Friday, December 4, 2009

Apple Granola Crisp and Zesty Orange Madelines

So here's what's up guys. I know it's been a while since I posted, and I keep promising new posts and not delivering. Really, I'm sorry. Believe it or not, the last two weeks have been even crazier and more hectic than usual. But i've got an entire weekend of posts coming - i promise. One a day maybe! 

This apple granola crisp is an awesome Smitten Kitchen recipe. And given that i LOVE breakfast, and I am trying awfully hard to be a little bit healthy (as per the husband's request), I went for these instead of something like... I don't know... breakfast cake! Which believe me, if I can find breakfast cake, i'll probably make it. I have been known to eat cake for breakfast on more than one occasion. Anyway, back to the breakfast apple granola crisp - it's good, and really fabulously easy, and it makes a LOT. I feel like this would be something really good to make when you have out-of-towners - you can awe them with your bed-and-breakfast quality breakfast, without stressing out or having to get up early to slave away (just make it the night before).

Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp

3 pounds of apples (any kind) peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and just a pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated. 

 2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle this evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly. 

3. If the granola starts to get too brown, cover the baking dish with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time. But, be sure to remove the foil again in the last couple minutes to help the granola stay crispy. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Smitten Kitchen recommended eating with yogurt - definitely a worth while suggestion. Yum. 

One of the reasons my life has been so crazy is that I recently made a weekend trip up to Indiana. It turns out that Indiana is really beautiful, and that I've got some cool family history stuff goin' on there. But if you're anything like me, being on a plane means being hungry and grumpy with the gross food they try to serve you. I decided that in order to endure several hours on the plane I would need a really delicious snack - it was really good foresight. The plane food was in fact gross, I was hungry, and I was really glad I had made Madelines! I used Emril Legassi's Madeline recipe, and I have to say, they're pretty darn good. 

Zesty Orange Madelines
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled + extra non-melted butter for the pan
1 cup bleached all-purpose flour + extra for the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon orange zest, finely minced
1/4 pound semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and Grease and flour 24 madeline molds (or 12 in my case, then wash and reuse) 

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. With an electric mixer set on high speed, cream the mixture until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. 

 3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the zest and half of the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat again until incorporated. Add the butter in a steady stream and continue beating until well blended. Let stand for 10 minutes. 

4. Spoon the batter into the molds so that they are two thirds full. Bake until lightly golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and using a thin knife, pop them out of the pans onto a wire rack. The cookies can be served either warm or cooled and dipped in the chocolate. 

5. To dip in the chocolate, dip half of each cookie in the chocolate, letting the excess drip and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Allow the cookies sit until the chocolate sets. 

For the record, I LOVED the cookies dipped in chocolate. I really like the citrus and chocolate flavors together. However, quite a few people who had these said they would've preferred the cookies without the chocolate - it's up to you. 

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