Apple Roses

Once again Fall has moved into the Midwest and I found myself in the middle of apple picking season. After a few bouts of picking, the overabundance of apples had me searching for fun, new apple recipes. My brother sent me a video of these Apple Roses being created and I decided to give them a try!

The Apple Roses look complicated to make, but the recipe is very simple and the results are stunning. They would make a great addition to any party or an alternative to apple pie at Thanksgiving. Because they are so beautiful, you may be hesitant to take a bite. But don’t be shy- dig right in! They taste like a delicious, mini apple pie. Give them a try, enjoy!


Apple Roses

Yields: 10 Roses

Recipe adapted from:


  • 3 medium appleswpid-20151010_180616.jpg
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Caramel
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions: wpid-20151010_181442.jpg

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the apples in half and remove the core and seeds. Using a mandolin or knife, slice apples into very thin slices.

2.) Place apple slices in a microwave safe bowl with the water and lemon juice. The lemon juice will help to keep the apples from browning. Microwave the apples for 4 minutes, or until slightly soft and pliable. You don’t want the apples to be too crisp when you roll them into the roses, or the slices will crack and break.

3.) Drain the water from the apple slices and let cool.

4.) Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the thawed puff pastry. Cut pastry into 4 to 5 strips (depending on the size of your apples) withwpid-20151010_190723.jpg a pizza cutter. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. For each pastry strip, sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and a smear of caramel.

5.) Place apple slices on the top half of the strip of puff pastry and overlap each slice. Be sure that some of the apple slice is sticking up over the top of the pastry. Fill the whole strip of puff pastry with apple slices and then fold up the bottom half of the pastry over the apples.wpid-20151010_191453.jpg

6.) Starting at one end, tightly roll up the pastry to create the rose and then seal the end of the pastry. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place each rose in the tin.

7.) Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until pastry is lightly brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes. Then remove roses from pan and cool on a rack. To serve, sprinkle with more cinnamon and sugar and/or powdered sugar.

Notes and Tips:

  • Use a mandolin to slice apples very thinly or take your time to do it by hand. I was quick to slice the apples and they came out a little thick.
  • Feel free to get creative with the ingredients that you add to the inside of the puff pastry. You could add nutmeg as another spice or use apple butter, caramel, butterscotch…
  • Store completed Apples Roses in a covered container.



Caramel Apple Crisp

Continuing with my Fall baking extravaganza… After two rounds of apple picking I had enough apples for a small army so started to use them up! I searched for a recipe that called for a lot of apples and came across this apple crisp recipe. I followed the traditional recipe and upped the ante by adding lots of gooey caramel and doubled the usual amount of topping. I used half a dozen apples for this recipe but I still have plenty more to go! Try out this slight twist on a classic apple dessert. Enjoy!

crisp and ice cream

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Oatmeal Carmelitas

Oatmeal Carmelitas- I cannot say enough about these bars because they will knock your socks off! With Valentine’s Day coming up later this week, I’d like to recommend a different kind of treat for your loved one. I mean, aren’t chocolates and flowers overrated? These Oatmeal Carmelitas will gain you major brownie points because they contain chocolate AND are homemade with love. These rich, cookie-like bars have a buttery, oatmeal crust and are topped with a layer of chocolate and lots of gooey caramel. They are very simple to make and are a fun change to the standard cookie.

carm stackI’ve seen variations of this recipe all over the internet lately, but I was able to trace it back to, what I believe is, the original recipe from Pillsbury from 1967. I am saddened that I have yet to come across this recipe until recently, because they are that good! I’ve made them three times since my cousin first introduced them to me a few months ago. They, without a doubt, will be a staple in my recipe book going forward. Enjoy!

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Apple Pie

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last week! When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of turkey, mashed potatoes, candied carrots, and, of course, pie. And what’s the most American kind of pie? That’s right-apple! Admittedly, I’ve always been hesitant to tackle this holy grail of desserts. I’ve made certain parts of a pie from scratch before, but never the whole sch bang. So this Thanksgiving was the year to give it a shot. Overall I think it turned out well! If you are afraid to tackle a pie from scratch, don’t be too hesitant. It does present some challenges, but nothing you can’t handle. See the notes and tips section at the end of the post to learn from my mishaps and read on to learn more about my experience!

