Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Baking: Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Hey friends!  Time to recover from my Thanksgiving food coma and start posting again!  Though I'm tired so I'm gonna try to make this quick!  And will try to stop using so many exclamation points!

Now originally, I was planning to do a HUGE post all about Thanksgiving and all of the wonderful things my family cooks.  (Can't remember if I said this in my first blog post, but Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that my mom actually voluntarily cooks!)  And not only dinner, we also have a yummy tradition of yeast pancakes and Canadian bacon on Thanksgiving morning:)

I mean, foodies LOOOOOVE Thanksgiving, right?!  But this was about as far as I got...  I'm using the excuse of, "I had strep throat and a cold and wanted to eat and relax so I forgot to take pictures".  All of which was true.  Which is fine cuz you're supposed to eat and relax and spend time with your family during the holidays!  And I'm sure you all are overloaded with your own Thanksgiving traditions/recipes anyway.  But feel free to ask me if you need great recipes for cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, or pumpkin pie (my T-Day responsibilities)!  And maybe I'll do a post on those later... maybe.

So now to the non-Thanksgiving related recipe.  It was the Monday after Thanksgiving... the Michigan Wolverines had crushed the Ohio State Buckeyes and I was back in DC, on the mend from my illness and working from home.  (Jarrett had to fly out to Texas for work less than 4 hours after our arrival back in DC... boooo.)  And I had quite a few individually packaged applesauces left over from the pumpkin granola.  And I wanted to see if applesauce really was a good substitute for oil in baking.  So that evening, I decided to make the first recipe I could think of that utilized oil (and also one where I had most of the ingredients on hand).  Don't ask why this was the first one that came to mind, but it was.  And it was delicious.  And healthy.  (And I need to stop saying "And" and just get to the darn recipe!)

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 cups grated raw zucchini (about 1-2 zucchinis, depending on size)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce*
1/4 cup granulated white sugar*
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, dusted with a bit of flour to prevent sinking
*You can use vegetable/canola oil in place of the applesauce as the original recipe indicates, but will want to increase the white sugar to ½ cup as I used regular (sweetened) applesauce.

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10" loaf pan with Pam. Set aside.
2.      In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

You probably don't need to see what a bunch of dry ingredients mixed together look like, but just in case:)

3.     In the bowl of an electric mixer/hand mixer (I just used a whisk, the bread was a tad more dense, but just as delicious), beat the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended (about 2 minutes). Fold in the grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

4.      Bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (I used a large loaf pan.  If you’re using a standard size (8 ½” or 9”), you will need to increase the baking time, potentially up to 65 minutes.)  Place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely.
*Original recipe can be located here.


Like I said, I've made this numerous times before (both with oil/half cup sugar and applesauce/quarter cup sugar) and it's always a crowd-pleaser!  Particularly for book clubs, in-laws, and co-workers... just sayin';)

And it's gotta be healthy... look how much zucchini went in there!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beaujolais Nouveau Night 2011!

Note:  This post is also a wine lesson:)

First, a little background:  For those of you who are not wine aficionados, Beaujolais Nouveau (“BN” for the rest of this paragraph) is red wine from the Beaujolais region of France, made from Gamay grapes.  BN is sometimes considered “immature” by critics as it is typically bottled 6-8 weeks after each year’s harvest, and is fermented in the bottle for only 3 weeks.  This process does leave BN without much complexity and with much fruitiness, but that’s the point!  There are other wines which critics can drink if they want “earthy undertones”, “hints of cherry and smoke”, etc.  BN is always released on the third Thursday of November (Beaujolais Nouveau Day), and is intended to be drunk (drank? drinken?) immediately (rather than fermenting further by storing in your wine cellar).  Thus, all the hype surrounding Beaujolais Nouveau Night/Day.

Moving forward:  Bistrot du Coin is a French restaurant in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of DC that looooooves Beaujolais Nouveau, and loves to celebrate it.  If you call them at exactly 10am two weeks prior to the Wednesday before Beaujolais Nouveau Day, you might be lucky enough to snag a reservation for Beaujolais Nouveau Night at Bistrot du Coin.  You get a seating at either 7pm or 9pm on Wednesday, the day before Beaujolais Nouveau Day, for a $40 prix fixe three-course dinner (“prix fixe” means “fixed price” for all you non-sophisticated people out there… aka, people other than me… just kidding, people exactly like me!).  In this case, the food isn’t really a deal… the deal is that you’re issued a wristband so that you can leave the restaurant, then come back at midnight (so it’s now Thursday) for free all-you-can-drink Beaujolais Nouveau until the wee hours of the morning!

