Monday, September 26, 2011

Apples, Apples, Apples

Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Via my iPhone (Lindsay's iPhone)
I was trying to help a friend come up with some ideas for September gift baskets. Since it is APPLE season we came up with doing a dessert or treat made with APPLES. Oh, and what a sweet treat it turned out to be! I am not a huge fan of Apple desserts, (I'm not a huge fan of fruit or vegetables, that's a whole other story), but this is one I knew I would like just from the aroma coming from my oven. The frosting puts this cake over the tipsy top. The recipe is from Southern Living, those southerners have got it going on.

Fresh APPLE Cake
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith APPLES (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
Browned Butter Frosting (recipe follows)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350`. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

2. Stir together butter and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.

3. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in APPLES and 1 cup pecans. (Batter will be very thick, similar to cookie dough.) Spread batter into a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch pan.

4. Bake at 350` for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 45 minutes). Spread your choice of frosting over top of cake; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans.

Browned-Butter Frosting
1 cup butter
1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat immediately, and pour butter into a small bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar alternating with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat mixture at low speed until well blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

2.Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until well blended. Stir in vanilla.

The Brown-Buttered Frosting deserves using good quality butter, yes it is true, not all butter is equal. I used Land-O-Lakes European Style Butter, it has a higher fat content. Which is good in Butter and Baking!! My fave was the Brown-Buttered Frosting it just was so yummy with the APPLES and pecans. However, the Cream Cheese Frosting was good and alot sweeter, so if you like sweeter (is sweeter a word,) you will like the Cream Cheese Frosting.

A little side note, I liked the cake served warm, so I did not frost the cake. I would warm the cake slightly in the microwave and then dollop the frosting on the cut servings of warm cake, don't be shy with the frosting. I'm already thinking of new ways and new treats to put the Brown-Buttered Frosting on. I will keep you posted which means Lindsay gets to do some more taste testing.
Love your sweet guts,
P.S.  I added this photo because, I can't have a post on apples without thinking of my Parents and there Apple Trees.  My son Rylee loves his Grandma and Grandpa's Apples.  All my kids and my nieces and nephews climb in the Apple Trees, ride in the bucket of the little tractor while their Grandpa lifts it up so they can pick the apples.  I have some great pictures of the kids playing among the Apple Trees, I just have to find them.  But, for now this is a picture taken at dusk standing by the gate in front of the Apple Orchard.

Left to Right,  Jacque(my niece), Christopher(my nephew), Lindy(my niece)
bottom, Rylee(my son), and Malisa (me)

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