs to be on the blog” but its usually too late by that point. Well, after dropping my dad off for his trip home, we happened to have one large serving left in the refrigerator, so I did what anyone with a food blog would do and I took a photo of what was left in the pan, and then heated it up, topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and ate it. Does it matter that it was the middle of the day and I really shouldn’t have eaten dessert right then and there? Nope. I did it all for your benefit so you could have my recipe. You’re welcome.One of my favorite fall desserts is my version of Apple Brown Betty which consists of thinly sliced fresh apples with a no oat sweet and buttery topping.  

I have to tell you that I hate apple recipes with oats in the topping. I love oats and enjoy oatmeal in a bowl as well as in my smoothies on a regular basis. But for whatever reason, I think it is downright wrong to put oats in any kind of apple dessert. I just love the simplicity of cooked down apples with a buttery sugary downright delicious crisp topping. This dessert basically tastes like a dutch apple pie without the bottom crust. This is what I make every time I buy too many apples and we’re just tired of eating them. I love it… and I have to make it again because my dad and I polished off the entire thing without sharing any with the kids. Sorry, but not really sorry.One of my favorite fall desserts is my version of Apple Brown Betty which consists of thinly sliced fresh apples with a no oat sweet and buttery topping.

Apple Brown Betty
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
One of my favorite fall desserts is my version of Apple Brown Betty which consists of thinly sliced fresh apples with a no oat sweet and buttery topping.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 4-6 large apples, peeled, core removed, thinly sliced (I used honeycrisp)
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) cold butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add apple slices to a 9x9 baking dish. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice over apples. Toss apples to evenly coat.
  3. In medium sized bowl, combine flour, sugars, and spices. Add cold butter and use a pastry blender to work the butter into the dry ingredients, cutting it into small pieces. You want the mixture to be crumbly with little to no dry ingredients left that haven't touched the butter. Sprinkle all of the topping over the apples evenly.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and allow to continue cooking until the topping is crisp, about 10-20 additional minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

 

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Autumn Infused Water

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Enjoy staying hydrated with this Autumn Infused Water. I drink it throughout the day and always enjoy it with my protein bar before or after a workout.

Enjoy staying hydrated with this Autumn Infused Water. I drink it throughout the day and always enjoy it with my protein bar before or after a workout.

Enjoy staying hydrated with this Autumn Infused Water. I drink it throughout the day and always enjoy it with my protein bar before or after a workout.

I have to confess. I am chronically dehydrated. I’m just one of those people who doesn’t like to drink water unless I’m really thirsty. A few months ago, however, I joined a fantastic gym and have been exercising regularly. More exercise = the desire to drink more water = the need for more protein.Enjoy staying hydrated with this Autumn Infused Water. I drink it throughout the day and always enjoy it with my protein bar before or after a workout.

Both my work cafe as well as the cafe at my gym maintain a constant supply of infused waters. I love drinking them so much now that I’m absolutely spoiled and plain water tastes more blah than before!  But that’s totally okay because it means that I’m drinking much more water now than I was before. Not only am I no longer chronically thirsty, but my skin looks better too!  Since I’ve started developing the healthier habits of drinking more water and exercising more, that I also enjoy eating small meals and snacks more often rather than a couple really big and heavy meals each day. The combination of these three things has really sped up my metabolism!
Enjoy staying hydrated with this Autumn Infused Water. I drink it throughout the day and always enjoy it with my protein bar before or after a workout.

My kids were so excited when they saw me make this water. In fact, they wanted it in their water bottles on the first day of school and were so thrilled at the idea that they might start a new fad as the other kids asked what was in their water bottle! When I make my infused water, I always prefer to slice my fruit thin to expose as much surface area as possible to maximize the flavor. I’ve been feeling so good about myself lately having improved these habits!

Autumn Infused Water
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Enjoy staying hydrated with this Autumn Infused Water. I drink it throughout the day and always enjoy it with my protein bar before or after a workout.
Author:
Recipe type: drink
Yields: 1 large pitcher
Ingredients
  • 1 apple, sliced thin
  • 1 plum, sliced thin
  • 1 pear, sliced thin
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher with ice water. Keep in refrigerator and continue to add more water as needed. Infused water will last a couple of days.

 

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Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

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This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.

This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.

This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.

Now, this fruit “salsa” is nothing like your typical salsa, meaning it is not spicy. It is pretty much how I make my fruit salad. I just call it fruit salsa because I cut the fruit up super small so that you can scoop it up with a cinnamon chip, just like you would your typical chips and salsa. You can use any fruits you want, but I always recommend picking fruits that you know would go well together. For example, chopped up grapefruit would be pretty awful in this mix. As you can see, I used all sorts of delicious fruits – boysenberry, banana, peach, blueberries, mango, raspberries, kiwi, and blackberries. I like to toss in tiny pieces of fresh mint because it tastes incredible but also adds to the “salsa” look. The secret ingredient that ties it all together is a spoonful of lemon curd. Once you mix this stuff into any fruit salad, you’ll never go back.

