It’s almost fall in New England, which means summer activities are phasing out and classic autumn ones are here for the next few months. Even during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you can safely go apple picking, choose some pumpkins, and enjoy apple cider and apple cider donuts outdoors.
Almost everyone returns from apple picking with a few too many apples than they know what to do with. We’ve found some fun, yummy and very easy ways to use up those fresh apples.
1.Easy snack: Homemade Cinnamon Apple Chips
Perhaps the easiest way to use apples— besides eating them with dip— is to bake them into homemade apple chips.
-2 apples, thinly sliced (crisper apples like Pink Lady and Honeycrisp work best)
-2 tsp. granulated sugar
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1.Preheat oven to 200°. In a large bowl, toss apples with sugar and cinnamon.
2.Place a metal rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Lay apples slices on top of rack, spacing them so that no apples overlap.
3.Bake for 2 to 3 hours, flipping apples halfway through, until apples dried out but still pliable. (Apples will continue to crisp while cooling.)
*Recipe from Delish
2.Healthy-ish dessert snack: Chocolate Apple Pops
This is a really fun one to do with kids, and can be completely customized. You can make them “bites” too!
-2 cups chocolate chips, melted
-1 tbsp. coconut oil
-your choice of toppings… mini marshmallows, caramel, M&Ms, etc.
1.In a medium bowl, stir coconut oil into melted chocolate.
2.Place apples upright on a cutting board and cut into 1/2” to 3/4” slices. Using a paring knife, make a small cut onto the bottom of each apple slice. Insert popsicle stick.
3.Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. Dip each apple slice into melted chocolate then sprinkle immediately with your favorite toppings: marshmallow bits, chocolate, and graham crackers for a s’mores theme, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, caramel, pretzels, etc.
4.Refrigerate on the baking sheet until chocolate sets, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator.
*Recipe from Delish
3.Dinner: Apple Cider Chicken Skillet
Apples are delicious in a savory dish, just as much as a sweet one. Another great savory choice is making grilled cheese sandwiches with brie or gouda.
-4 tps extra-virgin olive oil
-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs - (about 8, depending on size)
-1 tsp kosher salt - divided
-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper - divided
-1/2 cup fresh apple cider
-2 tps Dijon mustard
-3 medium firm, sweet apples cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
-2 tps chopped fresh rosemary
1.Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high. Sprinkle the top of the chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken to the pan, top-side down. Let cook 4 minutes, then flip and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, 3 to 4 additional minutes. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
2.In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the apple cider and mustard. With a paper towel, carefully wipe the skillet clean. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan over medium high. Once the oil is hot, add the apple slices, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes, until the apples are lightly tender and begin to turn golden. Return the chicken to the pan and pour the cider mixture over the top. Let cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Serve warm, sprinkled with additional chopped rosemary as desired.
*Recipe from Well Plated
4.Drink treat: Apple Cider Milkshake
This drink is so easy and quick to make, but combines so many great fall flavors. I topped mine with vanilla maple whipped cream for a fun twist.
-5 scoops vanilla ice cream
-1/2 cup apple cider
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-salted caramel (optional)
-whipped cream (optional)
1.Place ice cream, apple cider, and cinnamon in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Drizzle salted caramel into a glass, add milkshake, top with whipped cream if desired and drizzle with additional salted caramel.
*Recipe from The Merry Thought
5.Cookie time: Chewy Apple Cider Cookies
These cookies are great because you probably already have all the ingredients sitting in your pantry. Perfect for a evening treat with a hot mug of apple cider.
-1/3 cup room temperature butter
-1/3 cup white sugar (recipe suggests vegan cane sugar)
-2/3 cup packed brown sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/3 cup apple cider
-1.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
-Pinch of sea salt
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the glaze:
-1 cup confectioners sugar
-2 tbsp apple cider or water
1.In a large mixing bowl add the butter (let become room temp and soften if it’s not already) mix in the sugar to the butter, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
2.Add in the dry ingredients and mix well, place in the fridge for 1 hour (or overnight).
3.For tall balls (cylinder shaped tall dough balls instead of the traditional round short ball) and place on the baking sheet.
4.Place in the oven and bake for 15-16 minutes. Remove and let cool completely, at least 20-30 minutes, before moving them so they can finish baking and setting.
5.Mix up the glaze in a small bowl and drizzle over the top of the cookies.
*Recipe from Two Raspberries.