Caramel Apple Salad – A Bonus Recipe

We had another family birthday party this past weekend.  My niece turned 12!  How can she possibly be that old?  I remember the day she was born.  We traveled 1.5 hours in the car to the hospital to see the first grandchild, my first niece, on our side of the family.  We all rode together and still to this day, tease our mom for how crazy she was.  I guess the birth of the first grandchild does something to women.  They get in a “baby zone” and can’t hear or see anything that doesn’t have to do with getting them to the hospital.  NOTHING will keep them from seeing their new grandbaby!

For my niece’s party this past weekend, I wanted to make Caramel Apple Salad.  My sister, Rebekah had passed this recipe on to me a long time ago.  It sat in my recipe box for years before I made it recently.  It’s delicious and makes a large bowl, so I always like to make it when I will be sharing with a group.  She had received it from her grandmother-in-law, Grandma Slager.

Caramel Apple Salad

  • 1 – 8 oz container Cool Whip
  • 1 – 8 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 – 3 oz, small box butterscotch instant pudding
  • 3 cups chopped apples
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts (or any kind you choose)

Mix all together except for Cool Whip.  Fold in Cool Whip last.  Chill.

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With just a few ingredients and no baking or cooking, it was the perfect, easy side to make when all of the crazy cousins would be together!

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I simply dumped the chopped apples (you don’t even need to peel them!), nuts and crushed pineapple into a big mixing bowl. (This is when you’d add the marshmallows too, but I don’t like marshmallows in salads, so I left them out.)

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Next, I poured in the butterscotch pudding mix.

CAS4I stirred until the butterscotch pudding was incorporated.

CAS5Then, I added the whole container of Cool Whip.

CAS6I stirred that in until it was well blended.

CAS7Last, I transferred it to a serving bowl and put it in the refrigerator to chill until it was served.  (I wouldn’t suggest making this the day before as the apples will get soggy.)

That’s it!   It is SO simple and so good!  The crunch of apples, with the sweetness of pineapple and saltiness of peanuts all combined in a blanket of caramely Cool Whip!  Yum!  Take this dish to your Christmas get-to-gethers and work parties.  You won’t disappoint!

Happy Mixing!

Wendy

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Fruity Baked Oatmeal – A Bonus Recipe

You might recall that when I gave you the recipe for the oatmeal bread I mentioned I really love baking with oatmeal.  I do.  And, so I have another oatmeal recipe for you.  I have been baking this breakfast dish for many years and it is one of my favorites.  I had never had baked oatmeal until I went on a retreat with some friends.  They were going to a missions conference at a retreat center and I went along with them to watch their boys during the meetings.  It was a nice place and I remember that they served baked oatmeal for breakfast.  I loved it and so I began looking for a recipe.  Once I found this recipe, I never turned back.  I’ve tried other baked oatmeal recipes, but they never measure up to this one.  I will give you the original recipe and then tell you how I have changed it over the years.  Both the original recipe, and the “healthier” version I have come up with are worth your time!

Fruity Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Additional fat-free milk, optional

In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Combine the eggs, milk, butter;  add to the dry ingredients.  Stir in the apple, peaches and blueberries. 

Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cut into squares.  Serve with milk if desired.

Putting it together is really quite simple.

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Just combine the dry ingredients.

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Then combine the wet ingredients.

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Add the fruit.

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Stir together.

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Put it in the pan and bake.

I have changed it a bit, to try to make it healthier.  Actually, I pretty much make it a little bit different every time.  But overall, here is my “new” version.

Amy’s Fruity Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

The directions to put it together are pretty much the same as the original recipe (dry ingredients, wet ingredients and then mix in fruit).  I use a slightly larger pan since I add more ingredients.  I also bake closer to 45 minutes.

My favorite way to make this is to put all of the ingredients together on a Saturday night.  Then, I stick it in the refrigerator overnight.  On Sunday morning I put it in the oven and it makes a nice breakfast before church.  The leftovers are also good warmed up in the microwave.  You can serve with milk like the recipe states or serve it with a dollop of yogurt.

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I’m glad I found this recipe.  It is one I’m sure I will always keep in my recipe box.  I hope you give it a try and add it to yours.  If you do, let me know what you think!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Golden Apple Bars – A Bonus Recipe

One Apple It is one of my favorite times of year, apple season.  Last Saturday we made our first visit of the season to the apple orchard.  We have a quaint orchard that we like to go.  We like it because it hasn’t “gone commercial.”  The farm is owned by a man who we refer to as “Grandpa” and his son, who has taken over most of the business as years have passed by.  When you arrive, you drive back to the apple orchard and check in at the old wooden stand to find out what kind of apples are ready.  You follow the signs to the neatly marked rows of beautifully groomed fruit trees.  As of Saturday, Honeycrisp, Gala and McIntosh were ripe.  Others still need “a week or so longer to sweeten up.”  The apples looked so beautiful hanging from the trees.  We picked more than we needed and plan to go back for other varieties.  Our family had fun picking and of course eating them!  While we were picking, Wendy and I were dreaming up different apple desserts that we could bake.  Fresh apples make the best recipes!

Apples One of the recipes that came to mind was a delicious recipe I received from one of my good friends – Golden Apple Bars.  She made this when I was at her house one autumn evening.  I liked it so much she sent me home with a plate full of them!  I had to ask her for the recipe.  I wanted to share it with you, so you can whip up this easy dessert after you make your visit to the apple orchard!

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Golden Apple Bars

Golden Apple Bars

  • 2/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apples

Cream butter, eggs and sugar.  Add dry ingredients, vanilla and apples.  Bake in a greased 9 in. x 13 in. pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Once bars have cooled to warm rather than hot, mix powdered sugar and milk to form a thick frosting.  Drizzle on top!

Apple Cake Slice

Golden Apple Bars

Golden Apple Bars are moist and delicious!  The touch of frosting drizzled on the top adds an extra hint of sweetness.  Enjoy them this fall, with a good friend and a mug of warm apple cider!

Happy Baking!

Amy