Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crumble

Growing up, Fall was not my favorite season. Fall meant back to school; which meant the end of summer. I waited all year long for summer, because I grew up in northeast Pennsylvania and despised winter. There was nothing about winter I liked except for Christmas. Changing leaves meant that down jackets and boots were being pulled out from storage, blue skies were turning grey, and scraping ice off windshields would be our daily cardio.

My mom would make apple crisp growing up, not to be confused with apple crumble. I never knew there WAS a difference between crisp and crumble, until I tried a crumble made by my friend Lauren. She told me she used Betty Crocker’s Southern Apple Crumble recipe. And I’ve never been the same since.

I suddenly realized why apple crisps had never “done it” for me. There was never enough topping. The ratio was usually 3/4 filling to 1/4 topping. For a sweets lover like me, I’m not so much interested in the apple filling as I am that golden, crunchy topping.

When I made this crumble for the first time, I couldn’t believe how much butter and sugar there was; I should have known! That’s what makes anything taste good, right? ūüėČ I knew I could cut back a little on the sugar, since there’s a whole bag of cookie mix on top! This recipe is definitely not healthy in any way. But, it’s also the best I’ve ever had. ūüôā

These Granny Smith apples are actually from our front yard! There was already a mature apple tree when we moved in, and every season I look forward to baking and sharing our bounty with neighbors and friends.

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crumble

For the filling

  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (You want to use granny smith because they are tart and will help balance out the sugars.)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (note: I’ve never tried to substitute any “healthier” sugars like coconut sugar.)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cold butter cut into small pieces

For the topping

  • 1 pouch *Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop apples.
  2. Heat oven to 325. Spray bottom of 2 1/2 quart dish with cooking spray. I like to use my Corningware dish.
  3. In large bowl, toss the apple, white and brown sugars, cinnamon, and butter. Spread into baking dish.
  4. In same large bowl, stir cookie mix and melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the filling starts to bubble golden brown like the photo above.
  6. If adding pecans, remove from oven about 10 minutes before cooking is complete and sprinkle on top. Then, resume cooking.
  7. Serve warm ‘a la mode’ or with a dollop of whipped cream. Bake for any ‘anti-apple piers’ who are known to pass on apple desserts; watch them take a bite and nod with satisfaction. ūüėČ

*This has sometimes been hard for me to find in my grocery store. It’s not very popular and I don’t see it on the shelves often. So, a hack I’ve learned is to buy the Betty Crocker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie mix, and sift out the chocolate chips. A little tedious, but works.

Pumpkin Applesauce Streusel Bread

Hello friends!

It’s been 5+ months since my last blog post, so you probably thought that I disappeared on you…forever to be lost in the the thick of mom life; changing diapers, cleaning up messes, folding laundry, and chasing around my (now) crawling baby! That list is actually rather short, and doesn’t nearly encompass all that I do during the day. I’ve had to give myself a lot of grace lately, and pat myself on the back because I’m doing THIS…I’m doing this mom thing by myself. I don’t have my mom or mother-in-law remotely close by to help, which is a huge game changer. So, when I make it anywhere on time (“on time” to me now means within 1 hour of the start…) I feel accomplished that I was able to get myself dressed, fed, and hair brushed while simultaneously caring for a (almost) 10 month old.

Did I lose you yet??

Don’t worry I’ll save my mom rants for another day ūüėČ

Now onto this delicious Fall bread, which is totally baby friendly…minus the streusel topping. ¬†Now that Gio is eating real food, I’m always looking at the ingredients in recipes to make sure they’re OK for him. I’ve been doing a combination of purees and baby led weaning since Gio was 7 months, but he doesn’t like when I feed him anymore so he mostly eats finger foods now.

If you’re a mom or not, you may know that babies are not allowed to have honey under 1 year old. I also have been substituting egg in baked recipes because

  1. Gio has some friends who have an egg allergy
  2. Kendrick and I have been trying to consume less animal products

I’ve made the bread both with, and without the eggs and I actually prefer it without the eggs (surprising!). The eggs make it more spongy.

