Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple-Crisp Orange Pound Cake

2 cups chopped peeled baking apples (about 2 medium)
1/4 cup apple jelly
1 T. flour
1/2 t. apple pie spice (I substituted cinnamon with a dash of cloves, nutmeg, and allspice)

Cake and Topping:
1 1/3 c. flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 t. grated orange peel
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. cold butter or margarine
1/3 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped pecans

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Grease either a 9" round or an 8" square pan with cooking spray.
2.) In a small bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter, using either a pastry blender (or by pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until small crumbs form. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture for topping. To remaining crum mixture in bowl, add sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute, or until blended.
3.) Spread batter in pan. Spoon filling over batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and the pecans; pat gently.
4.) Bake 65-70 minutes or until light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm, if desired.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

1 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 Rome apples, (about 1 lb.), peeled and shredded
1 1/2 c. chewy caramel candies
1 T. heavy cream

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with baking liners and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (25-30 minutes). Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
3.) In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caremels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Spread the frosting generously on the cooled cupcakes.

Note: We tried a few without the frosting and loved them that way, also!

Fall Baking...mmMMMmMmMMmmm!!!!

Obviously, I've shown that posting a card or hand-crafted project to my blog weekly is more than I can do. Oh well... Lately, my "craft time" has been consumed by painting our family room (I might post pictures later, if I actually get around to it). Yesterday, though, I crafted in my kitchen by trying out three new recipes. I made Caramel Apple Cupcakes (recipe found in the Oct. 2010 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine), then Apple-Crisp Orange Pound Cake and Apple-Topped Cheesecake with Caramel Topping (both found in the Fall Baking/Betty Crocker booklet that I bought as an impulse while waiting in line at the grocery store). We haven't tried the cheesecake yet, but the other two recipes are FANTASTIC! If you like to bake...give these recipes a try - they're yummy and perfect for this time of year.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Build-a-Bear teacher thank you cards...

Now that all four of my kiddos are back in school full-time (and I'm not home-schooling any of them this year), I'm hoping to post more cards and projects here. I made a couple of different versions of a card this week, and thought I'd start by posting those. We'll see how well I "keep up" with this particular goal...