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Top Five Fabulous Apple Recipes

Top Five Fabulous Apple Recipes

Tis the season- and we're cooking up apples! Move beyond the classic pie and try one of these delicious ideas for your family this week!

The crisp fall days where I live here in the Midwest are the perfect time to trek out to a local orchard to score some fresh, juicy apples to eat fresh or use to whip up a recipe for a fall get-together or Sunday supper.

Here is our family's favorite fall treat--peanut butter apple crisp--along with a few other fun apple recipe ideas and one gift idea perfect for a teacher.

If you can't head to an orchard, simply go to the local grocery store or farmers market. Just get your hands on some apples and enjoy one of the following fabulous autumn apple delights.

NOTE: The best apples for baking are Northern Spy, Ida Red, Jonathan, Granny Smith, Cortland, or Braeburn. The best for eating raw are Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji. Do NOT use Red Delicious for baking.

Caramel Apple Dip

8 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

1 cup coarsley chopped salted peanuts

Blend all but peanuts until smooth. Add peanuts just before serving. Use with a tart eating apple such as Granny Smith, Cortland or Gala. If you must slice the apples long before eating them, soak slices in lemon-lime flavored pop to keep them from turning brown. Drain well and serve with the dip.

Apple Praline Cheesecake

1 14-ounce bag of caramels

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¾ cup sugar, divided

¼ cup butter or margarine, melted

1 5-ounce can evaporated milk

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups apples, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Unwrap caramels; place in a 2 quart saucepan or microwaveable glass bowl. Add evaporated milk. Melt over low heat, stirring often, until smooth. Or in microwave cook on high for 4-5 minutes, stirring every 1 ½ minutes.

Reserve ½ cup melted caramel mixture. Pour remaining caramel over crust in pan. Sprinkle ½ pecans over caramel, if desired.

Beat cream cheese, remaining ½ cup sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating smooth after each addition. Toss together 1 cup chopped apple, flour, and cinnamon; fold into cream cheese mixture. Spoon cream cheese mixture over caramel crust. Bake 40 minutes.

Combine reserved caramel mixture and remaining ½ cup chopped apple. Spread over cheesecake; sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Loosen cake and let cool before removing from pan. Chill before serving.

Snickers Apple Salad

6 eating apples such as Honeycrisp or Gala, cubed (not peeled)

¾ cup cocktail peanuts, chopped, if desired

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

3 king-sized Snickers bars, cut into pieces

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping

Put all above ingredients into a large bowl. Mix ½ cup butter and powdered sugar thoroughly. Fold in whipped topping. Pour over apple mixture and gently combine. Delicious!

Peanut-Butter Apple Crisp

8-10 Spy or other tart cooking apples

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Peel and slice enough apples to fill the pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Mix together flour and sugar and shake over the top of apples. Toss gently.

For the topping, mix:

1 stick real butter, softened

1 ½ cups chunky peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups sugar

3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking).

Topping should hold together in clumps when pressed in your fist and not be too sticky. If it is, add a little more flour.

Sprinkle over the top and bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until apples are tender and topping is lightly golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. FABULOUS!!!!!

Apple-Walnut-Cinnamon Bread

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup softened butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 ½ cups baking apples, chopped and peeled

2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

In medium-sized bowl, gently stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture just until combined. Gently fold in the apples and nuts.

Spoon into a 9-inch loaf pan that has been greased and floured. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not over-bake. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the bread in. Continue cooling for 30 minutes, then wrap in the foil.

For an extra-special finishing touch, wrap the bread up with a festive ribbon and include a hand-written tag featuring Psalm 17:8. "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings," (ESV)

For more tasty ways to enjoy apples, check out "Our Favorite Healthy & Delicious Fall Apple Recipes." Happy apple season!

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