Posts Tagged ‘apples’

It didn’t start out to be a Labor Day weekend in the kitchen but in the past 24 hours I’ve washed a lot of dishes.

It started with a text from my nephew Garritt. “How busy r u this weekend?” I proceeded to tell him that I’m around, working on a few things around the house and waiting to see if my daughter was coming home. He asked if he could put in a request for me to make something – pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Well how do I say no to a sweet, innocent face like this?

(Disclosure, I Photoshopped a small injury off my forehead because I didn’t want to tell you that right when I was hosting the CBS Sunday morning crew for my real job, I cracked my head open a tiny bit with my car door. But now you know anyway. So, I Photoshopped the injury back on my forehead.)

Staci Garritt 2014

The two middle children in our family. T-R-O-U-B-L-E is our middle name.

Staci Garritt 2015

So, I baked Garritt’s favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

pumpkin chip cookies

While I was at it and washing dishes anyway, I made the Caramel Apple Nut Bars that I had intended to make for my sister Kalli’s birthday last week. I delivered them today. Better late and sweet than never I guess.

Caramel Apple Nut Bars

I’ve been trying to thin out the shelves in my pantry a little so today seemed like the perfect day to bake a big old pot of Make-It-Your-Way Rainy Day Chili. (I should’ve made Beer Chili instead so I could also get rid of a bottle of beer).

rainy day chili

Of course I made from-a-pouch cornbread and added a few dollops of Lake Benton honey. And a bowl of French vanilla pudding with banana slices (because Jason likes it).

And a pie plate of Cherry Crunchobblerumble (because we both like it).

Cherry Crunchobblerumble | Random Sweetness Baking

Well, enough about all the dishes I washed this weekend. Tell me about all the fun you had!

Sweet wrinkly wishes,



Read Full Post »

It’s not that people in other states don’t enjoy Snickers apple salad, but according to a New York Times article of unusually popular recipes Googled on Thanksgiving in every state, people in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska searched for Snickers salad more than in any other state. And although we Minnesotans searched mostly for wild rice casserole (which I’ve never made), Snicker salad and apple Snicker salad were two of the top five most searched recipes in the land of 10,000 lakes.

Snickers apple salad

Check out the map in the Times article. If you live in Utah, you searched mostly for funeral potatoes (my favorite) and you are surrounded by frog eye salad lovers. Your only way out is with a handful of turkey enchiladas through Arizona. It’s hard to imagine placing a bowl full of pasta, eggs, and fruit stirred together on my Thanksgiving table. I’d rather buzz up to North Dakota and eat your cookie salad, a kissing cousin to the Midwest’s coveted Snickers salad.

Maine and New Hampshire, you are making a lot of whoopie up there with one of my favorite ingredients. Hawaii, while you were busy searching for cranberry relish, Illinois was looking for ways to make Hawaiian salad. Maybe next year Butterfinger Apple Coconut Salad will make the list?

Butterfinger apple coconut salad

I’m making Snickers apple salad for our casual Christmas lunch, along with my kids’ favorite magic chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup | Random Sweetness Baking

Snickers Apple Salad

1-½ cups cold 2% or whole milk

1 package (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 tub (8 ounce) frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 Granny Smith apples (approximately 2 cups)

2 Honeycrisp apples (approximately 2 cups)

Snickers candy bars (bag of fun-size bars or 4 (2.07 ounce) bars, chopped into bite size pieces

In a large bowl, whisk milk with pudding mix. Let it rest for 3 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Gently fold in chopped apples and candy bars.

Cover and refrigerate until serving. Best if eaten within 24 hours. Makes approximately 12 servings.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Even if you’re ordering pizza delivery while your mother-in-law stirs a pot of oyster stew, may delicious food grace your table this holiday season. And may you not have to eat frog eye salad unless you want to.

Sweet food traditions,



Read Full Post »

My daughter loves traditional Snickers apple salad with vanilla pudding, whipped cream, red and green apples, and Snickers candy bars. I was excited to tailor it to other flavors she likes by pouring coconut milk into the pudding and tossing in Butterfinger candy instead of Snickers.

But you’d have thought I added bright red beets.

Me: “Kalani, I made a special salad for you like the Snickers and apple salad you love but it has Butterfingers in it.”

Kalani: “Oh, I don’t really like Butterfingers that much. I like Snickers so that’s why I like that salad.”

Butterfinger apple coconut salad | Random Sweetness Baking

Me: “Um, well, I was excited to make it for you because when we go to the Zesto, you always order a Butterfinger Avalanche with coconut and chocolate ice cream.”

Kalani: “Ya, well that’s because Snickers freeze when they are in ice cream and they are too hard to eat.”

Me: “OK. It’s in the refrigerator if you decide to try some. It has Honeycrisp and green apples.”

The next day…

Kalani: “That salad was actually really good!”

Me: “I’m glad you liked it! Could you taste coconut?”

Kalani: “No.”

Me: “If I make it again I’ll add more coconut milk. I didn’t use too much because I wasn’t sure if the taste would be too strong. I didn’t actually use coconut because I don’t like coconut.”

Kalani: “Oh.”

Butterfinger Apple Coconut Salad

1 cup cold coconut milk (coconut milk is found in the Chinese/Oriental food section – do NOT use cream of coconut)

1/2 cup cold milk

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (8 ounce) carton whipped cream

2 Granny Smith apples, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 Honeycrisp apples, chopped into bite-sized pieces (or your favorite red apple)

bag of fun-size Butterfinger candy bars, chopped (or 5 regular size Butterfinger candy bars chopped)

1/2 cup flaked coconut, optional

In a large bowl, whisk coconut milk and milk with pudding mix. Let it rest for 3 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Gently fold in chopped apples, candy bars, and coconut.

Cover and refrigerate until serving. Best if eaten within 24 hours. Makes approximately 12 servings.

Read Full Post »

{Caramel Apple Nut Bars}

Caramel. Apples. Oatmeal. If you’ve already taken your annual trip to the apple orchard and like me, gotten carried away with how many apples you “needed” to buy, this is a delicious way to use one apple at a time. A special request from my little sister—our favorite Caramel Apple Nut Bars from Betty Crocker.

 {Caramel Apple Nut Bars}

2 cups flour

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1  1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1  1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened (I always use REAL butter)

1/2 cup caramel topping (I’ve also used 1 bag of KRAFT or Brach’s caramels melted w/ 1/4 cup evap milk)

3 Tablespoons flour (omit if using bag of caramels)

1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped (1 cup)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans (I grind in a cheese grater)


Heat oven to 350˚ and grease bottom and sides of 13 x 9 pan. Or use non-stick foil to line the pan. In a large bowl, beat the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and butter with mixer on low speed or mix with spoon until crumbly. Press 3 cups of mix in pan. Bake 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix caramel topping and 3 tablespoons of flour. (Or if using caramels, melt caramels with 1/4 cup evaporated milk and omit the flour.) Sprinkle apples and pecans over partially baked crust. Drizzle with caramel mixture. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

What ways do you enjoy the flavor of caramel apples in the fall?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: