Tag Archives: apple

Apple Walnut Granola


How is it October already?!  I am super behind on posting recipes lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been enjoying the best flavors fall has to offer!

Truth be told, it feels more like August right now in Florida than October, but my brain is programmed to want all things spiced this time of year.  And all things apple (that’s probably the New Yorker in me).  A few weeks ago, I made this apple walnut granola, and I’m pretty sure it’s one of my favorite granolas yet!


Like most granola recipes, this recipe is very simple.  If you don’t have quinoa, don’t fret — it just adds a little extra crunch to the granola, but it isn’t necessary.

When I made my granola, I stirred the dried apples into the granola before baking, but a friend of mine (hi Wendy!) made the recipe after I made it and said her apples burned.  Long story short, I’m recommending you stir the dried apples in about half way through baking. 🙂

The granola is perfect with yogurt, added to cereal, or as a snack on its own!


[print_this]Apple Walnut Granola

Makes about 3 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick oats)
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked quinoa (optional, just makes it crunchier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apples or apple chips

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the oats, quinoa, and walnuts in a mixing bowl.

Combine the coconut oil and maple syrup.  Pour into the oat mixture, stirring to coat evenly.

Spread into a baking pan (line it with foil for easy clean up). Bake 15 minutes; remove from oven and stir in the chopped dried apples.  Bake an additional 15 minutes, until the granola is lightly toasted.  Allow the granola to cool before storing.[/print_this]

Peach Apple Galette

peachapple galette slice

You didn’t think I’d let summer near its end without sharing another peach recipe, did you?! Well, it turns out today is the perfect day to talk about peaches because it’s national “eat a peach” day.  If you insist, national food holiday gods, if you insist. 😉

Even though I’m back in Florida now, fresh peaches seem to be everywhere right now.  When I was still in New York, I had a craving for juicy peaches, so my mom and I drove out to a local farm store. While we were there, we noticed they had early apples available as well.  Since apple season is more or less nonexistent here in Florida, I took advantage. 🙂

peach apple galette

With pounds upon pounds of peaches and apples in hand, I decided to put the two fruits together to make one delicious tart… a peach apple galette.

What’s a galette, you ask?  The simple answer: a free-form, one-crust tart made with pie dough.  As the name may suggest, it’s very popular in France… Anyway, I was all set to make a real pie, but when I saw Sally post a recipe for a strawberry peach tart, I thought… well, I think I’ll make a galette. 🙂

peach apple galette slice

This tart is really the perfect transition into fall — peaches and apples. The duo are unexpectedly delicious and perfect, especially when you involve buttery, flaky pie crust.

Speaking of the crust, I’ll be honest — I used a pie crust mix here, but if you have a pie crust recipe you like to use, go ahead and make your own from scratch!

peach apple galette lbbakes


If you need a simple, delicious “end of summer” dessert recipe, I highly recommend you try this galette!

[print_this]Peach Apple Galette

A simpler version of pie, this free-form tart is filled with fresh peaches and apples for a unique dessert.  Serve with ice cream, yogurt, or whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 8

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

  • Pie dough for one (single layer) pie, chilled
  • 2 large apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • Sugar, for garnishing

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, toss the sliced apples and peaches with the sugar and ginger. Set aside.

On a flat, lightly floured surface, roll the pie dough out to 12-14 inch thickness (for a thicker crust, roll only to 12 inches; 14 inches for a thinner crust).  Carefully transfer the rolled out dough onto the prepared baking sheet.

Mound the fruit in the center of the crust, leaving about 1 1/2 inches around the edges.  Fold the edges up and over the fruit to seal (pinch to seal if necessary).  Brush the dough with the milk, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake 30 minutes.  Decrease the heat to 350 degrees F; bake an additional 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool before slicing.[/print_this]

Browned Butter Spice Cookies with Caramel Apple Milky Ways

Let’s talk Halloween candy.  Because, in case you’re not keeping track, Halloween is just over 3 weeks away!

Candy corn.  Obviously a favorite.  Love Almond Joy’s too.  And I do wish M&M’s pretzel came in fun size packages for Halloween (best M&M type, 2nd place is limited edition candy corn).

But… do you know what I think one of the best things about occasions like Halloween?  It gives candy manufacturers great excuses to make delicious seasonal flavors, like the limited edition Caramel Apple Milky Way candy bars I found at the store a couple weeks ago.

Caramel + apple + milky way = genius.

I tossed and turned at night trying to think of what to do with these babies.  OK, that’s a lie.  I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.  But I did think about it a lot during the day.

In the end, I kept it simple.  Simple browned butter cookie dough with a generous dash of pumpkin pie spice… some chopped candy bars on top… and that’s it!

