Friday, September 13, 2013

A Family Date: Cooking Together

Okay, so you may not consider this a date, but cooking together is a great activity to do as a family. Cooking time is bonding time and really does bring families together! It's also a great way to teach early math, reading, and chemistry to youngsters. Not only do kids who cook tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, but cooking gives kids a basic and important life skill. We let Emma crack eggs (with supervision) and she is great at mixing and helping measure ingredients!

We love apple picking each year, and this year was no exception! We ended up with bags of apples, and after making applesauce, apple pie, and apple crisp, I was looking for a few new recipes to try.

The two recipes below were delicious and fairly simple to make.

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Glaze

2 cups flour
1-1.2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, finely ground
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Caramel Glaze
4 Tbsp butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup icing sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and spices. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with both sugars until light. Mix in applesauce, oil and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Fold in dry ingredients, do not over-mix. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake about 45 minutes. 
  4. Cook cake for 10 minutes and turn out on to plate to let cool completely.
  5. For glaze, put butter, brown sugar, cream and salt in a saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Let cool for 2 minutes.
  6. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar until you have a thick, pourable consistency. Pour over cake, and let set before serving cake – if you have the willpower!


Iced Oatmeal Banana Applesauce Cookies

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
1 1/2  cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup raisins

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas and sugars. Mix on low speed until combined.  Add applesauce, and mix until well blended, 2-3 minutes. Mix in oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Mix in raisins. 
  2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.  I lined my baking sheets with parchment paper. Place baking sheet in freezer for 5 minutes. 
  3. Bake cookies until golden and set, 13-15 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  4. Whisk powdered sugar, syrup, and three tablespoons milk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies, let set.

My 3 good things for today are:

  1. Apples!
  2. Apple cookies!
  3. Apple cake!

What is your favorite apple recipe?