Treatsie Tuesdays! (Baked Apple Chips)

Ahhhh … So I’m back.

I went on a little mini hiatus last week and decided to opt out of updating my blog posts and, instead, traded it in for a thorough enjoyment of the fall weather and all the merriment that goes with it.

You see – updating blog posts is often what I look forward to in the week, being able to share life stories and homey recipes with you. However, sometimes updating blog posts requires a lot of work. And last week demanded time away from the screen. It was a delightful little break, much needed. We caught up on some quality Andy & Krystina time.  We snuggled in and had long conversations. We took chilly walks outside. We read books and sang songs and kissed a little. (Okay – a lot.) And we did something extra special. We hopped in the car and drove to the coast where we visited a little town called Ipswich. Andy found his new ride.

We stumbled onto the quaintest farm where we dined on fresh cider donuts, watched creepy looking quail run about, and gathered heirloom apples.

We picked out pumpkins to carve and blasted potatoes out of high-power shooters. See that creepy laughing pumpkin in the background? I was trying to hit it in the face. Not so that I could win, but so that it would get that creepy grin off it’s face.

Even with all that fun, I have to say … it’s good to be back. I like sharing fun things with all of you.

So much so, I think I’ll start now.

Apple Chips … Let’s do this.

The victims: Apples, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sugar, and a pinch of Salt.

Grab a little bowl and throw in your cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt – then mix it all up.

Next, you have to slice your apples really thin. I used a mandolin on it’s thinnest setting. The thicker the slice, the longer it will take to crisp up (if at all). They will crisp so nicely if you slice them oober thin.

Now, take your apple slices and place them in a single layer on a few parchment-lined baking sheets.

Sprinkle the apples with a touch of your spice mixture and rub it into the apple with your fingers.

Stick them into a 200 degree oven for a half hour. Flip them. Let them bake for an additional half hour to an hour, depending on the slice of the apple. You want them to come out lightly browned and just about crispy.

The apple slices will continue to crisp up once out of the oven.

And there you have it! Apple Chips.

Eat them as a snack. Or dip them into your Pumpkin Cream Cheese you just got from Trader Joe’s. Or use them as a frisbee.

Skip the spices and just bake the apples straight up and you have a lovely sweet-tart addition to a green salad!

My friends? Enjoy!

Baked Apple Chips

(Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen)

1 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 apples

Preheat oven to 200F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a small bowl, mix together spices and salt.

Crosswise, cut off both ends of each of the apples. There’s no need to core the apples. Using a mandoline (or sharp knife), slice the apples as thin as possible. (Approximately 1/16″ inch). Remove and discard any seeds from the apple slices.

Transfer the apple slices to the baking sheets, in a single layer, being sure they do not overlap. Sprinkle apple slices with a touch of the spice mixture. Rub it in with your fingers. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, then flip them over. Bake for another 30-60 minutes, or until crispy in appearance. Let cool and enjoy!

Advertisements

Treatsie Tuesdays! (Pumpkin Donut Holes)

Donuts.

Donuts. Donuts. Donuts.

Wowza. I mean, donuts are pretty much the epitome of junk food.

Next to french fries, maple glazed donuts are probably my favorite junk food.

Good grief … I can hardly believe I’m saying this on the world wide web.

But somehow I think Paul was thinking of this very moment when he said, “It is for freedom He set us free.”

Freedom to come right out and say it.

I love donuts.

Freedom.

Done and done.

So, here’s the dealio. I’ve got this friend named Vicki who reads these crazy Treatsie Tuesday entries and, in honor of the refreshing Autumnal air, she requested something pumpkin.

I could have made my good friend some pumpkin pie – but we know that’s coming just around the corner. (I stinkin’ love Thanksgiving.) I could have made her mini pumpkin cheesecakes, or a pumpkin latte, or even salted pumpkin caramels. But I did not. I … well, I did what any good friend would do. I made donuts.

These little babies are cute and round and exploding with pumpkiny goodness. And you know what? They’re actually full of some serious nutrition. Crazy, right?

Settle down, though. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a dessert. Because anything brushed with butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar is most definitely a dessert. But the inside – oh the inside. The inside is full of whole wheat and rich spices and deep orange potassium-laden pumpkin. They’re baked, not fried. Major plus. And they’re mini – so a little goes a long way.

