Quick Apple Galette

apple galette (640x424)If you are someone who loves the smell of apples baking and the taste of homemade apple pie, here is a very easy recipe for a rustic apple galette.

Easy Apple Galette

1 circle of refrigerated pie crust, room temperature

2 large baking apples (I like Golden Delicious but choose your favorite variety)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cream

1 tablespoon coarse sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up or spray with non-stick spray. Unroll pastry into a full circle. Set aside as you prepare the filling.
  2. Slice the peeled, cored apples in half, then slice evenly into thin 1/8 inch slices.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the apple slices with the granulated and brown sugars, flour, salt, lemon juice and cinnamon until the apple slices are evenly coated in the sugar mixture.
  4. Spoon all of the apple filling into the middle of the pie crust, leaving about two inches of space around the edge of the circle.
  5. Carefully fold the edges of the crust over (it will cover 2-3 inches of the apple filling). You will have some overlap of the crust as you fold, so just pinch together. Try not to tear a hole in the crust where the filling could leak out.
  6. Brush the outside of the crust with cream, then sprinkle with the coarse sugar over the crust. Dot with the butter.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the apple slices are tender.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

blueberry breakfast cake (640x424)The blueberries are abundant this time of the year and picking is plentiful at the local orchard. Here is a simple blueberry cake that is good for breakfast or as a snack.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour; set aside. Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and ¾ cup plus one tablespoon of the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Spread batter into greased baking dish and sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until top is slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

Apple Brownies

apple brownies (640x424)

I love the small and taste of any type of baked apple goodies. This is a variation on  apple cake which is thinner like a brownie. If you want a more butterscotch flavor, substitute the two cups of dark brown sugar for the light brown and white sugar.

Apple Brownies

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup butter, melted

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups of apples, peeled and chopped

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

2. Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients.

3. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to brown sugar mixture, and stir until blended. Stir in apples and pecans. Pour mixture into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan; spread in an even layer.

4. Bake at 350º for 35 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Cut into bars.

 

Oatmeal Jam Squares

jam bars (640x424)This is an easy recipe for making a quick dessert. Use your favorite jam or jelly for the filling. I had an excess of blackberry jam so that is what I used. Would also be very good with raspberry jam (my favorite!).

Oatmeal Jam Squares

1 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 jar (10 ounces) of jam or jelly of your choice

4 whole graham crackers, crushed

1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, mix melted butter and vanilla; add to oats mixture, stirring until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup mixture for topping.

2. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of a greased 9 inch square baking pan. Spread jam over top to within 1/2 inch of edges. Add crushed graham cracker to reserved topping; sprinkle over jam along with the chopped nuts.

3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool in pan and cut into squares.

 

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

yogurt cake (640x423)I had an excess of Greek yogurt in the refrigerator so went looking for a coffee cake using yogurt rather than sour cream. This makes a moist cake with a sweet cinnamon center and topping.

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the streusel:
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

For the cream cheese glaze:
3 ounces softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk, or enough to make it a glazing consistency

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and Greek yogurt. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined.

3. For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and cut together with a pastry blender or two knives until it forms a crumble.

4. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

5. Let cool on a wire rack. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. To make the cream cheese glaze, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and milk. Beat until smooth and until you have a glaze consistency. Drizzle cream cheese glaze over cooled cake and serve.

yogurt cake sliced (640x422)

Raspberry Streusel Bars

raspberry streusel bars (640x424)I look forward to summer when I can pick my own fresh raspberries. Until then, I will take advantage of the California berries that are available in the grocery stores. I have posted several different raspberry bar recipes. Here is another version using jam and fresh raspberries and topped with a steusel topping. Enjoy!

Raspberry Streusel Bars

Crust:

¾ cup flour

¼ cup powdered sugar

Dash of salt

6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces

Berry Filling:

¼ cup raspberry jam, with or without seeds

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

1-2 tablespoons flour

Topping:

4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces

½ cup flour

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup chopped pecans, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375º.  Make crust by combining ¾ cup flour, powdered sugar, salt and 6 tablespoons of butter. Cut butter into dry ingredients till the butter is the size of small peas (may use pastry blender or even food processor). Sprinkle the mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch pan. Press onto bottom of pan using your hands. Bake 10-12 minutes or till just starting to brown.

