Tart Cranberry Apple Pear Sauce
This time of year I LOVE being in the kitchen. Baking, cooking, and more baking. Mostly with cinnamon. And cranberries. And pumpkin. And apples.
This recipe is an evolution of my original Apple Cranberry Sauce recipe; and much improved if I do say so myself. But you don't have to take MY word for it. (Yes, that was a reference to Reading Rainbow, for the oldsters among us.)
2 Cups of delicious New Jersey grown Cranberries (okay, they don't HAVE to be from NJ, but, humor me here. The Pine Barrens just do SOMETHING to make cranberries amazing)
4 Large Apples (I recommend something on the tart side like Granny Smith)
1/2 Tsp Lemon Zest (this means grating the rind/skin - so please use organic lemons if at all possible)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Water
1/2 tsp of Cinnamon
Dash of Nutmeg
Peel & cut the apples & pears into bite-size pieces. Combine the berries, apples, pears, sugar, lemon zest, water, and spices in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Stir, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the apples are soft (but with a bit of bite still to them). The fruit and juices will soften and meld together into a deliciously sweet and tart sauce as it cools. Serve warm or cold - both are delicious!
You can top with a bit of vanilla sugar if it's not sweet enough for your tastes (though I prefer it tart, you can also up the brown sugar to one cup, initially). Enjoy!
No Sugar Added Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
7 tbs butter, softened
½ cup agave nectar
1 large egg
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 cup of chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 325degrees F.
Beat the agave nectar and butter until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine with the butter mixture. Fold chocolate chips and walnuts into the batter. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto your cookie sheet (I recommend using parchment paper for ease).
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes until lightly browned – be careful not to overcook.
1) I recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible – better for you and the environment.
2) I adapted this recipe from Ania Catalano’s Baking With Agave Nectar cookbook; the original recipe calls for ¼ cup more agave nectar, barley & oat flours instead of whole wheat, pecans instead of walnuts, and the addition of cinnamon.
3) This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. The photo I took only includes 4… because that’s all that was left by the time I got this recipe blogged. :)
Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cream 1/2 cup butter with sugar. Add eggs; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter with chocolate; cool and beat into creamed mixture.
Stir in flour, salt, and nuts; blend well.
Pour batter into greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Cool in pan.
Note: if you half this recipe - which I frequently do - make sure to half the baking time!
Off-the-cuff Baked Apple Crisp
So, I was feeling a bit down this evening after the banana pudding didn’t turn out too well: my son only ate the chocolate chips out of it & left the pudding, and my daughter said, “Mom, its kinda sweet… I’ll have a yogurt”. Sigh. Well, on to plan B! My examination of the contents of my fridge, combined with the temperature of the air coming through the back window (cool and oh-so-wonderfully autumn crisp), lead me to whip up a quick pan of baked apple crisp. Here’s what I threw together:
6 small tart apples
4 Tbs butter
¼ cup flour (whole wheat white is my all-around baking favorite)
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 450f. Butter a baking dish. Peel, core, and cut apples into slices & place into the dish (now, you CAN leave the skin on, but I prefer them naked). Melt butter, and mix well with dry ingredients. Scoop/crumble topping over the apples. Cover the dish & bake for approx. 30 minutes – until apples yield to a fork. They can go quickly from that perfect state into mushy apple sauce, so watch those last 5 minutes closely!
Allow to cool a bit & enjoy (with vanilla ice cream is of course, the best)!