Bistrot du Coin, note the discoball for the later festivities!

And that, my friends, is Beaujolais Nouveau Night:)

Some of my friends (the “PartyBus”) partake in this event every year and even plan their work schedules/take time off around it.  (I can painstakingly remember that I was in Alabama for a business trip last year for a technical assessment of a vendor that only had one day available to host me.  Lame.)  Thus, this was my first experience with Beaujolais Nouveau Night.  FYI, I did not do any of the reservation calling, I just got to reap the benefits:)

For my first course, I had the Salade verte au Roquefort (Green salad with Roquefort cheese and walnuts).  As happens frequently, I was so hungry that I dove right into my salad without taking a picture.  That just means it was really good:)  Here are the remnants, though!

For my entrée, I had the Cassoulet du Bistrotier (White bean stew with sausage, pork, lamb and duck Confit), a very classic French peasant dish.

Yummy Cassoulet that tastes even better than it looks in the picture

Tarcy's steak

It was amazing!  And an incredible amount of food (which I totally couldn’t finish because I scarfed down my salad so fast along with the endless bread baskets that kept appearing at our table).

For dessert, Classique Crème Brulee (this one should be pretty self-explanatory, but just in case, Classic Crème Brulee with Vanilla Beans).

All-in-all, a very classic (and delicious) French meal.  I applaud you, Bistrot du Coin.  Even though this night was to celebrate wine, I also got to indulge and enjoy and amazing meal (along with a few bottles of non-BN wine… don’t worry, there were 13 of us, it wasn’t all for me!).

Anywho, we had the 7pm seating, so we were kicked out at 9 for that seating.  As we were walking down the street to seek out a bar at which to kill the next 2 ½ hours, we passed by a nail salon when my friend Shawn exclaimed, “Hey, this place gives you free champagne when you get a manicure!”  (P.S. Shawn is a girl.)  Still a little tipsy from dinner, most of us girls decided, “Hey, why not?  They’re open until 11.”

Rachel and Shawn

Me and Allison (aka, wifey) P.S. Note the wristbands.

So $17 later (tax and tip included), I’d had 3 glasses of champagne and my nails done:)  Still having about an hour to kill, we met the boys and Tarcy at the Irish bar a block away.  (Side note:  Poor Jarrett (who’s a CPA) has a 9/30 year-end client with a filing deadline that’s always the day before Thanksgiving, so he was working.  He’s now considering a career change so that he won’t miss out next year.  Just figured I’d explain the non-existence of him in any pictures.)

We got back into Bistrot du Coin just before midnight, when the bottles were released and you just make your way up to the bar and they give you one (an entire bottle, that is).  Along with plastic cups.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Me, Tarcy, Allison

Misha and Travis

Right before the Beaujolais was brought out

Beaujolais Party!

The bar

Ryan, Shawn, Misha, and I... a few plastic cups of Beaujolais in

Charles loves his Beaujolais!

Some of the PartyBus:)

More Beaujolais!

And now that you know what Beaujolais Nouveau is and when it’s released, you can find/organize your own BN Night/Day wherever you are!  Or check out Bistro du Coin in DC!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday Night Supper: Cioppino (Seafood Stew) and Pumpkin Granola

This Sunday was quite similar to last Sunday… did some yoga, did some organizing, but other than that, I was quite lazy:)  Since completing the marathon a few weeks ago, I’ve been somewhat (okay, very) excited to reclaim my weekends and not spend them recovering from running crazy long distances.  I’ll be honest… I go crazy if I don’t run, but after clocking 8 miles on Saturday, I realized how nice it was to not have to take a nap after.  And to not be too sore for yoga the next day.

But anywho, I took a few minutes to decide what I was really craving and I decided upon seafood (remember how much I love fish).  Seafood that would reheat well.  In a stew.  So normally, I would mix up which cookbooks I use… I rarely use the same one in the same month, let alone two weeks in a row, but when I saw this recipe in Ellie Krieger’s So Easy, I knew it was exactly what I wanted.

Cioppino (Seafood Stew)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (if you use no-salt-added, then also use ¾ teaspoon of salt when you add the pepper)
1 cup water (or fish stock)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound scallops
½ pound skinless halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

1.      Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

2.      Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, an additional 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste.