Ready to get in the kitchen? Let’s do this.

The victims:  Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, Brown Sugar, Canned Pumpkin (or your own cooked down pumpkin), Baking Powder, Salt, Pumpkin Pie Spice (I made my own), Egg, Butter, Vanilla, and Milk.

Alright – First you’re going to want to grab a medium sized bowl and dump in your flours, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Whisk it up.

Next, grab a separate large bowl and dump in your egg, vanilla, sugar, milk, and pumpkin.

Whisk that up.

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir just until combined.

When the batter is ready, grease a mini muffin tin and dollop a spoonful of that crazy orange batter into the molds. Fill it just about 2/3 full.

Pop it in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Then remove the little donut holes from the tin and let them cool completely on a rack.

Once they’re at room temp, melt your butter in a little bowl and combine your extra sugar with some more pumpin pie spice. This is the good stuff, right here.

Take a donut hole and brush some butter on. Then roll it around in the spiced sugar mixture.

Plop it on a plate and voila! You’ve got pumpkin donut holes, baby.

It’s been years since I’ve had a donut. It’s true. But these may show an appearance in my life from time to time. Now … if only I can drum up a recipe for maple glazed donut holes. Oi vey!

These are ridiculous – in a completely great way. Moist on the inside, slight crunch on the outside. Ai, ai, aiy!

It’s like Autumn … for your tastebuds. Delicious.

My friends? Enjoy!

Pumpkin Donut Holes

(Adapted from Eighty Twenty)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose  flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 Tbsp warmed coconut oil or room temperature olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup skim milk

TOPPING
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spray each cup in a mini muffin tin with baking spray.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a large separate bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moist.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove donuts from oven and transfer to a cooling rack or a sheet of waxed paper to cool completely.

When cool, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and pie spice in another bowl. Brush each cooled donut with melted butter, then roll in sugar mixture to coat.
Let sit about 15 minutes before serving or store in an air-tight container.

Treatsie Tuesdays! (Apple Galette with Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt)

This time last week, my man and I were frolicking about Boston celebrating three years of marriage together. We rode the T. We ate cannoli. We walked the North End. We watched sailboats. We talked to strangers. (Sorry Mom and Dad) We shopped. We dined on amazing Italian food. And then … then we did something that made my heart come alive.

We plopped ourselves down in the Agganis Arena, eyes glued to the stage, and we watched the top ten contestants of So You Think You Can Dance perform. It was beautiful. I cried through some portions. I love dance. If I had another shot at life, I’d be a dancer. For sure.

Sigh.

Okay, back to reality here.

So – It’s officially fall! And the apples are here.

In all their juicy plumpness, they’ve trampled right in and said “See ya later, berries and peaches. I’m the queen now.”

They’re everywhere. They’re in the grocery stores, they’re at the farmer’s market, they’re covering trees on the side of the road, they’re dangling from teacher’s earrings. (It’s true – kindergarten teachers wear the craziest earrings.) They’ve infiltrated our lives – and I couldn’t be happier.

Today is all about letting the bright sweet-tart flavor of the apple shine. We’re going rustic, simple, bare-bones.

This month’s issue of Organic Gardening Magazine featured the most charming apple galette that was full of hearty whole wheat, bronzy raw sugar, and fresh crisp apples. I was so excited about it, I decided to make it today and jazz it up a bit by pairing it with a maple-cinnamon frozen yogurt.

Ready to hit the kitchen? Here we go.

Your victims for the galette: Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Butter, Sugar, Sea Salt, Egg Yolk, Apple Cider Vinegar, Ice Water, and Apples.

In a medium bowl, dump in your flours, your sugar, and your sea salt.

Whisk it all up.

Grab your butter and grate it on a box grater. (If you don’t have a box grater, just cut the butter into cubes and cut it into the flour mixture until coarse.)

Doesn’t it look like cheese? It’s not. Please remember that it’s not. When you go to snag a strand and plop it in your mouth as you would cheese, please refrain. It’s butter. An entirely different sort of yummy from cheese.

Plop the butter in, a little at a time, and combine it with a fork.

It should look a bit coarse like this:

Good! Now, in a separate bowl, whisk together your egg yolk, vinegar, and ice water.

Drizzle that over the flour-butter mixture.