Funny story: I literally had this cookie dough ready to go when I saw Sally post a recipe for browned butter oatmeal milky way cookies.  Apparently us baking bloggers have eerily similar minds! 😉

[print_this]Browned Butter Spice Cookies with Caramel Apple Milky Ways

Browned butter gives this spice cookie dough a nutty, toffee-like flavor, while limited edition caramel apple Milky Way candy bars add sweetness and fruity flavor.  They are the perfect fall candy bar cookies!

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes

  • 1/2 cup browned butter, softened (instructions here), or regular unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Miniature Caramel Apple Milky Way candies, chopped into small pieces (~20)*

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper (or use a Silpat like I do!).

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until mixed.  In the same bowl, add the baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and beat until mixed.  Add the flour, 1/2 cup at at time, and beat on medium speed until mixed well.  Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, setting onto the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.  Press milk way pieces into the cookies.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or the until edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets.

*To keep the milky ways from getting really melty in the oven, freeze the candy bars before baking with them.  Then chop and press into the cookie dough![/print_this]

Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

Guess who booked not one but two flights to New York this week?  I did, I did!  I’d been putting off booking my holiday flights for awhile, but when October showed up out of left field this week, I decided now was the time.  Can you believe Thanksgiving is just 7 weeks from today?  Nuts, right?  I guess I better start training for the Turkey Trot…

I’m really hoping that the apple trees in New York decide to hang onto their apples a bit longer this year so I can go apple picking at Thanksgiving.  Then I can fill my entire suitcase with NY apples and show all these Floridians what a real apple should taste like. 🙂

Until then, though, I’m just getting my apple fix via Chobani yogurt.  I like to tell myself that the apples at the bottom of their apple cinnamon Greek yogurt are NY apples, since Chobani whips up its yogurt in New York.  Don’t try to tell me otherwise!

Just recently I decided to whip up a batch of pumpkin pancakes to celebrate the “arrival” of fall, and since I often use Greek yogurt in my pancake recipes, I decided to reach for a cup of apple cinnamon CHO (ooo, remember these?!).  In no time I was enjoying delicious apple cinnamon pumpkin pancakes. 🙂

I can’t tell you how delicious (and healthy!) these are.  I’ve been making them in big batches and freezing them so I can enjoy them on-the-go all week long.  I can’t wait to make them for my pumpkin-loving family when I am home in New York next month!

[print_this]Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

Combine pumpkin and Chobani apple cinnamon Greek yogurt for the the ultimate stack of fall pancakes.  This recipe uses gluten free flours, but I’ve made them with regular all-purpose flour too (omit the ground oats, rice flour, and guar gum, replace with 1 cup all-purpose flour).

Makes about 8 medium pancakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

  • 6 ounces Chobani apple cinnamon Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir the yogurt and eggs until combined; stir in the pumpkin.

In a separate small mixing bowl, stir the flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the yogurt mixture, stirring until just mixed (the batter will be thick).

Spray the griddle with nonstick cooking spray.  Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to spread the batter onto the griddle (since the batter is thick, you will need to spread it out a bit to desired thickness).  Cook the pancakes about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until cooked.  Serve with Greek yogurt, honey, maple syrup, or butter and cinnamon sugar (or all of the above!).[/print_this]

Apple Half Moon Cookies

If someone ever tries to tell you a Half Moon Cookie is the same as a Black & White Cookie, run!  They don’t know what they’re talking about; they cannot be trusted. 😉  They’re probably not from Central New York.

I’ll save my formal Ode to the Half Moon Cookie for another day, but for now, here’s a brief drill down of the differences between half moons and black & whites:

Half Moon Cookies

  • Local to Central New York (Syracuse/Utica area)
  • Cookie is soft and moist
  • Light and fluffy chocolate/vanilla frosting

Black and White Cookies

  • Call New York City home
  • Cookie is dry
  • Chocolate/vanilla fondant

I know.  Those poor folks in New York City don’t know what they’re missing out on!  Now, lucky for them, this is essentially what happens every year in early March:

No, Otto the Orange doesn’t hand deliver Half Moon Cookies to New York City every March.  Instead, Syracuse basketball fans from every which way congregate in the Big Apple for the Big East Championship — they basically take over Madison Square Garden for a weekend.  Which, oddly, was my inspiration for this Cookie March Madness creation…

Syracuse/Half Moons + the Big Apple = Apple Half Moon Cookies!

I fought hard with this recipe.  I was bound and determined to morph a traditional half moon cookie into an apple flavored one, that also used Greek yogurt.  I failed with my first attempt — half moon cookies should be soft and rounded, and my first go-around gave me pancake flat cookies.  If at first you don’t succeed… (I tried again 🙂 )

Though the cookie itself is spiced with cinnamon, the actual apple flavor sits entirely on one half of the cookie (the side with the apple buttercream).  So, if you’re like me, you’ll want to eat the white side first so you save all the apple deliciousness for last. 🙂

Here’s to hoping these cookies bring the Orange good luck!

