As colder weather sets in you are probably looking for something warm and filling to satisfy your cravings.  It is apple season (so move over pumpkin spice) and I think apple is one of the best flavors of the season because it pairs well with many dishes.  There are so many varieties of apples you are sure to find one that is your favorite and tastes great on a salad, or in a sandwich, or perhaps baked into a dessert.

I like to create new recipes each fall that are themed around apples and have a few to share with you today:


Slow Cooker Apple Cider is completely homemade.  The base is water, you add chopped fruit and some mulling spices, turn on the slow cooker, and forget it overnight.  Your house will smell WONDERFUL while it cooks, and it tastes amazing!  You can enjoy it hot or cold, dress it up with some cinnamon sticks or fresh fruit slices, sprinkle additional cinnamon on top, etc.  It’s a comforting fall drink!  And isn’t it pretty to look at?

The recipe can be found here.

Start by coring the apples and pear.  Then slice into quarters or 6 large chunks.  Slice the orange into thin slices.  Add the apples, pear, orange, and cranberries to the slow cooker.  I like to use Honeycrisp apples, but any apple variety is fine.  I also prefer to use frozen cranberries but fresh are fine.  I buy what’s available (seasonally) at the grocery store.

Add the water.

Add the sugar, mulling spices, and cinnamon sticks.  Stir gently to incorporate the sugar and spices.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  You really want to cook this on low heat.  It allows the flavors to blend and become very fragrant.

Once done, place a strainer over a heat safe bowl.  Pour the cider into the strainer to catch the fruit chunks and spices.  Discard these.  Return the cider to the slow cooker and use the “warm” setting to keep the cider warm for you to enjoy throughout the day.  Alternately, you can let the cider cool and place it in a pitcher in the fridge to enjoy cold or pour into mugs to heat later.

I prefer to serve the cider warm with a cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon garnish.  Enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

Chicken & Apple Melts with Honey Mustard are a must when you are craving something warm and hearty.  These melts are stuffed with tender chicken, melted cheese, crisp apples, and tangy honey mustard.  They are hot, toasty, and come together quickly as a sheet pan meal!

The recipe can be found here.

Start by placing a baking sheet on the center oven rack and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Leave the baking sheet in the oven to warm as the oven preheats.  This will ensure the pan is nice and hot when you add the bread, so the bread gets a nice golden-brown crust while baking.  Use 2 baking sheets if needed, if serving a large crowd.

Chop the chicken, apple, and brussel sprouts.  Rotisserie chicken works well or you can dice a plain boneless skinless chicken breast.

Spread butter, evenly on one side of each piece of bread.  Spread honey mustard on the opposite side of 4 pieces of bread.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the HOT baking sheet(s) from the oven.  Place the bread, butter side down, on the baking sheet(s).

Evenly distribute the chicken between the bread covered in honey mustard.

Evenly distribute the shredded cheese between the other slices of bread.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling, and the chicken is warmed through.

While the sandwiches are baking, make the slaw.  Add the apples, brussel sprouts, and lemon juice to a small bowl.  Stir to combine then season with salt and pepper.

Remove the baking sheet(s) from the oven and transfer the chicken covered bread to a cutting board.  Top each slice with the slaw.  Place the cheese covered bread over the slaw.

Slice in half and serve warm.  Yum!

The recipe can be found here.

Gouda, Apple & Bacon Naan Flatbread are an easy weeknight meal that only take 6 ingredients and are bursting with flavor!  These are something I will probably make year-round and not only during “apple season”.  The naan is soft and chewy, the bacon is salty and crisp, the apples are tart and crunchy, the gouda is creamy and slightly smoked, and the thyme adds a fresh, earthy taste.  It may sound weird but the flavors work!  And you can easily double or triple the recipe if you need more than 2 flatbreads.  It will take about 15-20 minutes to complete this meal from start to finish.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cook the bacon according to package instructions.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain the grease.  Chop and set aside.  Use as much or as little bacon as you like!

Place the flatbreads on the baking sheet.  Spread ¼ cup of cream cheese on each flatbread (use more if you prefer).  You could also use a garlic herb cream cheese…that would probably taste pretty good!

Top with the gouda and bacon, evenly split between the 2 flatbreads.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven and top with fresh sliced apple slices and fresh thyme.

Slice and serve immediately.  Dig in!

The recipe can be found here.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes are the perfect fall treat!  The cupcake is moist and full of apple flavor.  The frosting is a buttercream with plenty of caramel flavor.  They are easy to make, simple to decorate, and did not last long on our counter, lol!  This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

The recipe can be found here.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place 12 muffin cup liners in a muffin tin.

Start by making the cupcakes.  Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until smooth.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add the applesauce and beat until well combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined.

Use a cookie scoop to add the batter to the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.

Bake for 23-25 minutes (it was closer to 25 for me) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes then remove and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cool, make the frosting.  Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and apple cider, one Tbsp at a time, mixing in between until the batter is smooth and creamy.

Add the caramel and beat until fully incorporated.

Add the frosting to a piping bag and snip the tip of the bag.  Pipe the frosting in a circular pattern on top of each cupcake.  I had JUST enough frosted to cover all 12 cupcakes.  If you like a lot of frosting, you might want to 1.5X or double the recipe.  I was a little generous with frosting on the first few cupcakes but was able to stretch it to cover all.

Drizzle additional caramel over the top.  I used caramel apple dip.  It was pretty simple…melt it in the microwave, add to a squeeze bottle, and drizzle over the top (or use a spoon to drizzle).

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container on the counter.  Delicious!

The recipe can be found here.

What is your favorite apple themed dish?

Happy Cooking!

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