You can make this recipe as a bread, or make muffins for your little one with or without the topping. The topping is perfectly safe for them, I just don’t like to give Gio added sugar.

The bread alone is vegan, dairy free, oil free, soy free, and is naturally sweetened.

IMG_9722

((Baby-Friendly)) Pumpkin Applesauce Streusel Bread

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BREAD:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed + 6 tablespoons of water (**1 egg= 1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS FOR THE STREUSEL:

  • 1/4 cup oats¬†
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour¬†

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×5 bread pan with cooking spray (I like to use coconut oil spray).
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients saving the flour for last.
  4. Pour into bread pan.
  5. Make the streusel topping in the same bowl.
  6. Sprinkle evenly over top of bread.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes at 350, or until a fork inserted in the center comes out cleanly.
  8. **If making muffins, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork comes out cleanly.

ENJOY!

Cinnamon & Sugar Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

I’ve always loved everything pumpkin…maybe a little bit too much. In high school, I couldn’t wait for the pumpkin spice lattes to make their debut, the Wawa pumpkin muffins, and Dunkin Donuts pumpkin donuts. (For those who don’t know, Wawa is a gas station/convenience store chain¬†on the east coast.)

One Thanksgiving, my family and I traveled to¬†Lewisburg,¬†PA to spend the weekend¬†with our extended family.¬†We stopped at Wawa to grab¬†our favorite¬†treats for the road –¬†pumpkin lattes and a very¬†large pumpkin muffin for me.¬†Everything was fine and dandy until we started driving on some very windy, back roads. I get car sick easily, and suddenly that delicious pumpkin muffin I had enjoyed about an hour earlier was starting to make another appearance. I had my dad pull over and I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

I thought that experience would forever taint my enjoyment for pumpkin flavored things…but I am happy to say that enough time¬†has passed now, that I am no longer¬†scarred.¬†¬†I’m glad because I really do love pumpkin. ūüėČ

I wanted to enjoy apple season first, before I broke out the canned pumpkin. This weekend felt like an appropriate time to finally make something pumpkin.¬† I was inspired to make these pumpkin muffins from Hanna, of The Healthiest Me. She made a healthy version using whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of oil. I modified a bit and used white flour instead,¬†because when you’re pregnant, it’s easier for your body¬†to break down white flour instead of whole wheat. Obviously, eating¬†starchy carbs can attribute to faster weight gain, so it’s not recommended that you over-indulge in these foods. But, at the end of the day whether you consume white flour, or whole wheat flour, they both turn to sugar in the body and therefore there’s not much of a difference in choosing the healthier “whole wheat” option.

These were easy to make, and the best part was the delicious cinnamon and sugar glaze I drizzled over them while hot. Ideally, I wanted to do a powdered sugar glaze, but didn’t have any powdered sugar on hand.

Here’s the recipe:

Cinnamon & Sugar Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour (or whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup¬†unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of milk as needed (can also use soy or almond)

Directions:

  1. Beat together the wet ingredients (pumpkin, applesauce, sugar, eggs and vanilla).
  2. Add in the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and 1 cup of flour. Mix together until all flour is incorporated.
  3. Add in the additional 3/4 cup of flour and mix thoroughly.
  4. Throw in a dash of salt and milk.
  5. Scoop batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. **Oven times can vary- I set the timer for 15 minutes first, checked the insides, and cooked for an additional 3 minutes.

For the glaze:

  1. Stir together a mixture of white sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of milk.
  2. Spoon the¬†glaze over the warm muffins. **If you have powdered sugar, you can make a glaze of powdered sugar and water. I do not have exact measurements for this, but you don’t want the glaze to be too runny, so be careful when adding the milk.

 

This recipe makes 14-15 muffins. I suggest storing the muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator once cooled. Since the glaze contains milk, I didn’t want them to get moldy sitting on the counter. When you’re ready to indulge, just pop one in the microwave for 20-30¬†seconds and enjoy ūüėČ