Good morning my wonderful readers….and don’t let anyone tell you that Florida does not have seasons, because I am here to tell you…Florida Does Have Seasons!
This past week, the weather here has definitely changed and gotten cooler and more Fall looking.
It is true that the Fall up North has more drastic changes in temperatures, but when I awoke this morning and stepped into my Secret Garden….Fall/Autumn was definitely in the air. The temp was 70-ish….and those Autumn breezes were blowing the Oleander leaves from their branches. I just love watching those yellow and burnt umber leaves drift down on the pavers and onto the green grass. The Oleander is not considered a deciduous tree, but they do lose some of their leaves and so do the beautiful plumaria. Yep, these same Plumaria, with their waxy yellow and white fragrant blossoms that nestle in and among long oval leaves lose all their leaves. (Hawaiian Leis are made from them)
So now that we have established that Florida does have a Crisp Fall Season….lets talk about Fall Food. Yep, the comfort foods like Chili, Soup, Stew, pumpkin bread, and Apple Cider. ….and particularly Caramel Apple Cookies!
With maple icing and pecans!
I told you in a previous post that I am having a “thing” for all things Fall this year….and the train just keeps on rollin’.
Above is the icing that you can make with maple flavoring or just the butter, brown sugar and apple juice as I did. Add powdered sugar and you have one great apple cookie. The shredded granny apples in the cookie dough is so delish!
Aside from the cooler weather, I have a confession to make, My beautiful grand daughter inspired me to make these cookies today.
You see, over the week-end, my sweet grand daughter told me she made “fluffy caramel apple cookies”. She explained that she didn’t have much time to make these, so when she came home from work she grabbed a box of caramel apple cookie mix and not being one to use just the box as written…she improvised and added milk, cinnamon, brown sugar and honey and made them in cupcake wrappers. Now how clever is that? She is definitely from my genes….;)
Below are pics she sent me….of her version of caramel apple cookies.
Sooooooo you don’t have to make from scratch as I did my cookies, but be inventive and come up with your own version of these cookies. The Fall tastes are so good! Yum-meeee!
And don’t forget hot chocolate on those cool Fall nights! Drop in a couple marshmallows with chocolate chips and let them melt into the deep rich hot chocolate. (click on this link for the recipe) It’s Halloween! Happy Halloween! Light a fire in the fireplace or fire pit or just snuggle up with a loved one and eat Caramel Apple Cookies and drink hot chocolate!
It doesn’t get any better than this.
Have a great start to your week!
Hugs from me to you…..
- 2 1/2 cups flour (all purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded Granny Smith apple (peel one large or 2 small)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla (I also like to get decadent and use the vanilla from a vanilla bean)
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup of raisins or you can use golden raisins if desired....completely optional though.
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons apple juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lay parchment paper or silpat on cookie sheets.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the lemon juice to the shredded apples to keep them from turning brown
- Using your mixer, blend together butter and brown sugar until creamy and add in egg and vanilla Add half of the flour mixture, alternately with the apple juice blending well after each addition until all the flour and juice have been added
- Add the shredded apples and raisins (if using)
- Use a medium size ice cream scoop (1 1/2-inch) and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet (I like to space the balls of dough 2-inches apart) If you are wanting thinner crisper cookies, slightly tamp with the back of a spoon...if you like your cookies thicker and a bit fluffier, just leave the balls as is.
- Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. This keeps them from falling apart.
- In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, apple juice and salt. Heat mixture over medium heat stirring constantly, until the sugar and the liquid has completely dissolved and come together
- Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies and top with pecans
- You can store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, but I guarantee they will not last that long.:)
- The frosting sets up pretty fast, but you can always add apple juice to thin it a bit if needed.
It makes me laugh when northerners say “Well, at least we have seasons”. Um, come to Tampa in January, and then come back in August, and you tell me if the weather is the same. Maybe Miami or the FL Keys is a bit different, never lived that far south. But have been in Tampa for 12 years, and can assure anyone up north that the weather changes throughout the year.
January – Highs typically 50’s or 60’s, and maybe 40’s at night, give or take, depending. Much lower humidity.
August – Yeah, hot & humid as heck every single day with afternoon storms.
Just because we don’t go from 100 in the summer to below zero in the winter with snow & ice doesn’t mean we don’t have seasons here. Yes, Florida is a warm climate, but this isn’t the Caribbean or Central America where it’s hot all year long.
You are absolutely right! And I know I feel Fall in the air! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