Fall is in the air. The leaves are turning and the evenings are cool and crisp. This is also a time when we celebrate Halloween with calorie-loaded sweets. But you don’t have to. You can have your desserts and eat them too with these healthy and kid-friendly treats.
Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Marshmallow Frosting (From Eating Well Sept./Oct 2009.)
- 1 1/2 Cups shredded peeled apples
- 1/2 Cup diced apples
- 3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar, plus 3/4 Cup divided
- 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon divided
- 1/3 Cup canola oil
- 2 Large eggs
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 Cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 Cup cake flour
- 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1 Cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 Cup water
- 4 Teaspoons dried egg whites (see Note) reconstituted according to package directions (equivalent to 2 egg whites)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
- To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 (1/2-Cup) muffin cups with cupcake liners or coat with cooking spray.
- Combine shredded and diced apples in a bowl with 3 Tablespoons brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside. Beat oil and remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined. Add vanilla, increase speed to high and beat for 1 minute.
- Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Stir in the reserved apple mixture until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. (The cups will be full.)
- Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before frosting.
- Toe prepare frosting: Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. Combine 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup water in the top of a double boiler. Heat over the simmering water, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reconstituted egg whites, cream of tartar and pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer on high spped until the mixture is glossy and thick, 5-7 minutes. Remove the top pan from the heat and continue beating for 1 minute more to cool. Add vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat on low just to combine. Spread or pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle cinnamon on top if desired.
- Ingredient note: Dried egg whites are pasteurized so this product is a wise choice in dishes that call for an uncooked meringue. Look for brands like Just Whites in the baking or natural-food section of most supermarkets.
Another apple treat that is really delicious is Warm Apple Crisp from The Get with the Program! Guide to Good Eating by Bob Greene. This book is available at the library in our health neighborhood. Find it in the catalog here.
Warm Apple Crisp
- Nonfat cooking spray
- 2 Cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced apples, such as Granny Smiths
- 2 Tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- 1/4 Cup apple juice
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 Teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
Oat Topping Ingredients
- 1/2 Cup walnuts or almonds, finely chopped
- 1/2 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, sugar, apple juice, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined. Set aside.
- Make the oatmeal topping: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, gently combine the walnuts or almonds, oats, brown sugar, flour and butter at low speed.
- Place the apple mixture in the dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the apples are cooked through, the juices are bubbling, and the topping is browned. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Fall is also a time to think about pumpkins and this is a great tasting pumpkin muffin recipe. This recipe comes from hubpages.com.
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 Teaspoon nutmeg
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
- 2/3 cup skim milk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray. Whisk together dry ingredients, set aside.
- Combine applesauce, pumpkin, sugar, egg substitute and skim milk in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly.
- Stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture, mix until completely blended.
- Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
All of these recipes look really good and I hope you do try them. Happy cooking and Happy Halloween.