The cooler temperatures have drawn us all outside - even in the rain! We're not afraid of wearing some boots and splashing about. Fall offers so many free or low-cost activities to kids and parents, and I've been taking full advantage. One of my favorite reliable kid activities is apple-picking. If we make an afternoon out of it, we can distract the kids by letting them run/crawl about. By the time we're ready to go, they've grown tired anyway. Plus, I was going to buy apples anyway, right? This way, we can turn it into a learning experience for everyone!
Once we get home we have to decide - are we going to use these as snacking apples? Or am I going to take an entirely different approach on my favorite fall treat? One year, I became obsessed with baked apples in the Crockpot over a cool bowl of vanilla ice cream. Not even the least bit ashamed, to be honest! But this year, I wanted to make some recipes that would be more kid-friendly; while keeping my personal bests alive, too!
Speaking of personal bests - have you maybe guessed that I have a thing for baking pies? I personally like fruit pies and custard pies, but I am not above taking requests. Something about working the dough, finding the perfect blend of spices, and the anticipation of letting it cool. I have tried a few variations, including the Dutch Caramel Apple that's pictured above, and a cardamom-forward chai apple pie. Pure heaven, of course!
Homemade Apple Sauce
This is probably my favorite go-to, because I just discovered earlier this fall that we have a full-on apple tree in our backyard! It's a bit difficult to keep up with the tree's output with two little ones underfoot. Thankfully, they both love applesauce! Roughly peeling, coring with a press, and tossing into a pot? I can do that!
Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies
Let's be honest, I'm a fan of oatmeal cookies - raisins, chocolate chips, cinnamon bun, bring it on! But apple pie cinnamon cookies are a big hit in my house! Plus, I can tell myself that it's just like a breakfast bar. BONUS: Great for lactation! I can see myself spending an afternoon eating warm oatmeal cookies with a glass of ice cold milk. Just imagine how good your whole house will smell when those spices are baking and toasting!
Cobbler - Apple Cobbler, Of Course
One of my favorite easy apple recipes is apple cobbler. Here's how I usually make mine to save! When I'm mixing together my apple pie filling, I double or even triple the batch. With the extra that doesn't make it into the pie, I add some water and simmer it for a long time on the stove. I might add some sugar, but usually not. Then, I'll freeze half for ice cream toppings. With the rest, I'll toss a cobbler topping on top, dot it with butter, and set it to back. So versatile, so mess-free (just toss apples with spice in plastic bags), and such an easy crowd-pleaser!