Apple “Tarts”

[donotprint]I started thinking seriously about kid snacks about a year ago and apples were featured in some of my first experiments. This is probably the first of my homegrown recipes that made me smile when I tasted it.

Today I used a Jonamac apple (which is a cross between a Jonathan and a MacIntosh). Other tart and sweet apple choices are: Cortland, Empire, Golden Delicious, or Winesap.[/donotprint]DSC01899

4 slices soft whole wheat bread
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped fine (approximately 1 cup of chopped apple)
4 tablespoons cream cheese or vanilla greek-style yogurt
4 teaspoons apricot preserves
Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut the crusts off of the bread slices and discard. Spread the bread slices out on a large cutting board and flatten with a rolling pin. Cut a small (approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches long and ½ wide at the base) triangle out of each of the four corners on each slice.

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Transfer the bread slices to greased muffin pan. Make sure the center of each slice is resting on the bottom of a cup and the sides are overlapping slightly. Using your fingers, press the side flaps together and make adjustments to minimize any gaps or holes.

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In the bottom of each bread cup, place ¼ of the chopped apple. Center 1 tablespoon of cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of apricot preserves on top of the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (if desired).

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Bake on the center rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the edges of the bread crust are browned and the preserves start to sizzle. Allow tarts to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes or more depending on your child’s age and preference. Gently remove from muffin pan and serve immediately.

Makes 4 “tarts” (easily doubled)
Assembly time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

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Apple Towers

Kids have fun building this snack themselves.

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1 apple, cored and sliced
9 squares (2-inch) of cheddar cheese
2 raspberries

Make sure your apple slices are about 1/3 of an inch thick and flat rather than tapered so that they will stack easily. Cheese should be sliced 1/4 inch thick. Alternate apple slices and cheese on top of each other. Garnish with raspberry.

Serves 2.

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Pumpkin Molasses Muffins

[donotprint]I found some Grandma’s Robust Molasses at the supermarket. I have no idea what makes it “robust”, but 1 tablespoon has 20% RDA of Iron so I’m not asking questions! Try it in this recipe. They are very moist and delicious, if I do say so myself.[/donotprint]

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1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup oil
8 whole dried dates, pitted and chopped (optional, but tasty)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl with whisk – flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Cream softened butter and brown sugar in large bowl. Add molasses, egg, buttermilk, pumpkin, and oil and stir. Pour in the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Bake in greased mini muffin pan for 15 minutes (give or take). Roughly 20-25 minutes for regular sized muffins or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and serve warm or cooled.

(Inspired by a recipe from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, http://www.eatwisconsincheese.com/recipes/article.aspx?rid=1618)

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