Monday, October 14, 2013

If Johnny Appleseed came for breakfast...

Apples.  We picked two pecks and now, I've been baking a pretty steady stream of apple-y-goodness. Take for instance a recipe that I "bookmarked" many years ago in the Pillsbury Best Desserts cookbook. Pillsbury calls this "French Apple Crescent Casserole" a "brunch-style sweet".  That's all it took for me to look upon this recipe as a companion to brunch (therefore, breakfast).  

The recipe uses Pillsbury crescent rolls to wrap up a wedge of apple.  The only thing that we were missing this passed weekend was the whipped cream...I really don't know what I was thinking.  The recipe is as follows:
For the dumplings: 
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 (8 oz.) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 large apple, peeled, and cut into 8 slices

For the sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream (I have only ever used milk that I have on hand...tastes yummy as is)
1 tbsp. almond extract or amaretto (I have only ever used vanilla extract)
1 egg

For the topping
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In small bowl combine 2 tbsp. sugar and 1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon; blend well. Separate dough into 8 triangles; sprinkle sugar in mixture evenly over each. Gently press sugar mixture into each triangle, flattening each slightly.  Place apple slice on wide end of each triangle, tuck in edges around apple slice.  Roll up, starting at wide end; roll to opposite point.  Seal all seams.  Place tip side down in a greased 9-inch round baking dish or pie pan, placing long side of filled crescents around the edge of the dish and then filling in the center.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove baking dish from oven.  In small bowl combine all sauce ingredients, beat with wire whisk until well blended. Spoon sauce evenly over partially baked rolls.  Sprinkle with almonds and cinnamon. I actually mix the cinnamon in with the sauce before I ladle over the dumplings.  I also add a few dashes of nutmeg to the sauce, as well)  Return to the oven; bake an additional 13 to 18 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Cover top of the pan with foil during the last 5 minutes of baking time if necessary to prevent excessive browning. Serve warm.  Store in refrigerator.  (As if you'll have any left.)

I made this on the Saturday of a long weekend and honestly, I wish I had doubled the recipe so that I would have some left to reheat for dessert later!

Fast forward to the end of our three-day weekend and you will find that I spent our Monday morning enlisting the expertise of the Pioneer Woman as I, and my two sons, worked to make these Apple Fritters, shown frying below. They were outstanding!  In addition, to that though, they were easy.  However, I told my boys that the real reason why they tasted so amazing was due to the fact that they had a hand in making them.  From my ten year-old cutting the apples to my 7 year-old combining the dry ingredients, a little teamwork goes a long way.

Seriously, with a cup of coffee and a sunny spot to sit in, these fritters were a comforting start to a brisk October morning.  Here's hoping I can keep the apple baking going through our busy weeknights.

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