3.      Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.

4.      Add the tomatoes with their juices and the fish stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. (This base may be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

5.      If necessary, when ready to serve, reheat the soup base on the stovetop, and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, scallops, and halibut. Reduce the heat and simmer, until everything is just cooked, about 5 minutes.

 6.      Divide among 4 bowls (or 2 and refrigerate the leftovers) and garnish with the parsley.

Look, I even included nutritional info for once!
Nutritional Info Per Serving: Calories 440, Total Fat 8g (Sat Fat 1.5g, Mono Fat 3.5g, Poly Fat 2g), Protein 40g, Carb 36g, Fiber 4g, Cholesterol 125 mg, Sodium 1100 mg
*Original recipe can be located in Ellie Krieger’s So Easy.

Now the original recipe included a loaf of whole wheat Italian bread to be served with the stew.  But now’s as good of a time as any to mention how much I love garlic.  However, I’m not really a fan of garlic bread with my pasta as I feel it detracts from the main event.  But alongside seafood stew, that’s another story.  And I decided the bread needed to be dressed up a bit, so I quickly whipped a very quick, easy garlic bread.  Which can easily be customized to any flavor palate as one could easily throw in some oregano, goat cheese, etc.!

Simple Garlic Bread
1 loaf whole wheat Italian bakery bread
6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
1.      Preheat broiler.  Slice the bread and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Combine the garlic and olive oil, and brush onto the bread slices.

2.      Broil until the tops are just starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Serving suggestion:)

Moving onto dessert… at dinner on Saturday, Sarah had told me how she’d been cooking a lot lately, and had just whipped up some pumpkin granola.  I had some pumpkin to use up, and have made my pumpkin muffins/pumpkin bread multiple times since the chili cook-off, so I thought, “ohhh, something new!” and decided I must make it.  But I also really wanted a dessert.  The original recipe recommended serving this granola with some milk or yogurt, so why not vanilla ice cream.  Which is exactly what I did:)

Pumpkin Granola
5 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (apparently I don’t have this in my spice cupboard, so I had to omit it)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used my trusty Madagascar Bourbon vanilla powder)
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. (Since I used vanilla powder, I combined it with the dry ingredients.)  Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cherries and sunflower seeds. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
*Original recipe can be located here.

Like I said, this works great as a topping on vanilla ice cream as dessert, but as I’ve been munching on it a few times a day since Sunday, you can also eat it alone… or with milk or yogurt… or something untraditional we haven’t thought of yet!

But I think it's best on ice cream:)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday Night at Toki Underground

This past Saturday evening, Jarrett and I made double date plans (though we would never actually call it a double date) with our good friends Dan and Sarah, who always seemed to be at a wedding every time we’ve tried to hang out with them recently.  When Dan suggested Toki, I was thrilled because I’d been hearing that name a lot in the DC food world, as well as in my daily Tasting Table emails.  When we finally narrowed down the date to Saturday, and Dan told me there would likely be a 2 hour wait unless we arrived at a geriatric hour, I was leaning towards disappointed, but all’s well that ends well.

Toki Underground
1234 H St. NE
Washington, DC 20002

We were quite fortunate in that Dan and Sarah live a few blocks from H St. and offered to go and put their names in, then kill time at our favorite local H St. pub, Little Miss Whiskey’s, until it was time to eat.  (Toki doesn’t take reservations and only has 30-something seats and no waiting area so they’re totally down with you waiting it out at a local pub and will call/text when your table is about ready.)  Sure enough, Dan and Sarah put their names in around 7, Jarrett and I finally made our way up there around 8:30, and we were seated by 9.

Toki Underground is a new(ish) tiny Taiwanese Ramen/Dumpling Joint in the H St. corridor which recently made the list of the 38 essential Washington restaurants per  If you can go on a weeknight (when I hear the wait is only about half an hour) or have the patience (or alcoholic inclinations to drink for 2 hours prior to dinner) to wait on the weekend, then I fully endorse this claim.  However, I must mention that I was very surprised that immediately upon entering this establishment, we had no choice but to go up the flight of stairs in front of us to get to the kitchen and dining area. (Maybe they thought “Toki Aboveground” didn’t sound as cool?)

Anywho, from what I could see, there weren’t too many actual tables, mostly a long bar around the room, and we were lucky enough to be seated right in front of the kitchen.  This was our view.

