Tag Archives: Apples

Apple Cream Cheese Braid

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Apple Cream Cheese Braid

For Thanksgiving and Christmas we like to do pastry breakfasts that will hold us over until it’s time for the feast. Sometimes it would be cinnamon rolls or if one of us had been selling butter braids for a school fundraiser it would make an appearance.  My favorites were always the ones that combined fruit and cream cheese.  I’m a sucker for cream cheese, a fruit and sweet bread.  How could you not be, right?

I was having a class held on Friday nights and all day Saturday.  We provided breakfast for the class so we could bond and make it through the day until the lunch break.  So when it came to my turn, I wanted my classmates to be well fed and decided to hunt up a cream cheese danish.  IMG_20131207_232115_811

This recipe is a bit time consuming.  The dough needs to rise twice – so be sure you have at least 3 hours on hand to pull this one together.  It is delicious and well worth the effort.  Since it is a yeast recipe, temperature is important. You don’t want to accidentally kill your yeast by making the milk bath too warm.  If you don’t have a thermometer to get an exact temperature, use your finger.  It should be the same as a warm bath.

Recipe from Carmel Moments

Apple Cream Cheese Braid

Sweet Dough

6 Tbsp Butter, softened IMG_20131208_092647_221
1/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Milk
3 Tbsp Sugar
2 & 1/4 – 2 & 3/4 cup Flour
2 tsp Active dry yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg, lightly beaten

Apple Filling:

2-3 Medium-large apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Granulated sugar
1 tsp Ground cinnamonIMG_20131207_215441_132
1 Tbsp Cornstarch

Cream Cheese Filling:

8 oz Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon juice

Vanilla Drizzle:

1 & 1/2 cup Powdered sugarIMG_20131207_215035_479
5 & 1/2 tsp Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Directions:

Heat butter, sugar, water and milk to 120F.

Combine 2 cups flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl.  Make a well in the center.  Add butter mixture.  Mix in additional 1/2 cup flour.  Knead on low speed for about 7-8 minutes scraping down the bowl as needed.  (If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a spoon to combine – sculpt those arms!).  Add egg and additional 1/2 cup of flour while kneading, if necessary.  Dough should be smooth after the 8 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let it rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled.

Meanwhile, over low heat combine apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Heat until apples are softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In small bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.  Mix until smooth.

Back to the dough!  After the dough has doubled in size, roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle about 12×10.IMG_20131207_215831_100

Spread cream cheese filling down the center.  Arrange apple mixture on top.  Using a pizza cutter, cut diagonally from end of dough towards center in 1 inch strips.  Do on both sides.

Braid the dough by pulling strips across alternating sides. Continue until braid is complete.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat over to 350F.  Bake braid for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.IMG_20131207_220414_104

Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Drizzle over braid. Serve warm or allow to cool and then serve.

Enjoy!

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

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Salted Caramel Apple Pie

I’ve been on a pie kick recently.  Who needs cupcakes when you can have pie?  Having made this the first time back in September I was out hunting for the perfect fall dessert.  I had recently encountered Godiva’s caramel apple truffles (beware they are addictive little guys… so good!).  In an effort to replicate that mouthwatering experience, I decided it was time to make a salted caramel apple pie.  And it tastes as amazing as it sounds.

This recipe make a nice 9 inch pie.  I’ve used various kinds of apples from Gala to Granny.  I’ve decided it just works best with a nice sour apple.  But, feel free to blend sweet and sour, you can’t go wrong.  I was also supremely lazy – as can be expected when having to core and peel apples and used store bought pre-made crusts.  But!  I’ve seen decided that a chocolate crust make everything better.  Recommendation?  Use the spiced chocolate crust for a mind blowing experience, you’ll need to double it to have a top and bottom for the pie.  I was also lazy with the sauce, I’ve never been able to make a perfect caramel sauce, so I just buy baking caramel bits and melt them into a sauce.  Very tasty and so easy!  Should you not own a rolling pin – I’ll tell from experience wine bottles and beer bottles work perfectly.  Just make sure they are room temp, otherwise the moisture wrecks havoc on rolling out the dough.  So let’s make some pie!!

Pie Crust Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Spiced Chocolate Crust x2

Filling

Taken from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

2 tsp Fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup Fresh lemon juice
6 Large apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Granulated sugar
1 Egg, beaten
Salted caramel sauce — or alternatively you can buy baking caramel bits (11 oz), melt and add 1 tsp Salt

Directions:

Prepare the crust and caramel sauce.  Set aside.  While those cool, let’s make the filling.

