Sunday, October 21, 2012

An apple a day

Hi.

Remember me? Clarissa? I know I've been a little absent for the last couple of weeks. My mom wrote me note, don't worry! It's totally excused. Let me give you the run down of what's been going on.


First, I got bronchitis. It was as gross as it sounds. Then I went to Toronto. Ocean City. And Lake Anna, Virginia. I'm home again! And cooking! Here is something that I whipped up during my illness:

I had big plans for cooking in the last two weeks. I even bought stuff. Then I got sick and it just didn't go away. Don't you hate when that happens? Fast forward to this week, bronchitis, antibiotics, and still feeling sick. This is no way to start winter people!


Now I've got a spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and butternut squash staring at me from the counter. Rather acusingly I might add. I know, I got a little carried away with the first squash delivery of the season. I just couldn't help myself! Sorry squashes, you're going to have to wait till next becuase I just don't have the time.

I leave later this week to go out of town for a long weekend, which I'm very excited about. Well, except that I'm no longer running my race because when one weezes going up the stairs, it's probably not a good idea to run 13.1 miles. Whatever.


As I was sitting around Saturday feeling gross yet restless, my mom suggested I bake something with apples. Right. This. Second. Ok then! She had bought a bunch of apples for a school project and wanted to bake something to use them up. Which means she wanted me to bake something with the apples to use them up. See how our relatioship works?


So I did. Here's how it turned out. Pretty good actually, but not exactly how the recipe was suppose to go. Does it ever go according to the recipe? Nope, never. Not even a tiny little bit. I'm giving you the orginial recipe. Thank you Southern Living. Then explaining my 50-million changes.


Apple Brownie Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
Serves 8


3/4 cup Pecans, roughly chopped
2 8oz packages of Cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 cup Flour, all-purpose
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups Apples, peeled and diced
20 Caramels, individually wrapped
1 tbsp Half and half

1. Toast the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer at 350F for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they go from toasted to burned quickly! Sprinkle the pecans on the bottom of a greased and floured 9-inch springpan, keeping a handful for the top. Reduce oven heat to 325F.
2. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time until combined.
3. In a separate bowl mix the brown sugar, melted butter, and last egg until combined. Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add the peeled and diced apples. Spoon the batter on top of the pecans and then pour the cream cheese mixure on top of that. Bake for around an hour, until the cheesecake has set. Let cool completely.
4. Unwrap all the caramels and add the half and half in a small microwave safe bowl. In 30 second intervals melt the caramels until smooth. Pour on top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with the remaining pecans.

Variations:
1. I didn't actually measure my apples and I think I used more than 1 1/2 cups, making my apple-brownie ration much higher and less brownie-like.
2. I also used a 7-inch springform pan. I did not use all the apple-brownie layer in an effort to use all the cheesecake layer. As a result instead of this being more bar-like it was more cheesecake-y, if you get my drift.
3. There's suppose to be this apple-caramel layer on top, which I did not include in the recipe and did not even consider doing, because after making the apple-brownie layer and the cheesecake and melting caramel I was kinda done. Plus, to be honest, I didn't think that the cheesecake really needed more stuff. There's already plenty going on.


Enjoy!
 

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