pie close upI was initially attracted to this recipe because it had “caramel” in the title. As it turns out, it wasn’t all that caramely but the sauce did keep the pie filling deliciously moist, so I could live with that. As it turned out, it was a delicious, more classic apple pie with a great filling. When making the pie, I tried to use as few “specialty tools” as possible but there were a few things that I would suggest. One would be a pastry cutter to help make the pie dough. I attempted to purchase one to make this pie crust but the store was all sold out. So my makeshift tools were a large fork and my hands. Second, I would recommend slicing the apples on a mandolin slicer. It’s a little extra work but the thin layers of apple really made the pie hearty. Do set aside about 2 hours to make this pie-it’s well worth it! Enjoy!

baked pieThe Ultimate “Caramel” Apple Pie

Recipe adapted from:

Serves: 8-10 servings

Ingredients for Crust:crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1 egg separated (yolk for pastry and whites for glaze)
  • 10 tablespoons of ice water, plus more if needed

Ingredients for Caramel Apples:

  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1/4 for the topapple pie ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 8 apples (recommended granny smith, gala, or honey crisp)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Directions:crust pieces

1.) To make the crust, combine the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the chunks of cold butter with a pastry cutter, a little at a time until well incorporate. The dough should resemble coarse cornmeal. Next add the egg yolk and the ice water and mix until the dough comes together. You know it will be ready if you pinch some of the dough and it holds together. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it will get tough. You should be able to see some marbling of butter and flour in the dough. This marbling will make the dough flaky. Note: for this step you may use more or less than the 10 tablespoons of water.

2.) Separate the pastry dough into 2 round discs and wrap tightly pie doughin plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator while you work on the apples.

3.) To make the caramel sauce, put the sugar and water in a small sauce pan and place on medium-low heat. Stir only a few times until the sugar has melted and is caramelized, about 10 minutes.

4.) Once the sugar has turned an amber color, remove from the heat and slowly add the caramel saucered wine and heavy cream. The sugar mixture will be hot so when you add the cream and wine it may spit. When the sauce has calmed down, return it to the burner and add the vanilla extract. Heat the sauce until the wine and caramel are smooth and continue to cook until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool until thickened.

5.) While the sauce is cooling, fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the lemon soaking appleshalves into the bowl. Peel and core the apples and place in the lemon water to prevent browning. Slice the apples very thinly using a knife or mandolin. Toss the sliced apples with flour and cinnamon.

6.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take one disc of dough doughout of the refrigerator. Let the dough sit for a few minutes to warm up so it will be pliable enough to roll out. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle. Fold dough around the rolling pin and lay it inside a 10 inch, glass pin pan. Lightly press dough into pan so it fits.

7.) Cover the bottom of the pastry with a thin layer of apples, overlapping them and apples and butterensuring there are no gaps or air pockets. (Tip: If the apples are thinly sliced, when the pie bakes, the apples will collapse on top of each other and that will make a dense pie). Ladle about 2 ounces of the cooled caramel wine sauce over the apples. Repeat layers of the sliced apples and sauce until the pie pan is slightly overfilled (the apples will shrink down as the pie bakes). Top the apples with small chunks of the butter.

8.) Take out the remaining disc of pastry dough and roll out with a rolling pin. Brush the raw piebottom pastry crust with a little beaten egg while to help form a good seal. Place the other pastry on time of the pie. Seal the top and bottom crust together with a fork or any other fancy seal, if you’d like. Trim off any extra pastry that is handing over the edge of the pan with a knife or kitchen shears. Cut a few slits in the top pastry to allow steam to escape while baking. Place the pie on a baking sheet and place pieces of aluminum foil around the crust so it does not burn.

9.) Bake the pie for 25 minutes on the middle rack. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Remove the foil from around the crust and brush the pie top with a pastry brush and egg white. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture and bake for 25 more minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the pie is golden brown and bubbling slightly. Let the pie cool for at least 1 hour to let it set before you cut into it.

Notes and Tips:

  • For the apples, I used 6 granny smith and 2 honey crisp to add a little dimension to the flavor and texture of the pie. I found the apples still had good texture to them after cooked.
  • Slicing the apples on a mandolin slicer is one of the best moves to make for this pie! The thin slices really stack up and make for a meaty, tasty pie.
  • When making the caramel wine sauce for the apples, be sure to cook the sauce on medium-low heat. I ended up overheating the first batch of my sauce and it burned and turned into hard candy in the pot. Just be sure to watch the sugar closely at it caramelizes and stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • As far as the crust goes, I was always most nervous about making it. Overall just make sure you have a pastry cutter or food processor to help bring the dough together. And don’t over mix-that can make the crust tough.
  • The pie can be stored at room temperature, covered, for 2 days. If you still haven’t eaten the pie after two days (shame on you), you can store it in the refrigerator, covered for an additional two days.

pie slice