Sorry for the lull in posts – I really don’t have any really good excuses except:
1) The weather this weekend was like out of a story book (I know – I know – it seems like I say that about EVERY weekend! But seriously, the weather this month has been like a dream (minus the fact that it’s now pitch black at 7pm – guess ya can’t have it all, eh?)
2) I was basking in the glory of my first spot on the Daily Food Buzz top 9! It was classic – I was at work – on the phone with a customer – and I got my daily installment in my gmail inbox, which I look forward to every day. The “Fall Baking Kickoff” – now that’s my kind of top 9! And I read through them all, while on the phone, thinking “oooh – yum – ooooh yum – um – hey wait – Pumpkin Donut Holes? I just made those! Wait, ‘And they cooked happily ever after’ is the name of my blog! eeeeeeeee!!!!!” And as I’m having this inner monolouge/inner spaz attack with myself, I hear “hello? hello? are you there?” – oops. Guess I need to brush up on my customer service skills. It was just a really exciting moment 🙂
Anyhow, in the midst of this fabulous fall weather Dave and I FINALLLY got out to pick some apples! We took Hair-Bear with us – needless to say, he was a natural. And after eating about 10 apples whilst picking, and then about 4 per day since then, I wanted to put them to work. I’m not really a huge apple pie fan – I really looove the crust on the pie, and I feel like the ratio of apple pie filling to crust is just never balanced. That and the fact that I feel the crust can get a bit soggy sitting under the heavy weight of all those apples. So – I did some thinkin’ – and remembered these super cute fall cookie cutters that I bought at the Christmas Tree Shop a couple weeks ago (for those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s basically an upscale ‘junk’ store chain in New England that sells pretty much everything on the face of the planet EXCEPT Christmas Trees) I thought “How fun to make them into little Apple Pie Pockets in fun shapes that you can eat with your hands!” I wasn’t really sure how they’d come out, but, not to throw rose petals at myself or anything, they came out pretty frickin good 🙂
Apple Pie Pockets
*The very fancy ‘Back of the Pillsbury Store-Bought Pie Crust Box’ recipe
*yields about a dozen pockets
your favorite medium to large Cookie cutters
2 pillsbury pie crusts
about 4 large apples, peeled and sliced very small
(perhaps even pulsed in the food processor a couple times)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. lemon juice
(juice of 1/2 lemon)
1 egg white
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let pie crusts come to room temperature. Roll them out on a lightly floured surface and cut your shapes from the rolled out crusts (be sure to make 2 of each shapes). Set shapes aside.
2) In a large bowl, gently mix all of the filling ingredients together.
3) Take about 1-2 tbsps of the apple mixture and place in the center of one pie crust shape from the pairs you have set aside. Make sure you leave enough room around the edges to seal the pocket shut – I’d say about 1/8 – 1/4″. This is why it’s really important to cut the apples really small so you can fit a good portion of them in the pocket and still be able to seal it.
4) Take the matching top for each pie crust shape and place gently on top of each apple covered shape. Take a fork and seal the ends together. Once each is sealed, take a knife and make a few slits in each pocket. Brush the tops of each pocket with egg white.
5) Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until crust turns golden brown.
I opened the oven, expecting a messy explosion of apples and burnt crust – but much to my delight, they were perfect! The crust was perfectly golden brown – the apples, a perfect texture of soft, but not too soft – and, my favorite part, the PERFECT ratio of crust to apple-pie filling. I think that if I had cut the apples even smaller or food processed them a bit, I could have fit even more inside the pocket. But the best part was that after a few minutes, I could pick it up with my hand and eat it like a sandwich vs. having to cut a messy sliver from a pie.
These are a perfect dessert for adults and kids alike, and a great way to use your ‘Apple Picking’ treasures!
Ok – a little pumpkin break. Time to feature another ‘fall’star – APPLES!
Probably one of my top 3 favorite things about Fall is apple picking. Walking up and down rows and rows of tree after tree, full of big juicy apples just waiting to be yanked off their branch, tossed into a bag and brought home to your kitchen. The possibilities are endless: apple crisp, apple pie, caramel apples, apple sauce, apple strudel. Freshly picked apples are PERFECT for these Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars!
But….I have yet to go apple picking so…
…I used canned apple pie filling 😦 Betty said it was ok!
1) Easy to make with minimal steps & ingredients
2) A great base for any cheesecake/streusel dessert – you could probably use just about any fruit with this
3) FREAKING delicious
Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars
*From Betty Crocker – love her
1 pouch Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 – 21oz can apple pie filling
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1) Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2) Place cookie mix in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes
3) Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
4) Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked crust. In medium bowl, mix pie filling and cinnamon. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top.
5) Bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes. Refrigerate to chill, about 2 hours. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to cut into bars.
I had 2 last night, and 3 for breakfast, so I can safely say they are a WINNER!