This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.

Next I made my cinnamon sugar tortilla chips. I kinda winged it here but they turned out really well. I just slathered butter on both sides of flour tortillas, cut them into triangle shapes, sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top, then broiled on low until they were golden brown. Delicious!

This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.

The result is a fresh and beautiful treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert. In fact, I set this out on the table during dinner last night and told the kids they couldn’t have any until they ate their dinner. I prefer to use visual aids as motivation because they work!

This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.

Looks good, doesn’t it? I bet you’re wishing you could reach into your screen right now.

This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This perfectly sweet Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Chips will be loved by all and is a fantastic treat that can be served as an appetizer or dessert.
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer, dessert
Yields: 2 cups salsa
Ingredients
fruit salsa (all fruit peeled and chopped small):
  • half mango
  • peach
  • banana
  • berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • 2 kiwis
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon curd
cinnamon chips:
  • 2 large flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. To make salsa, toss fruit and mint leaves in lemon curd until evenly mixed.
  2. To make the cinnamon chips, set oven broiler to low. Coat both sides of tortillas with butter. Slice into strips and then alternate angles of cuts to create triangles. Toss buttered triangles in cinnamon and sugar. Spread evenly on baking sheet and broil on low until barely golden brown, then turn slices and brown on the other side until golden brown for a total of 5-10 minutes cook time.
  3. Garnish salsa with additional mint.

 

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Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake

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This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

So here’s the story on this outrageously delicious fresh apple cake: it all started when I made the most unbelievably good salted caramel sauce. It took me three attempts to make it perfectly (not because its hard, but boiling sugar skeeers me). Well, a little of that stuff goes a long way, so I had some leftover in the refrigerator. I tried to figure out what I should make. Then, I opened up my produce drawer and saw this damn apple that had been in there for a couple of weeks. You see, I LOVE apples in the fall. I make wonderful apple pies and the most amazing vanilla bean honey crisp apple sauce. But as the winter drags on and the only produce available are apples and oranges, I get a little burnt out on eating plain apples. Enter the fresh apple cake.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

You can see how big I like my chunks. I slice them thin but make the chunks big enough to pierce with a fork. I’m one of those weird eaters who pays very close attention to the texture of my food and I like a little crunch mixed in with my soft, hence the reason for the chunks of apple as well as the addition of the walnuts.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

Mmmm, homemade caramel sauce. There are few things on this planet that are better. The darker it is, the more intense the flavor. YUM.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

When you’re all done, just drizzle that caramel sauce over the entire cake. However much you choose to dump on is totally up to you.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

I’m totally salivating right now as I look at this.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

I actually didn’t add the salt to the sauce because I like to sprinkle the beautiful crystal flakes on top when I’m ready to serve. Again – that part is all about the texture for me.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

See the little salt flakes in the photo below?

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

Warm. Ooey. Gooey. Super delicious and flavorful apple cake. YUM.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yields: 8-16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh)
  • pinch of salt
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups apples, chopped and peeled
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • salted caramel sauce
Instructions
  1. Ahead of time, make a batch of salted caramel sauce. You can buy some from the store, but homemade is oh so much better.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and/or line an 8x8 pan.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment on, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy for several minutes. Scrape sides down and beat in egg. Scrape sides again.
  4. In small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix just until combined.
  5. Toss apples in lemon zest and juice. Toast raw walnuts in small pan on stove over low heat, occasionally tossing walnuts to evenly heat. Add apples with lemon and walnuts to cake batter and set mixer on low just to get them going and then flash it on high for only a couple seconds to evenly mix them in.
  6. Pour into prepared baking dish. Batter will be very thick so you will need to use a rubber spatula to spread it to an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Serve cake warm or cold with warm caramel sauce with some salt crystals on top.

 

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Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting

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These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

Oh man, these cupcakes were good. No, they were great. Scratch that. They were freaking phenomenal. I made them because we had some new neighbors move in and I wanted to welcome them to the neighborhood.  Well, it appears we’re not that great to live next to because the cupcakes turned out so damn delicious that we wanted to keep them for ourselves.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

I’ve made carrot cake and carrot muffins and carrot cupcakes plenty of times. I’ve always tried to make them healthier by decreasing the sugar or replacing the oil with applesauce. There are lots of recipes out there that want you to add shredded apples or crushed pineapple. Those are all good, I’m sure, but I went for pure carrot this time. And let me tell you, I didn’t cut back on the oil or the sugar and I’m totally okay with that. They’re cupcakes, damnit! I made healthy gluten free carrot coconut pancakes with the rest of the carrots, so it all balances out, right?

