Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baked apples stuffed with amaretti cookies

I love dessert. No kidding!  Lots of pictures today to prove it.

In any size... (black bottom cupcakes)

Or shape... (ooey gooey St. Louis butter cake)

Or color... (red velvet cake)

Or quantity... (single serve egg-less chocolate chip cookie dough)

Get the idea?  I love dessert so much that I've been known to finish off even lunch and breakfast with a little something sweet.  You know, to make sure those full cakes and big batches of cookies don't go to waste.

But, these days, if anything sweet is still around Monday morning, it's going to be seriously neglected until Saturday.  In light of my promise, I'm learning to make one or two serving desserts.  I swear it goes against my very existence to make sweets not to be shared, but I'm trying... really!

I bought these bite-size cookies when I visited the Strip District during my Pittsburgh staycation.  As you might have guessed from the name, these little numbers are deeply almond-flavored and so crunchy!  You can't eat just one.

After taking a second to breathe rather than inhale cookies, I saw the picture of stuffed peaches on the front of the bag.  Not being a huge fan of peaches, I wondered if I could do the same with a crisp and tart apple conveniently hanging out in my kitchen.  Turns out, I can!  And yield delicious results :)

Hollow out an apple.  Stuff with crushed cookies, top with butter, bake, and enjoy!  For some extra goodness, drizzle with maple syrup or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Doesn't that taste just like apple pie but crunchier and, well, much easier... especially for a single serving?  The apple is so sweet and soft, and the cookies are crunchy and slightly buttery... yum! What's that saying?  "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."   Especially with overflowing with crushed cookies and butter ;)

Baked Apple Stuffed with Amaretti Cookies
-serves 2... or 1 very selfish hungry mouth

A few notes: Though I used amaretti cookies, truth be told, you could use any cookie you like that might go well with apples (i.e. Nilla Wafers).  And feel free to jazz up the filling as much or little as you want -- adding chopped nuts, brown sugar, even some chocolate chips would only make this dessert tastier.

1 apple
Fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup crushed amaretti cookies
1 Tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut apple in half and, using a spoon or melon baller, remove core to make a roughly 1 1/2-inch bowl in the center of each half.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, place apples cut sides up, and sprinkle lemon juice over flesh to avoid discoloring.

Stuff cookie crumbs (and whatever else you're using) into the centers, piling high.  Dot each cookie mountain with butter, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until topping is golden and apples have softened (they will appear to have shrunken just slightly in their skin).  Remove and enjoy immediately.  Top with ice cream if you're feeling extra indulgent.

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