Friday, October 22, 2010

Apples Galore

I managed to talk Dan into going apple picking again this year (probably because he knows he'll get lots of baked goodies out of it), and we decided to make it a little family outing by bringing Manda and Louie Louie along!

Manda tries out an apple straight from the tree

Louie Louie poses in the orchard for a Kodak moment

The two loves of my life

Unfortunately, I haven't had as much time as I'd like to bake in the last couple weeks, but FORTUNATELY, everything I have made so far has been absolutely delicious.

As I've gotten more and more into cooking, I've become a devout follower of several foodie blogs, and one of the standouts that I turn to time and time again and have yet to have a single complaint about is the one and only Annie's Eats. I've made a couple of Annie's apple recipes and have had such huge successes that I'm tempted to just make them again instead of continuing to search for new ones... but I know that wouldn't be as much fun :).

Since I bought a bundt cake pan specifically for monkey bread and have little else to use it for, I was excited to see this Apple Cake on Annie's blog that called for my trusty bundt pan. I added a glaze that I made up with vanilla, powdered sugar and milk, and the sweetness of it was perfect with the cake for an indulgent breakfast that I shared with my coworkers.

Next up, and quite possibly my new favorite breakfast/brunch EVER was Annie's Cinnamon Waffles with Caramelized Apples. Forgive me for being dramatic, but this was honestly heaven on a plate. I can't actually speak to Annie's waffles since I used regular old Bisquick and livened it up a little with cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, but the apple topping was really the star anyways. Manda had spent the night and we slept in Sunday morning before making this recipe... complete with homemade whipped cream thankyouverymuch. SO SO good. These will definitely be making an appearance on our dining room table frequently in the future.

My latest encounter with one of Annie's recipes was last night, when I made her Apple Pie Cupcakes... a dozen of which are currently sitting behind me at my desk teasing me ruthlessly as I wait for this afternoon's Halloween celebration with some of my favorite work friends. Just as Annie promises, the cupcakes came together much faster than I expected they would, although I did save making the buttercream frosting for this morning since I finished baking around midnight last night (as usual) and knew I'd better get to bed. Unfortunately, I couldn't track down a decent tip for my frosting so mine aren't nearly as pretty as Annie's, but I have a feeling they're going to taste so amazing that presentation won't matter at all. There's a dozen left at home for Dan and I to dig into that I haven't filled or frosted yet, so I suppose I still have a chance to redeem myself in the art direction category.

I thought the little middle pieces of the cupcakes that get cut out would be perfect to try making cake balls with... but I can't seem to track down anything to cover them in besides melted chocolate, which wouldn't be much fun for me.

Even though I've made all of the above AND some caramel apple cupcakes from a recent Everyday With Racheal Ray issue, I STILL have nearly 20 apples left. I'm hoping to bake a pie from scratch for Dan, and I am DEFINITELY making last year's insanely good Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars again, so hopefully I'll manage to use them all up!

All images from Annie's Eats.

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