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

The next thing I did that ended up being wonderful was the frosting. Everyone knows you have to have cream cheese frosting with carrot cake. They’re just made for each other. But I did things a little bit differently than your standard cream cheese frosting. First, I used half cream cheese and half butter. You may or may not already do this. Sometimes I go heavier on the cream cheese. Truth be told, I just didn’t feel like opening a new pack of cream cheese and I had exactly four ounces ready to go, so that’s what I did. Next, I added some orange zest. I found out how cook orange zest is with carrot and cinnamon when I made some super soft carrot sandwich cookies. Then, in both the cupcakes and frosting I used almond extract instead of vanilla. Just search for vanilla on my blog and you’ll know that I am obsessed with it and use vanilla in almost everything I make. So why didn’t you, Krissy? Well, let me tell you. I finally finished up my last batch of homemade vanilla extract and am ready to crack open the next gallon that’s been soaking a healthy amount of Mexican vanilla beans in a gallon of vodka for 15 months. The problem was that I couldn’t get the damn lid off and the husband wasn’t home. I’m actually grateful I couldn’t open it because the almond extract made these especially spectacular. I also used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. If you have it, use it, otherwise cinnamon will due just fine.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

Now, if you have a keen eye, you’ll see all sorts of different colored carrots in my cupcakes. That’s because I buy the multi-color pack at Trader Joe’s for the simple reason that all those colors make me extra happy. I’m weird, I know. This is one of those recipes that I really don’t want you to take my word for it. You must make them to see how wonderfully delicious they truly are.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

Carrot Cupcakes
 
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These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
cupcake:
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice instead)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups packed shredded carrots
frosting:
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, oil and sugar. Mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add almond extract and mix until combined. Add flour and fold mixture together just until mixed. Fold in shredded carrots.
  4. Fill all 12 paper liners with batter. Bake at 425 F for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and back until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes total. As soon as you remove them from the oven, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  5. To make frosting, blend butter and cream cheese together on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape sides, add zest, cinnamon, and almond extract, and mix until combined. Add sugar incrementally, blending slowly to combine and then on high speed to really mix. You can frost 12 cupcakes with a thin layer or 8 cupcakes with a big mound of frosting.

 

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Homemade Candied Pecans

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Homemade Candied Pecans are a real treat, easy to make, and are perfect as a holiday appetizer, snack on the go, or on top of salads, oatmeal, or yogurt.

Homemade Candied Pecans | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I really love having a food blog. It keeps me beyond busy and I’m barely able to keep up with it because I’m a mom (who has time after that) and I have a full time job. But some how I’ve been able to post every day.  Sleep? Who needs it.

The other day my husband asked me to pick up some candied nuts to put on salads. Our kids gobble up salads with dark leafy greens. They’re weird like that and their healthy appetite is all the envy from my fellow mommy friends. Anyway, I was at Whole Foods and couldn’t bring myself to pay the obscene amount of money they were asking for candied nuts, so I did what I always do and figured out how to make them myself. Not only was it easy, but I realized how much I love having candied nuts on hand. Yeah, they’re coated in sugar and butter, but they’re still a filling snack that tastes good and that’s all that matters in my book. We use them on our salads, I throw them into my oatmeal in the morning, I put them on my yogurt (because yogurt without a crunchy topping makes me gag), and I even used them in a cranberry pecan baked brie that I made last night. Bottom line: make them. You won’t regret it.

Homemade Candied Pecans | Self Proclaimed Foodie

4.0 from 4 reviews
HOMEMADE CANDIED PECANS
 
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Homemade Candied Pecans are a real treat, easy to make, and are perfect as a holiday appetizer, snack on the go, or on top of salads, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Yields: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (pure ceylon cinnamon is best)
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) raw pecan halves or pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If desired, line a 9x9 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. I didn't because I used a well seasoned baking stone. Pour the butter onto the lined sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the pecans and toss until they are fully coated. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake in preheated for up to 30 minutes, stirring the pecans every 5 minutes and checking on them to ensure they don't over cook. I let mine cook the full 30 minutes, however oven temperatures vary and yours may be done MUCH sooner. Trust your nose. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes and be sure to stir a couple times as they cool so they don't stick together. Store in airtight container.

 

Homemade Candied Pecans are a real treat, easy to make, and are perfect as a holiday appetizer, snack on the go, or on top of salads, oatmeal, or yogurt.
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