Here is a friendly reminder to all of you reading this:
Christmas is just five weeks away.
FIVE WEEKS my friends.
I'm usually ahead of the game this time of year for one reason and one reason only. Well, two actually.
Crowded malls and rude people.
The only problem with being ahead is one is still stuck having to deal with those last minute Larry's. There is nothing worse than nipping out for some essentials, like milk or bread, and having it take two hours just to get to one's destination. Then there is the issue of parking. When one finally does find a parking spot, it's like seven miles from the store. Let's not forget to mention queuing in line for six hours at the tills - and this is ALL while having to deal with belligerent idiots in the process.
Welcome to the Christmas holiday season.
I'm not a Scrooge by any means of the word and I absolutely LOVE Christmas, it's a beautiful thing, but when I'm out and about in society, dealing with cranky and crotchety people, it's when I can do without. I seriously think some people jump out of bed and are like, 'Holy smokes! Christmas is in four days! I better get shopping!'
News flash sweetheart: It's been the same day every year for the past 2000+ years. December 25th. Never rotates. Always the same.
I try to always remember the reason for the season and keep it in the forefront of my mind, but sometimes, it's just not that easy. I just don't think there is a need to make it stressful, aggravating, and totally unfun. Yeah, that's a word.
But first, I have to get through Thanksgiving - and finding an 18 pound turkey that isn't going to cost me $2.99 a pound. Do the math. It's extortion.
At least I can come home to my wonderful family and make super simple treats like these to enjoy with a cuppa and everything is right with the world.
Until Black Friday. Then the stress starts ALL over again.
APPLE PIE CUPCAKES
Recipe adapted and slightly modified from Inspired Taste
For the Filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Braeburn, Cortland, or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into cubes
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For the topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup steel-cut oats
For the base:
1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls
1 tablespoon butter, melted - optional
For the garnish:
Whipped cream - I made my own, but you can use whipped cream from an aerosol can
4-6 walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
1 tablespoon caramel sauce per cupcake
Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a muffin tin, lightly spray 8 of the cups with non-stick cooking spray.
In a saucepan or frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in apples and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for a few more minutes until apples are tender. Add lemon juice.
In a small bowl, combine butter, flour, oats, and brown sugar with fork or hands until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Separate cinnamon rolls into 8 disks. Flatten each to a 4-inch round and mold into muffin cup. I brushed the rolls with a very thin coat of melted butter - just to allow a bit more flavor to seep into the base and keep the rolls from getting dry.
Divide apple filling into each muffin cup. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling.
Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow cupcakes to slightly cool before removing from muffin tin. Cool completely before garnishing. Top cupcakes with whipped cream, caramel sauce and chopped walnuts or pecans.