2. Make the filling by melting the jam in a small saucepan or the microwave.

3. Gently mix the raspberries with 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Set aside.

4. Make the streusel topping by mixing the remainder of the butter, flour and brown sugar using a pastry blender or food processor just till combined and crumbly.

5. When crust is done, remove from oven and using pastry brush or back of a spoon, spread jam over the surface. Top with berries, then sprinkle with streusel topping and chopped nuts.

6. Bake 25-30 minutes or till berries are bubbling and topping is brown. Cool completely before cutting.

This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan.

 

Chewy Cherry Almond Bars

cherry bars (640x424)
Use your favorite preserves to make a chewy bar full of oats and almonds. Enjoy!
Chewy Cherry Almond Bars
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 12 ounce jar (1 cup) cherry preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined. Add flour and mix until blended.  Stir in the oats and almonds.

3. Remove 1/2 cup of the dough and set aside. Press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread with preserves. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over preserves layer.

4. Bake in the preheated oven about 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Apple Butter Doughnuts

apple butter cake (640x424)

I ran across this recipe for baked doughnuts this past week. I have already fried doughnuts so this was my first time to bake them so I had to run to the kitchen store to purchase doughnut pans. I also found out that if you fill the pans too full, the hole at the top of the doughnut will close. This recipe uses fresh apples and apple butter to make a wonderful doughnut full of spice topped with cinnamon sugar.

Baked Apple Butter Doughnuts

2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped apples
2 eggs
2 tablespoon butter, melted
Topping
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray doughnut pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add in the apple butter, milk, melted butter and eggs. Mix well and then fold in the chopped apples.
3. Pour the batter into each doughnut cup of the pan about 2/3 full. Bake 7-9 minutes or until the tops of the donuts spring back when touched.
4. Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
 5. Once cool enough to handle, melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in a microwave safe bowl.In another small shallow bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Quickly dip the top of one of the doughnuts in the melted butter and then twist immediately into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat this for each doughnut.

Applesauce Cake

applesauce cake (640x424)As I was cleaning closets this weekend, I found a box of my mother-in-law’s recipe. My mother-in-law immigrated from Germany after World War I when her aunt, who was already in America sent her a ticket for passage on a boat to America. She eventually married another German immigrant and they settled in the Hudson River Valley. This is a recipe that one of her friends gave her in 1952. It combines applesauce, nuts and raisins to make a tasty dessert or snack. Add a dollop of whipped cream for additional delight!

Applesauce Cake

1 cups all-purpose for

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Sift together all of the above dry ingredients. Then blend:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup raisins mixed with 1 tablespoon of the sifted dry ingredients

Cream together:

1/2 cup shortening

12 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Blend in:

1 egg and mix thoroughly

Add alternately sifted dry ingredients and 1 1/4 cups applesauce

Blend in floured nuts and raisins. Mix thoroughly.

Pour into lightly greased, floured, 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan.

Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool and enjoy! You can also add a powdered sugar glaze. I used 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of milk.

 

Peanut Butter Blossoms

peanut blossom (640x424)This is a classic cookie recipe that combines the flavor of peanut butter with chocolate. It makes a very pretty addition to any tray of cookies.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1  3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Chocolate Kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and peanut butter until blended. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Place the 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown. Immediately press a chocolate Kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to wire rack; cool.

Mississippi Mud Cake

mississippi mud (640x424)I was not able to make a photo of the cake until there was only one piece left after a Death By Chocolate snack party at where I work so the photo is not great. Mississippi Mud is a traditional cake in the south and every year a family friend prepares one for my brother for his Christmas gift. There is lots of chocolate, nuts, coconut and marshmallow cream so it is definitely not for the faint of heart!

Mississippi Mud Cake

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup cake flour

1 (3 1/2 ounce) can coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 large jar of marshmallow cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter, sugar and cocoa. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and beat well, around 3 minutes. Fold in coconut and pecans.

2. Bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan for 30 minutes. After removing cake from oven, immediately spread marshmallow cream over the top. Let cool.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 pound powdered sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth Spread over cake. Freezes well.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

choco caramel (640x424)This is a new recipe for me this year for the Christmas cookie tray. They take a little while to make but they are very good with chocolate, caramel and nuts – a great combination!

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

1 egg

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1 teaspoon shortening

1. Separate egg; place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and chill egg white until needed. In a medium bowl Stir together flour, cocoa powder and salt; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar until creamy. Bet in egg yolk, milk and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour mixture on low speed until combined. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

3. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. For filling, in a small heavy saucepan cook and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

4. Lightly beat the reserved egg white. Place pecans in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each ball.

5. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, re-press with the back of a measuring spoon. Spoon filling into the indentation in each cookie. Transfer to a wire rack. (If necessary, reheat filling to keep it spoonable.)

6. In another small saucepan cook and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until melted; cool slightly, Drizzle cookies with melted chocolate. Let stand until set.

 

Plum Cake

plum cake (640x424)The first plums to ripen in our area are small, juicy plums called sugar plums. I went a little crazy at the u-pick orchard and ended up with 19 pounds of sugar plums. The weekend was spent making jelly, jam and here is a new recipe for plum cake. It is a nice combination of the plum tartness with a buttery crust and strudel topping.

Plum Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 teaspoon salt

3 cups sliced fresh plums

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cold butter

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (chopped)

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Spread in a greased 9-inch square baking dish. Top with plums. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over plums.

3. For topping combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts if desired. Sprinkle over top.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until topping is golden brown and plums are tender (I baked a little longer as my plums were very juicy). Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Rustic Blueberry Tart

blueberry tart (640x419)The blueberries are fresh and abundant at area stands and markets. At the local u-pick, the bushes are loaded with berries and it seems like you can fill a bucket on a single bush. I was looking for a new dessert to make with the berries and combined two recipes I found online. Makes a delightful blueberry dessert – it would be good also with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!

Rustic Blueberry Tart

!/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1/4 cup half and half or light cream

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 large egg white

1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Pastry

1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the egg and beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Gradually beat half and half on low speed. Stir in flour and 1/4 cup sugar until well combined. Remove dough from bowl; flatten dough into a 6 inch disc. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Unwrap and place dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough into a 15 inch circle. Place dough and parchment on a baking sheet.

4. To prepare filling, combine berries, 1/2 cup sugar, flour and lemon juice; toss gently to coat. Arrange berry mixture in center of dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover berry mixture).

5. Combine milk and egg white in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Brush dough with milk mixture; sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over dough.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until pastry is golden brown. Let stand 30 minutes cut into wedges.

 

Fresh Raspberry Almond Tart

raspberry almond tart (640x424)Here is a  great dessert using fresh raspberries. You make a buttery crust in a spring form pan, add a filling that is similar to chess pie filling (eggs and butter), bake and top with fresh raspberries. I did not have a tart pan so used my round spring form pan. A very nice summery dessert!

Fresh Raspberry Almond Tart

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup sugar, divided

1 cup cold butter, divided

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup raspberry jam

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 cup fresh raspberries

1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar; cut in 1/2 cup butter until crumbly. Beat 1 egg; add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Spread jam over dough and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

2. Cream remaining butter and sugar until light and fluffy; stir in almond extract. Add remaining eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; spoon filling over jam/almonds. Place tart pan on a baking sheet (I was very glad I had a cookie sheet under my pan as butter came out the bottom of my spring form pan and would have been a mess without the baking sheet to catch the drips.)

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove sides from pan. Place fresh raspberries on top and sprinkle with a small amount of sugar.

Enjoy!

Easy Cheesecake

cheesecake (640x424)When we lived in South Korea and I shopped the Korean markets, it was very difficult to find dairy items. A Danish company had started marketing fresh milk (known as Denmark Milk) but other than yogurt milk, butter and very limited cheese, that was about the extent of dairy products. If I wanted something like cream cheese, I would have to head to the local “black market” shop and pay an exorbitant price. Since cheesecake was the favorite dessert of my oldest son, I looked for a simple recipe that did not take the traditional 5 packages of cream cheese. This is a recipe I have used many times over the years and is easy, quick to prepare and does not require a lot of ingredients. It is always good served with fresh berries.

