When you eat a very large cookie for breakfast, it pretty much shoots the day.
This small, impulsive act set the course for some solid comfort food eating, and maybe you’d like to join me.
There will be no lettuce or carrots, and no celery either. There will be no calorie-counting, period.
Let’s back up.
It’s 5:30 am on Sunday morning. Who does this?
Me and my busy mind can’t sleep in. Even with a warm, fuzzy dog laying beside me – and even though it’s cold outside, pouring rain. Even though it’s Sunday, when everything is golden, and laziness is nearly mandatory.
But not me.
I’m wide awake, with a million things in my head, thinking if I get up right now, I’ll have a head start on my lists and this will make everything so much better.
That’s when the giant almond cookie taunted me. First it whispered – then it shouted, and the only way to shut it up was to eat it. I’m pretty sure it would have haunted me from the trash, if I had the resolve to throw it there.
So I just sort of gave in. Let’s ALL eat cookies before the crack of dawn! Who cares! Winter is for comfort food. So lets roll in it.
Lets bake some apples. With a crispy, warm, cinnamon oat topping.
Such an old-fashioned thing, and so welcome if it’s Sunday and raining and you have a very long to-do list.
I am all for such coziness on a day like today, when it’s cold and you want something warm happening in the oven.
The only problem that I see with baked apples is making sure there is enough room carved out in the apple part to allow for plenty of the brown-sugary topping to be put into each one.
The warm flavor of the apples is further boosted by adding apple cider right in the baking dish, and letting them cook until completely tender, about 40 minutes depending on the size of your apples.
As desserts go, these aren’t the worst damage you can do. And you can adjust the amount of crumb topping a little bit if you’re worried about it.
For me? It’s 7:30 a.m. at my house now, and last nights pizza is knocking on at the door with a side of ranch dressing. YESSS.
- 4 or 5 medium sized apples, like golden delicious or any soft variety
- Fresh lemon, cut in half
- 1 stick of cold butter, cut in small cubes
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup oatmeal, not instant
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp.cinnamon
- 1/2 cup apple juice or cider (or water)
- 1 ounce of brandy (optional)
- FOR THE APPLES:
- Wash and dry the apples, and core them. Scoop about a 1/2 inch of the apple out with a spoon to make room for the topping.
- Rub the apple with the cut side of a fresh lemon where you scooped to prevent browning.
- FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
- In a food processor fitted with a blade or medium size bowl using a pastry cutter, add the cold butter, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, sea salt and cinnamon.
- Pulse all ingredients until crumbly. You should have about 2 1/2 cups, and any un-used crumb topping can be frozen for another use.
- TO FINISH AND BAKE:
- Scoop a heaping tablespoon into each apple - which is easier to do with the apple in your hand and the spoon of topping in the other. I fit about 1/4 cup into each apple.
- Place the stuffed apples in an oven proof dish, and add the apple cider to the bottom, with or without the brandy.
- Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until you can easily poke the end of sharp knife in the side the apple to test for softness.
- Serve warm with a spoonful of the cider sauce on top, and whipped cream or ice cream if you'd like.