Caramel Apple Pie Cookies (WHAT.)

I apologize for the lack of posts…I haven’t been able to find my SLR camera charger for weeks so I have only been getting unimpressive and imbalanced pictures from my point-and-shoot (sorry canon.) I promise to step up the game once I invest in a new charger. Black & white is to avoid the horrible colors that came out.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur. What better way to observe the ultimate day of repentance than to be in the kitchen, fasting and baking caramel apple pie cookies? Pretty much any other household activity would have been better, but alas I was hosting a break-fast meal and needed to deliver desserts up to par.

I did, however, make the recipe a little easier and use refrigerated pie crust. Despite my disgust towards store bought baked goods, these turned out fine and everyone enjoyed a taste of fall.

Adapted from The Food Pusher blog

– refrigerated pie crust

– 1 cup brown sugar

– 3/4 cup flour

– 3/4 cup oats

– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 tsp ground nutmeg

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 1/3 cup butter cut into chunks

– 1 /2 cups apple pie filling cut up into small pieces

– 1 jar of caramel sauce or homemade caramel

– powdered sugar for decoration
Roll the crust to be 1/4- 1/2 inch thick.

Then, using a cookie cutter of whatever shape you prefer, cut the dough and place “cookies” on two cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper.

1) preheat oven to 375

2) Prepare topping: In a large bowl, mix all of the dry topping ingredients with a fork. Add butter chunks and mix with your fingers until all the butter is incorporated and it begins to crumble. Set aside ½ cup of this crumb mixture for topping later.

3) Stir chopped apple pie filling into remaining crumble mixture, just until mixed.

4) Drop a tablespoon of apple mixture onto the middle of each dough cutout. With your finger, flatten the top of the apple mixture a little bit. Using a fork, place about ½ teaspoon of the reserved crumble mixture on top of each cookie.

and then make them pretty. Drizzle caramel on top. Wait for the cookies to cool completely and then sprinkle powdered sugar.

It is late and I’m going to bed. Don’t worry grandma, I’m getting plenty of sleep! 🙂

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Adios Bulldog! Mocha Cakeballs

Ok this is it, the third and final attempt at cake balls. Previously, my toughest critic (my sister) has said they were too dense or the chocolate coating was distractingly thick. I think we finally got it. The trick is using the right melting chocolate and not putting too much frosting in the cake mixture… only enough to make them stick together as balls.

The mocha cake recipe is from a great cookbook that I’ve had since high school. Don’t let the title fool you, the recipes can easily be used for cakes as well as cupcakes.

Ingredients-

Mocha Cake:

– 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 2 tablespoons butter, melted
– 2 tablespoons canola oil
– 2 eggs
– 2 egg whites
– 1 1/2 cups lowfat yogurt
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tablespoon espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water
– 2 ounces good-quality dark chocolate

Chocolate frosting:

– 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 6 tablespoons softened butter
– 4 tablespoons whole milk
– 1 tablespoon brewed dark coffee
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon coffee grounds
& Melting chocolate of your choice

After you’ve done the usual baking of the cake, COOL it completely and then rip it apart. Add 3/4 cup of frosting to the crumbs mixture and roll into balls. Start with that, but you can add more frosting if you like the cakeballs more dense. Refrigerate the balls for 3+ hours.

If you want to make small chocolate decorations for the cakeballs (debatable whether or not this is worth your time…mine all broke in the car) this is a good time to make them. A good cheat is to print out the image, to size, of what you want your decorations to look like. Place the image under parchment paper.

Melt some melting chocolate and put into a piping bag with a very thin tip. Wait about 45 seconds for the chocolate to cool down before starting to pipe. Pipe the image on the parchment paper and refrigerate the chocolate decorations. I attempted to do bulldogs but after the frustration of some very broken dogs, I accepted that they will be somewhat abstract.

Once the cake balls have been chilling for over 3 hours, melt your melting chocolate in a small bowl or double boiler. You can add food coloring at this point if you would like your white chocolate to be colored. Take out the small chocolate decorations. Use a fork to slowly dip into the melting chocolate and coat the entire ball. Place on parchment paper and quickly top with chocolate decoration. Place it very gently otherwise the warm melting chocolate/cold decorations will result in an ugly, broken decoration.

final product: the melting chocolate started to cool, so you can see the very left cakeballs got a more smooth chocolate coating whereas the ones on the right are messier. Tasted the same though, and the co-workers got a little bit of caffeine for the lovely morning!