Combine it all with a fork until it seems like it would bind together if you molded it with your hands.

Mine was a bit on the dry side so I ended up adding an extra two tablespoons of water. No biggie.

Once it’s comprehensive enough to smush together (not too wet, though), take the dough and bind it into a ball with your hands.

Now you need to separate the dough into two. This makes two galettes, but I only needed one so I froze the other half of the dough.

Cover the dough in plastic wrap. Then squish it down with your hand to form a thick disk.

Put this in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Okay, this is where things get a little funky on my side. I did the dough yesterday but didn’t have time to finish up the galette. So I decided to wake up early and finish it up this morning. Well, in case you didn’t notice … it was dark and rainy and thundery out this morning. When I woke at 7:30 there was little-to-no light in my house.  So, I brought all my stuff into the living room and photographed next to one window that was letting in just an eentsy bit of light. Good thing I have a low-light lens. Or else, I’m not sure you’d be having a Treatsie Tuesday today!

Want to see my set up?

It was dark, I tell you. Sometimes when you photograph things, you just have to go with what works. I have photographed food in my bedroom, in my bathroom, on the floor in a bright area. Whatever works. Lighting is key.

Anyway – that is why some of these next photos will seem a bit dark. But you know what? I dig ’em. I think they’re moody and add to the rustic charm of the galette.

Okay – onto the next part.

When the dough is just about chilled through, slice up your apples real thin.

Now, roll out your dough until it makes a 11-12″ circle. Don’t make it perfect. The cracks and rough edges on the side is what makes this galette so charming. And it’s easier on you. Imperfect things are often the most beautiful.

Once the dough is all rolled out, carefully transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Don’t worry if the dough hangs over the edge. We’re going to fold some of it in.

Now – assemble your apple slices in a circle in the center of your dough. Leave an inch of overhang on the sides.

When that is finished, fold the dough over the apples, pleating the dough as you go ’round the circle.

Brush the top with some melted butter and sprinkle it all with raw sugar. I used demerara.

Look at that! Now you just have to plop it in the oven for 40 minutes, and voila! You’ve got a gorgeous galette.

See what I mean? So beautiful. Super flaky, buttery crust. Soft sweet-tart apples, with a crunch from the raw sugar. Get out of town.

This is such a lovely fall treat. And to pair it with Maple Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt? I’m telling you – it’s absolutely divine!

My friends? Enjoy!

Rustic Apple Galette

(From Organic Gardening Magazine)

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar

12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, grated with a box grater

1 egg yolk

1⁄4 teaspoon cider vinegar

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flours, salt, and sugar. Add in grated butter and combine with a fork, leaving some chunks slightly larger than pea-sized. (Or cut the butter in by hand).

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and vinegar together with 4 tablespoons of the ice water. Drizzle into the flour-butter mixture, tossing with a fork until you can bring the dough together with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add the last tablespoon of ice water.

Divide into two pieces weighing about 9 ounces each. Wrap each one in plastic film, then gently press each into a round disk. (If you wish, freeze one disk for later.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, as a chilled dough is easier to roll out, easier to handle, and absorbs less extra flour, keeping the texture as it should be.

Makes enough for 2 (10-inch) tarts (if planning to make only one tart, you can freeze the other portion of dough for later use)

For the apple tart:

1 round of dough, 1/2 recipe

2-3 apples (Macoun, Cortland, or Empire), sliced real thin

1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter

1 Tablespoon raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough into a circle 11 to 12 inches across, then transfer it to the parchment paper. Arrange the apples on the dough, overlapping the slices and leaving a one-inch rim. Fold the rim over, making pleats to create a circle.

Brush melted butter over the dough and apples, then scatter the sugar over the apples. Bake in the top third of the oven until the apples are soft and the crust is golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove, and cool slightly before serving.

Maple Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt

(From Vegetarian Times)

2/3 cup pure maple syrup
4 cups plain low-fat yogurt (Not fat free! 2% milkfat worked great)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Place yogurt in cheesecloth-lined strainer and set over bowl. Let drain in refrigerator overnight. (Or just use greek yogurt like I did.)

Whisk together drained yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon in large bowl until smooth. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions until thick and scoopable (about 25 minutes). Serve immediately, or keep frozen until ready to use.