Hey there! I hope you are having a great Tuesday so far! It’s a beautiful day here in the nation’s capital and I hope some of you get a chance to go outside and enjoy it! Despite the nice weather right now, this morning was actually pretty chilly and I wore my North Face fleece during my run with Jack. It is definitely feeling like fall around here!
This morning I realized just how much I miss running in my jacket, mostly because I can zip my keys up in my pocket instead of removing my house key from the key ring and tying it around my wrist via a hair tie (please tell me some of you also do this and I’m not a weirdo…). It’s the little things in life, right? Haha!
Lately I have been having a hard time waking up in the morning to workout. I think it’s probably because of the change in the seasons (and the dark mornings) but I always used to wake up early last winter to work out so I don’t know what my deal it. I guess I’m just being lazy haha but either way it doesn’t really matter because I have just been altering my schedule a bit to work out in the afternoons instead. Gotta be flexible!
Yesterday after work I ran two miles with Jack and then completed the warm-up of my Insanity DVD. After that I decided I wanted to try out a few of the new workouts that were suggested in this month’s Fitness magazine, which just arrived on my doorstep last week. Yay!
I took my heart rate monitor off before completing the Fitness workouts because I planned to do the exercises while watching TV and I wanted to take my time without worrying that I was lowering my average heart rate too much. Here are my stats from after the run and insanity warmup:
You can see that compared to last week, my duration and calories were less (last week I worked out for 50 mins. and burned 488 calories) but my heart rate was higher this time (last week my average was 159 and my maximum was 185). I’m happy that even though I cut my cardio a bit short, I really pushed myself to work hard during that time. Plus the Fitness workout after my run & insanity combo helped me burn even more calories. Success!
Alright so now I have an awesome recipe to share with you guys! On Sunday afternoon I was feeling a bit bored and got the urge to bake something (how shocking! haha). We had a ton of apples in the fridge thanks to a big sale at Giant, and Fabio had teased me when I insisted on buying them that there was no way I was going to eat them all before they went bad. Well, that was more than a week ago and I started to worry that he might be right so I quickly Googled some sweet treats involving apples so I could prove him wrong. I debated over delectable apple crisps and pies but I wanted something that would last me the week that I could take to work.
Then I saw the perfect recipe: Caramel Frosted Apple Cookies. Although I wasn’t planning to make a caramel frosting (I still had cream cheese icing leftover from my healthy zucchini cookies) and I was planning to swap out half the butter for applesauce and replace the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, there was a good base to these cookies which thankfully included two apples. Yes!
Here’s how they came together.
First I combined 1/4 cup butter (room temp.), 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, and one egg into a large bowl. I used my mixer to beat the ingredients until they were smooth and creamy.
Next it was time to grate my apples. First I peeled their skins and used the small side of a grater to get a nice apple pulp. I continued this until I had one cup of pulp, which for me was two small apples.
It actually tasted just like the applesauce haha and I don’t actually think they were very different in retrospect. I suppose if you want to sub the apples for an additional cup of applesauce it would probably work out ok. Don’t take me word for it though- as I didn’t try it myself.
Then I added the grated apples to the wet ingredients and added in a few more “goodies” including 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of pecans (or whatever you have on hand- I used walnuts. If Catrina were visiting I wouldn’t use any nuts since she’s allergic! They would have still tasted great though!). The recipe also suggested adding 1/4 cup fat free milk at this point so I dumped that into the wet ingredients as well. Then I gave it all a gentle stir until it was well-incorporated.
Then it was time for the dry ingredients! Into a separate bowl I added 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. of cloves, nutmeg, and salt. All these spices made my kitchen smell just like fall. Yum!!
Then I whisked it all together really well because baking soda can leave a bitter taste if it’s not mixed all the way.
At this point I dropped the cookies onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and baked them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the tops were just set.Then I let them sit for a minute or two to firm up and then transferred them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
I made sure they were completely cooled before I then drizzled them with icing. The recipe I followed had a delicious-sounding caramel topping, but as I said I had some leftover cream cheese icing so I just used that. They are also good as-is if you want to skip the icing!
Yummm these are soo good! And they aren’t too bad for you either since they use half applesauce instead of a whole stick of butter and have whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. Plus, there’s all those vitamins from the apples!!
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp clove
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup apple (peeled and grated)
- 1 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
- 1 cup pecans (or walnuts)
- ¼ cup milk
- Beat butter, applesauce, sugar and egg well.
- Add grated apple, milk, raisins and nuts.
- Whisk together all dry ingredients and slowly incorporate into wet ingredients.
- Drop onto parchment-covered cookie sheets.
- Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.
- Cool and top with icing.
These are so good, I really can’t recommend them enough!
So tell me, what are your favorite fall dessert recipes? Feel free to link up in the comments below!!