Hello, kitty!
Note:  Maybe it’s just because I’m a sweaty person in general, and though sitting that close to the chef/cooks was cool, it was also HOT!  Especially when I started scarfing down my ramen broth.  At least our after-dinner plans were Rock & Roll Hotel, so it didn’t really matter.  But I’m getting off-topic… another story for another time.

Their menu is not extensive, but when you’ve got a niche, it doesn’t really need to be.  Also, everything is filthy cheap.

As appetizers, we got ½ dozen each of the pork and chicken dumplings.  Phenomenal!

Sorry, one's missing cuz we ate it already:)

Since it was my first dining here, I decided to go with the Toki Hakata Classic, figuring it was their “baseline” dish.  No idea if that was the case, but it was a-maz-ing.  I washed it down with a Satsuma Yum! off of their cocktail list.

Pork loin chashu, seasonal vegetables, 1/2 boiled egg, red pickled ginger,  sesame, scallions, and nori in a delicious noodle broth... yum!

Note that we go both chopsticks AND a big spoon.  I must admit that I’m not the most proficient with chopsticks (though I can certainly manage) so that made it a bit difficult to politely eat (I’m also kinda naturally messy when I eat), so another warning if you’re going somewhere fancy afterwards.  That being said, I would gladly come back and slurp noodles all over my face any day!  To be completely honest, I don’t understand why I saw so many “finished diners’” bowls heading back to the kitchen with so much broth in them… that was the best part!

Also, you get little candies when you pay:)  Please excuse the poor photo quality.

Let’s just say this is the best ramen I’ve ever had.  And the only ramen I’ve ever liked:)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunday Night Supper: Pork and Mango Stir-Fry

I’ve decided to start attempting a once-weekly post which will be themed “Sunday Night Supper”.  (Disclaimers:  1. Depending on my weekend plans and how they affect what I actually end up eating for Sunday dinner, this may not actually posted once-weekly.  Could be once-every-three-weekly… who knows?  2. Due to my schedule, this attempted once weekly post may not (scratch that… probably won’t) occur on Sundays.)

Okay, now that the disclaimers are out of the way, what is Sunday Night Supper?  I go through phases of executing this, but for the most part, for regular weeks, I like to make a big dinner on Sundays, and generally make something that requires much more time than I would prefer to spend making dinner during the week.  Sunday Night Suppers usually make 4-6 servings, so that Jarrett and I can eat as much as we want, and still have enough for 2-4 servings of leftovers (for either lunch or dinner) during the week.  On weekdays (while I do LOVE to cook), I generally don’t like to spend more than 20-25 minutes making dinner (my commute between DC and Rockville plus my workout schedule usually gets me home around 8pm every night, which is why the leftovers are nice sometimes).  So I use Sundays to try out recipes that are a bit more labor-intensive.  And I usually have some free time at some point during Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to peruse through my cookbooks for something interesting and go get the necessary ingredients.

For instance, this past Sunday, I woke up a *tad* hungover.  I feel that this is totally acceptable as number one, this was the first weekend since June that I was not training for a marathon, and number two, Daylight Savings ended on Saturday night.  These two things combined had “party” written all over it, so party we did.

Anywho, I had gotten all of my errands out of the way prior to Sunday, so this week was perfect for a Sunday Night Supper.  After lounging on the couch eating macaroni and cheese and watching She’s the Man, Jarrett and I went for a lovely 14 mile bike ride.  This is somewhat shorter than what we would normally do, but again, 1st weekend post-marathon:  we hadn’t gone on a “real” bike ride since June and were both still somewhat sore.  So after spending the day relaxing and getting a little bit of our “sweat on”, it was time to start making Sunday Night Supper!

This Pork and Mango Stir-Fry is a “must” to put in into the rotation.  No “specialty” or leftover ingredients (aka hard to find or where I’m asking myself, “Okay… what do I do with the rest of this?”).  Also, it’s healthy and reheats well.  The majority of the time you spend making this recipe will be on cutting up the ingredients.  (Note:  I am particularly bad/slow at cutting things up… though things did improve when we got our Shun knives.)  But seriously, once everything was sliced and diced, it only took about 15 minutes to cook (not counting the brown rice which I obviously started ahead of time, set the timer, and forgot about until the timer went off).  Speaking of the brown rice, this is a good time to point out that I made 4 cups rather than 3, because I like carbs and feel like each serving should get a full cup.  Speaking of altering recipes, this is a good time to bring up that when I post recipes, to the best of my ability, I post what I did/used.  I substitute as I see fit for my tastes and/or what I have on hand and encourage you to do the same.  I do always include links/directions to the original recipe (but that’s mostly so that my ass doesn’t get sued if I become wildly famous from blogging).