[print_this]”Big Apple” Half Moon Cookies

Traditional half moon cookies with a twist — a subtly spiced cake-like cookie frosted with fluffy vanilla buttercream and apple spice buttercream. 

Makes 18 cookies

Prep time (including frosting): 1 hour

Cook time: 15 minutes

Recipe adapted from Hemstrought’s (via Saveur Magazine)

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/8 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (this recipe uses 1%)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and margarine with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Add the yogurt, egg, and vanilla and continue to beat until mixed well.  Add the flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two, beating after each addition until mixed.  Use an ice cream scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about two inches apart.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before removing the cookies from the parchment paper.

Once the cookies are completely cool, spread about 1 tablespoon vanilla buttercream on half of the flat side of each cookie.  Spread the other half of each cookie with 1 tablespoon apple spice buttercream.

Nutrition Information (per cookie, unfrosted): 160 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated, 0.5g trans), 940mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (<1g fiber,  13g sugar), 3g protein

Nutrition Information (per cookie, frosted): 310 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated, 0.5 trans), 940mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (<1g fiber, 32g sugar), 3g protein[/print_this]

[print_this]Very Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

In a large mixing bowl, beat all of the ingredients with an electric mixer on high about 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add additional water, one tablespoon at a time, for a thinner frosting.  Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container.

Nutrition information (per tablespoon): 80 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated, 0g trans), 0mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (10g sugar), 0g protein


[print_this]Apple Spice Buttercream Frosting

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water

In a large mixing bowl, beat all of the ingredients with an electric mixer on high about 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add additional water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, for a thinner frosting.  Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container.

Nutrition information (per tablespoon): 70 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated, 0g trans), 0mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (9g sugar), 0g protein


Cakes to Remember: New York Apple Crumb Cake

apple crumb grass

A lot of people remember September 11th, 2001 like it was yesterday.  I’ll be honest, I’m not one of those people.  I remember it like it was ten years ago.  A fairly naïve junior in high school at the time, I had difficulty wrapping my head around the magnitude and impact of the attacks.  I remember visiting colleges in New York City with my mom a few months after the attacks, and you could literally just sense a feeling of change in “the city” – more guarded, but also more proud and unified.

Little did I know that seven years later, I’d spend a year working in a “different” New York City.  One where tourists visit Ground Zero instead of two monumental towers.  Where train stations overflow with security and periodic tall-building fire drills at work are the norm; all in an effort to keep the city a safe place for all. 

Despite its different yet more secure environment, my time in the Big Apple made me appreciate the city and everything it’s been through in the past decade.  It’s next to impossible to not feel a sense of pride every time I’m back on those city streets – knowing that the city is prospering once again.

apple crumb

When I read about Marla’s coordination of a Remembrance Cakes for 9/11 blog event, I knew I wanted to take part.  Given my love and appreciation for all things New York, I knew just what to bake.  Anyone foodie who has spent time in the city is well aware of its quintessential desserts – cheesecake, black and white cookies (still not as good as half moons), or crumb cake

A good crumb cake has a layer of exceptionally large crumbs.  When I worked in New York City, I lived across the river in Hoboken, NJ, and would often visit Carlos’ Bakery.  This was before the Cake Boss era, when you could actually step foot in the bakery and with room to breathe.  Carlos’ does crumb cake right – a light cake and a thick layer of large brown sugar crumbs.  I’ve since done my best to recreate it. 

This particular recipe of mine uses whole wheat pastry flour for added nutrition, and is accented with spices and New York apples.  If there’s one other ingredient that could make this cake more “New York,” it’d be apples, right?!

I plan to enjoy a piece of this patriotic cake for breakfast this morning while remembering those who lost their lives ten years ago today.  Because while I may not be able to physically pay respects to those who lost their lives on 9/11, I can honor them in memory.

apple crumb fork

New York Apple Crumb Cake

A moist, spiced crumb cake bursting with sweet apple flavor, perfect for a weekend brunch or fall dessert. Substitute all-purpose flour if you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour on hand.

Serves 9

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Crumb Topping:

  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour


  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 medium apples (peeled, cored, and chopped)

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a nine-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

For the crumb topping:

In a large mixing bowl, stir the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter with a fork or whisk until smooth.  Add the flour, and stir until the mixture forms a dry, crumbly dough.  Press the dough into the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

For the cake: 

In a large mixing bowl, stir the sugar, butter, eggs, and Greek yogurt until smooth.  Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; stir until mixed well.  Add the flour; stir with a whisk about 2 minutes or until the batter is very smooth.  Fold in the chopped apples.

Pour the cake batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Break the crumb topping into chunks (about 3/4 to 1-inch), and sprinkle them over the top.  Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.