These apples are life-changing. How’s that for a promise?
Baked apples are a classic American dessert, but I’ve upped the ante by coring them, filling them with a simple streusel, and drizzling (pouring, maybe?) salted caramel on top. And we can totally call this a healthy dessert because, you know, apple. Right? Hey, it’s fruit!
This is a fireside kind of dessert, the kind that you share with family members on game night or some equally idyllic situation. These are impossible not to love, unless you have no soul. I’m feeling very objective today.
This past weekend, Kenny and I had a night by the fire. It was a redo of our New Year’s Eve, the first of which crashed and burned at eight o’clock when our son’s stomach virus erupted everywhere. Yes, I’m being literal. Nobody wants a romantic dinner for two after cleaning that up.
It’s getting harder and harder to stay awake long enough to last through date night. Back in the day, I could guzzle drinks with the smug knowledge that I had nowhere to go and nothing to do in the morning. But when you have kids, that whole game changes suddenly and irrevocably.
Not only have I not owned an alarm clock since 2008, but I have also not awakened past 6:30. And that’s on the very best of days. There are too many children and even more viruses at play to count on a later wake-up time. As a result, my body is hardwired to wake up on weekends at 5:30. Any date nights need to take that little hitch into account.
Take last night, for example. Our youngest is ready for a real bed, but she really loves her crib. We’ve tried to move her out to no avail, and last night she seemed eager to move. So into her older sister’s room she went into a twin bed that swallowed her tiny body whole. Around 12:45, she freaked out because her sister went to the bathroom and she thought she would be alone forever. And at 2 A.M., she started screaming that she wanted to “go back to my room.” And back in her crib she went. I know, I know, I’m weak. But she was screeching the house down, and nobody was getting any sleep.
When Kenny is awakened by children (which happens less for him because he just doesn’t hear them), he can immediately fall back asleep. I, on the other hand, will lie awake in a state of pure tension waiting for someone to wake up again, unable to stop my mind from racing. I wish that I could make my brain stop, but it’s just not possible. So nights like that mean no sleep for Mir. And that means I don’t drink on date night, and I sure don’t stay up past 10. It’s a shame, but what are you gonna do?
Eat a healthier-than-usual dessert, that’s what. The hardest part of this recipe is coring the apples, so I’d recommend having a corer or melon baller around if you’re not handy with a knife. But once you’ve done that, the rest is easy.
The oat-based streusel in each apple takes seconds to prepare, and you drizzle prepared salted caramel topping over the baked apple. It’s such a cozy dessert. I think it’s kind of required to eat this while wrapped in a fuzzy blanket while wearing equally fuzzy slippers.
If you’re about getting healthy this season, this dessert is the one. It’s healthy with just a splash of decadence, making it a perfect choice. Whether you have an early wake-up call or a chance to sleep in late, this will make your evening worthwhile!
Salted Caramel Streusel Baked Apples
6 Granny Smith apples, washed and cored
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
salted caramel sauce (jarred)
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- In a bowl, combine the melted butter with the flour, brown sugar and rolled oats. Use your hands to form crumbs.
- Press the crumbs into each cored apple, making sure the crumbs get piled down to the bottom.
- Place all of the filled apples in a 9-inch round baking pan.
- In a small bowl, combine the apple juice, honey and cinnamon. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake the apples for 25-30 minutes until tender. Don't bake them too long, or they'll begin to fall apart.
- Spoon the salted caramel sauce over the apples. Serve warm.