Peanut Butter Apple Dip

This is so good and so easy.  It’s perfect for apple slices, banana chunks, pretzel twists, celery sticks or just a plain old spoon.

1 c. peanut butter
1 bar cream cheese
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. or so of milk

Blend well and enjoy.


Apple Hand Pies

handpiesI had never heard of a hand pie (aka fried pie) until about five years ago when I saw them for sale at a local Farmer’s Market.  I tried one and was not all that impressed. Then, my favorite neighbor, Dorothy, shared memories of making them when she was younger.  The taste she described was not at all what I experienced eating.  As it turns out, there’s a lot of wiggle room with how these little guys can be made.  Dorothy and I decided to give them a try in my kitchen, and we did…with great success!  Once we determined that we liked the results, we made a huge batch in order to put some in the freezer.  Although they do freeze relatively well, they are much better the day they are fried (while they are still warm).  Here is the recipe we enjoyed with the changes we made:

3 apples, cored, peeled, and diced
1/3 c. sugar
½ t. cinnamon
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
½ c. very cold butter, gratedturnover2
½ c. cold water
1 c. oil
Garnish: powdered sugar

Stir together apples, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes, until apples are tender. Set aside.

Combine flour and salt; mix in butter with hands or pasty blender. Stir in water to a dough consistency.

Roll out dough 1/8-inch thick on a floured surface.

Cut out with a four-inch round cookie cutter; place one tablespoon apple mixture in center of each circle. Sprinkle edges with water; fold circles in half. Seal edges with a fork; set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry pies, a few at a time, for two to three minutes on each side, until golden. Drain on paper towels.

While still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with any remaining apple filling.  Makes 6-8 pies.

Apple Bars

We’ve made these three times so far this year–some to eat, some to share.  Super easy to put together, and very moist and tasty.  Oh, and in our personal opinions, they taste better the day after they’re baked.  These also freeze beautifully if you want to make them ahead for another day.

2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
3 c. apples, peeled, cored and chopped (Make sure to measure the apples after they’ve been chopped.)
1 c. chopped nuts, if desired

Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.

Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; mix well.

Stir in apples and nuts (if you’re using nuts, that is).

Spread batter in lightly-greased 9×13″ baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Oat Applesauce Muffins

These are tasty, hearty, healthy muffins that do well with add-ins like dried fruit, nuts and seeds.  They freeze beautifully if well-wrapped.

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups rolled oats
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
¼ t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. ground cloves
1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg
¾ cup milk
3 T. vegetable oil
1 cup applesauce

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the egg milk, oil, and applesauce.

Stir in the dry ingredients, and mix well. Spoon the batter into the greased (or lined) muffin cups so they are two-thirds full.

Bake until firm and golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Applesauce Muffins

This makes a BIG batch (2 dozen), so you MIGHT have some left to tuck into the freezer for another day.

1 c. butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 c. applesauce
2 eggs, beaten
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. raisins or other dried fruit

Combine butter, sugar, applesauce and eggs; cream until well-blended.

In separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; stir into butter mixture just until moistened.  Stir in raisins.

Fill paper-lined muffins 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until done in the center.

Apple Salsa/Salad


I love this stuff.  Seriously.  And, in the fall, it’s incredibly cost-effective.  This recipe is perfect for a casual get-together, a healthy snack or even for breakfast…like I had this morning.

2-3 apples, grated or chopped

1 c. dried cranberries

1-2 T. honey or maple syrup

juice of one orange

½ t. cinnamon

Mix and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Eat with cinnamon tortilla chips, on your oatmeal or with a fork.

Apple Cake

I have my grandma’s copy of a 1974 Russiaville Community Cookbook.  My mom gave it to me because it is from the community in which I was raised and the year in which I was born.  I LOVE this cookbook!  It has my grandma’s handwritten notes in it, my mom’s handwritten notes in it, my handwritten notes in it and now one of my daughter’s handwritten notes in it.  (I’m all teary just thinking about it!).  This apple cake recipe is from that yellow (and yellowed) cookbook, and you’ll love it.  My mother-in-law, Betty, made something similar to it, too, so this recipe is even nostalgic for my hubby.  As my sister-in-law, Cindy, says, “Its not fall until you’ve had apple cake”.

½ c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ¾ c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 c. apples, peeled and sliced thin (I like tart apples for this.)
½ c. nuts (if desired)

Cream butter, eggs and sugar and smooth. Sift together dry ingredients and gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in apples and nuts. Pour batter into greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.