Put the lemon zest and juice in a very large bowl.  Add the apples and gently toss.  In a small bowl, combine flour, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar.  Pour over the apples and gently combine.  Set aside.

Roll out the pie crust and place into a 9 inAdd the caramelch pie dish, gently press crust into dish until smooth.  Trim and discard overhang.  Fill crust with the apples – it’s okay if it’s piled high!  Drizzle with at least 1/2 cup of salted caramel — since I used the baking caramel bits, I used the entire bag for the filling to make it extra caramel-ly.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Roll out the second ball of dough until it is roughly 12 inches in diameter.  Use a knife, pastry wheel or pizza cutter to cut 16 – 1/2 inch wide strips.  I eyeballed it, but feel free to use a ruler for perfect lines.  Carefully thread the strips over and under, weaving until you’ve covered the the top.  You can make the lattice top also by just layering the strips on top of each other.  Use a knife to trim the overhang.  Using a fork or your fingers press down on the edges, so that they seal with the bottom crust.

Thinly brush the lattice top with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle top with sugar and cinnamon.

Time for the Oven

Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down to 375F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes.  Check periodically to make sure it isn’t getting too dark on top.  If it is, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

The pie is done when the caramel begins to bubble up.  A knife inserted should come out clean.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 4 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

As American as Apple Pie

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Apparently road trips are great ways to think of cupcake ideas!  A drive through Arkansas provided me with the inspiration to create apple cinnamon cupcakes filled with caramel and topped with apple cream cheese frosting.

Anyway!  The friend I made these for proclaimed that they reminded her of her grandmother’s apple cake and that the finished product was delicious.  So I hope you find them just as tantalizing! They are a little more time consuming because of the filling, probably budget about 3 hours.  Again though, you can do it in stages or adjust the recipe how you like.

What You’ll Need:

If you do not already have cream cheese, powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, walnuts, caramel or apples you will want to purchase these for the cupcakes.  You will need 4 oz. of cream cheese, 2 cups of powdered sugar and about 3-4 apples.

For the apples, you will want to locate sweet apples – such as Red Delicious or Golden Delicious.  For the garnish you will need to about 2 apples, these you will want to be semi-sweet, like Gala or Fuji.

For the caramel, you could purchase caramel candies and melt them or if possible caramel bits you add water or milk for melting.  If you want to make home-made caramel sauce I will include the recipe below.

Ingredients:

2 cups – diced apples
1 1/4 tsp – ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp – apple juice
1 pkg. – french vanilla pudding
1 pkg. – white cake mix

additionally you’ll need the ingredients listed on the cake mix

Stir Up Some Goodness:

Prepare cake mix as directed on package.  Add pudding and cinnamon, mix well.  Stir in diced apples and apple juice.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners and fill with batter (about 3/4 full or more if you want a larger top).  Bake in oven at 350 degrees until golden brown, remove and let cool.

Caramel Sauce:

There are two choices – get a bag of caramels and melt them in 2 Tbsp of water (about two minutes) or you can make the sauce.

For the Sauce:

1 1/2 cups – sugar
1/3 cup – water
1 1/4 cups – heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp – vanilla extract

Set out ingredients in easy to grab areas around the stove.  The process is very fast, slow moving could end with a burnt mess rather than caramel sauce.  Heat sugar and water in a saucepan on low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat and boil sugar until it turns medium-brown.  Watch the sugar carefully to ensure it doesn’t burn as it reaches this point.  Gradually add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.  *Watch that it doesn’t spatter on you!*  Simmer until sauce becomes smooth and thick (about 2 min).   Let cool.

Fill the cupcakes!:

Using a melon baller, knife or other utensil, create hole in middle of cupcake – going about 1/2 to 2/3 the way down.  Fill a icing bag with cooled (room temp!) caramel and fill cupcakes.  (A helpful cheat here is to fill a ziplock bag with the caramel and cut off a small bit of the corner if you don’t have icing bags).

Apple Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 tsp – apple juice
4 oz – cream cheese, softened
4 oz – butter, room temp
2 cups – powdered sugar

Blend cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  Stir in apple juice.  If your kitchen is warm and the frosting has gotten too soft to frost the cupcakes, let it cool in the refrigerator until firms up.  Top cupcakes with desired amount of frosting.

Garnish to Complete:

If you want to make the cupcakes look elegant you can add garnish.  Make up some cinnamon-sugar and sprinkle on top of the frosting.  Slice the semi-sweet apples (pretty thin) and place a slice or two on top of the cupcakes.  Add chopped walnuts to finish off!

Enjoy!