Appletizing treats For a fast and tasty alternative topping for your next apple crisp, try prepared sugar cookie dough. This crisp is only a little more than a half hour from start to finish. Apples are a tasty part of American history. The seeds were prized by colonial governors and later spread from Ohio to Iowa by Johnny Appleseed. Meanwhile, they were introduced to the Pacific Northwest, carried on the Oregon Trail, and turned into all kinds of cakes, pies, breads, sauces and snacks. Everyone has heard the sayings “As American as apple pie” and “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Best of all, a medium apple has only 80 calories, 1 g fat and 5 g fiber. But with 7,000 varieties grown in the United States, how do you know which to choose for your apple pie and which to carry with you for that morning snack to help keep the doctor away? Some of the types available in the South that are sweet and best for eating include Braeburn, Gala, Red Delicious, Gold Delicious and Ginger Gold. When cooking with apples, try Jonathon or Empire tart varieties. With apples in season, if you want to lay in a supply for both eating and cooking, consider Jonagold, Mutsu, Fuji, Granny Smith and Winesap. You can learn more about the varieties available nearby in the tasting area at the apple festival in Moulton on Friday through Sunday. While a fresh apple pie is hard to beat, apples also are tasty in combination with other fruits and vegetables, and they can be added to meats such as roast pork, too. Here are some ideas for making an easy apple crisp by using refrigerated sugar cookie dough, an apple tart with cranberries and an oven pancake in a cast-iron skillet with apple slices and pumpkin. Apples also add flavor to gingerbreads and cakes. Cookie dough isn’t just for ice cream anymore, and to prove it, Associated Press food editor J.M. Hirsch revised the traditional apple crisp by using sugar cookie dough. Note: Don’t be afraid to improvise. If you like your crisps with large chunks of topping, skip the food processor and oats. Simply break off clumps of dough and scatter them over the apples (or pears or a blend). While prepared cookie dough from the refrigerator case speeds up this recipe, make your own homemade dough if you have time. Make it interesting with all kinds of add-ins, from candy bits and chocolate chips to dried fruit or nuts. Most add-ins (except nuts) are best mixed into the dough and oats after processing.
|2||tablespoons butter, melted and cooled|
|¼||cup packed brown sugar|
|1||teaspoon lemon juice|
|6||medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped into bite-size chunks|
|1||(14-ounce) package prepared sugar cookie dough, broken into chunks|
|½||cup rolled oats|
Heat the oven to 375 F. Coat a 9-by-9-inch casserole or deep baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Add the apples and toss to coat. Transfer the apples, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, to the casserole dish. Set aside. In a food processor, combine the cookie dough and oats. Pulse several times, or until the mixture resembles coarse, wet sand. Use your hands to sprinkle the mixture over the apples. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and the apples bubble. Let cool slightly before serving. You can top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you wish. Nutrition Information: Per serving 461 calories 18 g fat 5 g fiber