Well, we’ve made it through Thanksgiving, and now we’re on to my very favorite time of year: Christmas!!! I’ve been listening to Christmas music for a while now, and this past Saturday we put up our Christmas decorations. Now it’s time to start wrapping presents, finishing the last of the Christmas shopping, planning the food, and baking the treats! Before I get into full Christmas mode, let me share our Thanksgiving plates.
We had a butter roasted turkey breast (It was alright, but I forgot to season it. *facepalm*), green bean casserole, corn casserole, crescent rolls, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry jelly for me, and stuffing and mashed potatoes with pan gravy for hubby. (BTW, the triple batches of the sweet potato and corn casseroles provided the leftovers that we ate with our turkey. I guess I’ve finally found the right amount to make!)
Now, before all the Thanksgiving cooking started, I’d been doing some baking with apples and came across a couple of recipes that are too good not to share. This first one is a slightly sweet, slightly savory scone that could work well as breakfast or a midday snack. These are easy to pull together, taste great, and make 4-6 quite large scones that are good hot out of the oven or warmed up the next day.
Apple and Cheddar Scones (from Smitten Kitchen)
2 tart apples (You could use a different type of apple, but I loved the tartness against the sweetness and savory cheddar flavor.)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. + 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. cubed butter
1/2 c. shredded cheddar (The first time I made this with 1/2 c., it didn’t seem like enough cheese. This time I upped it to 3/4 c. which was better, but I think you could even go as high as 1 c. Can you tell I love cheese?)
1/4 c. heavy cream
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into sixteenths (chunks). Place the apples on the baking sheet and bake til they take on a little color and are dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, 1/4 c. sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, place the butter, apples, cheese, cream, and 1 egg. Sprinkle the flour mix on top and mix on low til the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.
- Generously flour your work station and place the dough on top. Sprinkle more flour on top of the dough. Gently roll the dough into a 1 1/4 inch thick, 6 inch circle. Cut the circle into 6 wedges. (It’s going to look like they’ll be really small, but trust me, they expand and will be plenty big, I promise.) Transfer the scones to a greased baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between the scones.
- Beat 1 egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg, then sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar. Bake til firm and golden, about 30 minutes; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
I also made apple cinnamon bread recently, and my husband and I both found it delightful. He actually said that it reminded him of a delicious apple cider. This bread comes together so quickly and smells great while it’s baking. If you’ve got some extra apples to use up, this is a great way to make them into something super tasty.
Apple Cinnamon Bread (from Brown Eyed Baker)
For the bread:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sugar
2 c. peeled, chopped apples
For the topping:
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×4 loaf pan, line the bottom with greased parchment, and set the pan aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, and cloves.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs on medium for 30 seconds. Add the oil, applesauce, and vanilla, and mix til smooth. Add the sugar and mix til well combined.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix til the flour is just barely combined. Gently fold in the apples and pour the batter into the loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle them evenly over the batter in the loaf pan. Bake 50-55 minutes or til the loaf is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf removes cleanly.
- Cool the bread for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove it and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
Have you made anything apple-y lately?