Know what me and Steve Jobs have in common?
We both love apples.
Know what me and Paula Deen have in common?
The only difference is she gets hers from a cow and I get mine from fruit.
I still have an abundance of apples from the weekend and that meant apple butter was on the agenda.
I sliced four pounds of apples into a crock-pot.
I added 1 cup of fresh apple cider and one cup of water and set the temperature on high.
I didn’t add any sugar because I didn’t think it needed any, but this would be a good time to do it, if you felt so inclined.
After three hours of cooking the apples with the lid on, I had huge batch of applesauce, but applesauce is for toddlers and people with no teeth, so I kept on cookin’.
I blended the applesauce until it was smooth and creamy and put it back in the crock-pot with the lid off to reduce.
A big pinch of cinnamon and five hours later, and I had me some butta, baby.
There was only one problem.
I like to dip things.
I was in need of a dipping delivery system.
If I were Paula Deen, I would probably just fry up a pound of bacon in some cream cheese and spread the apple butter on top, but since I’m trying to avoid quadruple bypass surgery, I opted for some spiced graham swirls.
These start with a blend of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, the spice blend, molasses, oil, and cider get mixed together to make a soft dough.
The dough needs to chill (Paula uses muscle relaxers to chill, I just refrigerated the dough) for an hour or two so it is firm enough to roll.
Take half of the dough and roll it to 1/8″ thickness.
Trim edges to make a 5″ x 5″ inch square.
Cut in half width wise, using a pizza cutter.
Then cut into 1/2″ strips lengthwise.
Tidbit: Don’t be discouraged by all the measuring. The strips can be any length you want, I just found this to be the most convenient method.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and poke holes into each strip with a fork.
Once your dough is in strips, use your finger to gently roll each strip, creating a swirl shape.
You can either place the swirl on the baking sheet as is or unroll it to make graham sticks.
The graham sticks will be slightly soft when you take them out of the oven, but will crisp up as they cool.
The graham swirls stay soft and chewy on the inside.
Apple Butter (no sugar added)
4 lbs. baking apples (ex: fuji, staymen, granny smith), sliced
1 cup apple cider
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Put apples, cider, and water in crock-pot with lid on. Set temperature to high and cook for 3-4 hours. Puree using blender or hand mixer. Add cinnamon and continue cooking with lid off for another four hours.
Makes about six cups
Whole wheat graham swirls
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup apple cider or water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon for sprinkling
Combine dry ingredients. Add cider, oil, and molasses. Dough will be soft, but should be pliable. Add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, if necessary.
Chill dough for 1-2 hours.
Divide dough in half.
Roll dough on a floured surface to 1/8″ thickness. Trim edges to make a 5″ x 5″ square. Use a pizza cutter to cut in half width wise. Then cut into 1/2″ strips lengthwise. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and poke holes in each strip with a fork. Use finger to gently roll each strip into a pinwheel. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 16-18 minutes for swirls.
If making graham sticks, bake 12-14 minutes.
Makes about 52 swirls.