Pork and Mango Stir-Fry
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound lean pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound snow peas (I had bought one package of “fancy” snow peas, so I don’t actually know how much I used… or what makes them “fancy”)
1/4 cup dry white wine (original recipe calls for Chinese cooking wine (Mirin) or dry sherry, but I couldn’t find either)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large firm but ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
4 cups cooked brown rice

1.      In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved.
2.      Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a wok or very large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a plate.

3.      Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the same wok or skillet.  Add the onions, peppers, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes.

4.      Add the snow peas, cornstarch-broth mixture, wine or sherry, soy sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, and red pepper flakes and toss to combine.  Cook until the peas are crisp-tender and the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

5.      Return the pork to the wok.  Add the mango and heat through, about 2 minutes more.  Serve over rice.

*Original Recipe from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy.

Tapioca Pudding
Go to store.  Purchase Kraft Minute Tapioca (unless you already have some in your pantry as I do).  If you’re reading this blog, you probably cook and therefore, should already have milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in your fridge/pantry.  Follow stove-top directions on box.  (It’s like chocolate chip cookies; there’s no better recipe than the one printed on the bag of chocolate chips, so why mess with it.)

Lastly, Sunday Night Suppers are best consumed with a bottle of wine:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Apple Orchard Adventure Inspired Recipes

A few weeks ago, I spent a gorgeous fall Sunday at the apple orchard with friends Crystal and Michelle.  What’s kind of sad (as in, pathetic) is that I had never been to an apple orchard to pick my own apples prior to this experience.  We ended up going to Homestead Farms in Poolesville, MD.

Me, Crystal, Michelle:)

It was awesome!  They had farm animals… I love farm animals!

And inspiring, as it made me want to pick lots of apples and cook interesting things with them.  Luckily, I managed to limit myself to 6 pounds of Pink Ladys.  Most people would think to make a lovely apple pie.  Good thing I’m not most people.  (Actually, Jarrett doesn’t like pie very much and pie is hard to bring into work and I don’t want to eat a whole pie by myself.  Okay, in reality, I’m afraid of making pie crust… we’ll deal with that fear of mine in another post.)  So I started doing a little research and looking through my cookbooks to see what other interesting things I could make.  To date, below are two recipes I found and played around with.  Perhaps not as creative as I could have managed, but both very tasty!

Apple Crumble
2 pounds Pink Lady apples (or Granny Smith or other tart apple variety)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1.      Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a 7 x 11 inch baking dish with Pam.
2.      Core the apples, and cube them into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and granulated sugar and toss to coat. Place the apples in the prepared dish and arrange them so they are level.
3.      In another bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle the melted butter over the oat mixture and toss until evenly moistened. Cover the apples evenly with the topping.
4.      Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife and the topping is browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack.
*Original recipe can be located in the Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast series cookbook, Baking.

Great with ice cream!
Oatmeal Apple Cookies with Vanilla Icing
Cookie Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups diced apple

Vanilla Icing Ingredients
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter, melted
3-8 teaspoons milk

Cookie Directions
1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.      In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended. Fold in the oats and apples. Drop dough by spoonfuls about 2 inches onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3.      Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool on wire racks.
*Recipe adapted from here.

Vanilla Icing Directions
1.      Combine all ingredients, adding the milk last, starting with 3 teaspoons.  Add the remainder of the milk 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
2.      Pipe, or drizzle with a spoon over cookies.
*Original recipe can be located here.

Both recipes required very little hands-on time.  The apple crumble is best when eaten shortly after being taken out of the oven and is also a bit fancier (but still healthy) and good for guests.  The cookies were incredibly moist and will last up to a week when stored properly in Tupperware (at least that’s how long after I made them that I ate them!).  The cookie recipe was intended to have icing, but I thought they needed a little extra sweetness.  Overall, the icing only took an extra ten minutes to make and drizzle.  (Note:  I was super lazy with my drizzling and just used a teaspoon… they still turned out great.)  In closing, I strongly recommend a trip to your local apple orchard!