Bottom Of The Barrel

Wondering what to do with those last few apples at the bottom of the barrel? I had about six bruised and battered apples left from our trip to the orchard. I hated to throw these forgotten few on the compost pile so I decided to make a batch of apple pie topping. This was so easy and it can be used on everything from ice cream to pancakes, to granola.

Apple Pie Topping

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp butter

6 apples, peeled and diced

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Method

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples to the melted butter and stir to coat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Cook until the apples soften but are not mushy, about 5-7 minutes. Serve warm over some pancakes. Or let cool and top your favorite ice cream. Your kids will probably prefer the ice cream option…

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “Put mine on the side!”

Liam (age 5): “Thumbs middle”

Dylan (age 5): “Just ice cream!”

Who cares about the verdict – I used up all the apples!!!

Any other ideas for cooking those last few apples? Please share!

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A Macaroon A Day…

… keeps the doctor away?

Yes, it’s true, as long as you add dark chocolate chips to them! (Note: this is the author’s own conclusion, not a proven medical fact)

Have you heard the great news about cocoa? For years it’s been known that dark chocolate had health benefits but doctors never knew exactly how the process occurred. They have recently discovered it’s all due to our gut bacteria breaking down the cocoa, releasing heart-healthy compounds into our system – sounds appetizing doesn’t it? Well, if a doctor says I should be eating chocolate every day for its anti-inflammatory benefits who am I to argue?

In the next few weeks there’ll be an abundance of chocolate in all shapes and sizes showing up in our house. Since we celebrate both Easter and Passover there will be Easter eggs, marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, jelly rings and macaroons. I never met a Peep I didn’t like but I might just leave those to the kids and have some “medicine” instead, in the form of macaroons.

I’ve been working on this recipe for weeks and think I finally hit the right combo. I’m going to amp up the health factor by adding dried fruit and almonds; more antioxidants and healthy fats never hurt anyone. I started these early in the season because I know once those chocolate bunnies show up, my macaroons will ultimately be ignored by my little guys. But for now they’re still excited to try each batch as I experiment.

Fruit & Nut Macaroons

Ingredients

¼ cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)

½ cup almonds

2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes (about 7oz)

3 egg whites

¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cranberries and almonds in a food processor until finely ground.

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Add coconut and egg whites to the cranberry/almond mix and then combine in processor for several minutes until the mixture is the consistency of a paste. Scrape down the sides of the processor as needed. Add the chips at the end and just pulse a few times to combine the chips with the coconut mixture. You don’t want to break up the chips too much, just combine them.

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Place mixture in a bowl and using a tablespoon measure out small mounds on the baking sheet.

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If the mixture is sticking to the spoon simply dip the spoon in warm water between each spoonful.

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Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes until edges are browned and crispy. Let cool and enjoy!

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Recipe yields about 15 macaroons. Store in airtight container for up to a week.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “This batch is the best yet, can we stop now?”

Liam (age 4 11/12): “What’s a macaroon? I like the chips only”

Dylan (age 4 11/12): “It’s deeelightful”

Move over Manischewitz!

And if you like your macaroons with the chocolate on the outside instead of inside, check out this recipe from fellow blogger, The Hungry Mum, it’s a good one.