Easy Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, fine

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Fresh berries

1. Press on bottom and sides of 9″ pie pan the first three ingredients. Chill until needed.

2. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add unbeaten eggs and sugar and beat until smooth. Add milk and vanilla, a little at a time, beating until smooth each time.

3. Pour mixture into crumb crust and bake in 300 degree oven for 50 – 60 minutes.

4. Cool at room temperature. Pie settles as it cools. Add fresh fruit on top. Serve chilled.

Blueberry Pound Cake

blueberry pound (640x424)The best thing to do during cold weather is bake something good. Sunday afternoon was one of those days and I wanted to do use some of my frozen blueberries from last summer’s days of picking. This recipe uses blueberries with a traditional pound cake yielding a rich buttery blueberry cake. I thawed the frozen blueberries and drained the extra juice or you can use fresh blueberries. A great recipe for dessert or to take to a pot-luck dinner and will add some sweetness to a cold winter day.

Blueberry Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour (2 cups in batter, 1 cup to dredge blueberries)

2 cups blueberries

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix in baking powder, salt and 2 cups of flour. Fold in blueberries that have been dredged in 1 cup flour

Pour into 10 inch tube pan which has been buttered and sprinkled with sugar.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then turn out of pan.

Enjoy!

Apple Pocket Pies

pocket pie apple (640x424)This recipe uses crescent roll dough to create a crusty pocket for an on-the-go apple pie. The original recipe used frozen pizza dough  for the crust but I did not have any available and did have two packages of crescent roll dough in the refrigerator.  Crust, apples, sugar and cinnamon — definitely the makings of something good.

Apple Pocket Pies

2 packages of refrigerated crescent dough

2 cups of chopped apples (approximately two large apples)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional

1. Mix the chopped apples, sugar, cinnamon and sugar together.

2. Unroll the crescent dough on a lightly floured surface. If using crescent roll dough, pull the dough apart in four sections. Roll each section with a rolling pin to make four squares. If using the crescent dough, roll out and cut in four squares.

3. Spoon several tablespoons of apple mixture on top of each square. Fold corners to middle and use fingers to seal seams.

4. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

5. Repeat with the other package of crescent dough and apple mixture. Sprinkle the tops with sugar, if desired, or brush with egg white.

6. Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cream Cheese Breakfast Cake

breakfast cake (640x424)This is a yummy sweet treat for breakfast or to use as a dessert. Crescent rolls are used on the bottom and top of a cream cheese filling with cinnamon/sugar and nuts sprinkled over the top. When I want it for breakfast, I usually prepare it a day ahead and refrigerate until time to cook, then I can just pop it in the oven and it is ready in about 20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Breakfast Cake

2 packages refrigerated crescent roll dough , at room temperature

2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 egg, separated

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

4 tablespoons butter (or margarine), optional

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12/ x 15 inch jellyroll pan with nonstick spray. Spread one package of crescent roll dough in the bottom of the pan. Use fingers to seal edges.

2. Beat the cream cheese, egg yolk (reserve egg white for later), 1 cup of the sugar and the vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border of dough on all sides.

3. Roll out the second package of dough on a flat surface that has been dusted lightly with flour. Lift and place over the cream cheese mixture. Press the edges to seal.

4. Brush the top of the dough with the reserved egg white. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top Sprinkle with the copped pecans and dot with the butter, if desired.

5. Bake 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cut into squares.

Cinnamon-Sugar Pecans

Here are some pecans with a cinnamon-sugar coating – great addition to holiday treats.

spicy pecans (640x424)Cinnamon-Sugar Pecans

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg white

1 pound large pecan halves

1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg white. Add pecans; stir until coated. Sprinkle with sugar mixture; mix well.

2. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet (line with parchment paper for easy clean-up). Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove nuts from baking sheet to cool on waxed paper.