Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Crumble Bites

 I can’t even begin to express how ridiculously excited about this recipe I am! First of all, it comes together SO easily (I would know, because I made this on a whim), but also, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to stop letting food go to waste.  I never try to waste food on purpose, but sometimes you just let the bag of spinach sit too long in your fridge, or forget about the bunch of sweet potatoes you bought cause they’re sitting in the cabinet…(yikes) and I always just feel so bad when I end up having to toss the food.  I know that I won’t be perfect with this resolution because sometimes things just happen, but I’m hoping that if I put my mind to it, I can change my lifestyle and the way I make purchases going forward. 


Coming back from my last grocery run, I realized that I had accidentally bought new apples when I already had some old ones, and then putting away my snacks, I noticed some slightly stale peanut butter cookies sitting in the bag of my pantry (you see what I mean when I say I need to change the way I make purchases? I’m always forgetting what I already have :p ).  I didn’t want to break my resolution 3 weeks into the new year, so I got creative.  My aunt and uncle happen to be a fan of vegan foods even though they’re not vegans themselves, so I figured that I could whip up a dessert from these things to bring over to them.  


Turns out, apples, peanut butter and cinnamon crumble make for a bomb flavor combination.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since as I kid, I always had Ritz crackers with peanut butter and apple slices.  Let’s just say biting into these sweet and salty cuties straight from the oven brought me intense waves of nostalgia haha.  The one (and might I add, only) bad thing about these bits is that they definitely do get soggy if you decide to store them overnight.  Because of this, I’ve only made this recipe to make one batch (a full muffin tin), and would not recommend doubling the recipe unless you know you’re going to have a big crowd. 


In other news, my last first day of school (of the second semester) officially started Tuesday! Can’t believe that I’m hitting 18 years of being in school…man I feel old.  I’m sure it’ll be surreal once everything comes to an end, but for now, I’m going to concentrate on enjoying my classes and making as many memories as I can make in Big Apple.  And maybe making more of these lil’ apple bites!

VEGAN PEANUT BUTTER APPLE CRUMBLE BITES | Makes 12 bites

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 peanut butter cookies (the sweet kind, like Nutterbutters)
  • 2 medium sized apples – cored and sliced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tsp granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (for the struesel)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp of vegan butter
  • 12 Muffin tin liners

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350(F).
  2. Line a regular sized muffin tin with liners.
  3. Crush peanut butter cookies until a fine crumble is formed. I will usually just do this in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush cookies.
  4. Divide crushed cookies evenly between the 12 muffin liners.  Pack the crumbs firmly into the bottom of the liners.  The bottom of a 1/4 cup works super well to pack down the crumbs.
  5. In a separate bowl, toss the cubed apples, granulated white sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon together.  Let the apples sit while you make the streusel topping.
  6. In another separate bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and 1/2 tsp cinnamon together.  Then cut vegan butter in with either a pastry cutter or two butter knives until a crumble forms.  It is SUPER important to keep the butter cold, cold, cold! If it starts to look soft/melty, just stick the bowl into the fridge for 5 or so minutes.
  7. Divide apples evenly between the 12 liners and place on top of cookie crumble base.
  8. Top with streusel.  Don’t be afraid to be generous!
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until streusel topping is golden. 
  10. Bites should be consumed immediately and not stored overnight for best texture (taste won’t be affected).

Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Apple Cake with Streusel

NERD ALERT: Did you know that pie has roots all the way back to ancient Egyptian times, and the first recipe for pie was published by the Romans?  Also, apparently there’s an American Pie Counsel that might just be the coolest thing ever (thank you, Google).  With July 4th coming up, I really don’t think that there’s really anything more American than pie…except maybe pie in cake form?


My boyfriend’s older brother and girlfriend are headed up from St. Louis for the weekend to meet the fam (gasp!) and also celebrate Fourth of July.  As with any Korean get together, there will be lots of grilled meats, watermelon and if I have any say, cake (specifically, this cake).


I kid you not, this cake is SO good. It’s a soft and fluffy cake base loaded with apple, topped with buttery streusel and then drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.  What part of that sounds bad? And the best part? If you just make the cake portion, it’s dairy-free!! Also it can be made with or without a mixer (hooray!).  So, when you’re scratching your head at what you make for that Fourth of July party you’re going to, I hope you make this one! I promise you there won’t be a single crumb left.

IMPORTANT: When making the caramel, if you add in the heavy cream too quickly, the cold heavy cream will cause the caramel mixture to seize up and harden.

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE CAKE WITH STREUSEL | Makes one 10″ cake

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat sugar until it beings to melt.  Constantly mix sugar with spatula to evenly distribute heat. The chunks of sugar should slowly dissolve into liquid and the sugar should begin to turn an amber color. If it looks like mixture is turning dark too quickly, remove from heat  fro 10-15 seconds while stirring to prevent burning.
  2. Once sugar is melted, immediately add in butter and swirl it in. Once butter is melted, turn heat to low and slowly (thin drizzle) add in heavy cream while constantly stirring.
  3. Toss in salt and mix thoroughly.
  4. Extra caramel will keep in airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month.

STREUSEL

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Cut butter into 1/2 inch pieces and combine with dry ingredients.  With hands, work butter into dry mixture until large, moist clumps form.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

CAKE

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup neutral tasting vegetable oil
  • 1 egg & 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 apple (ambrosia, fuji, or any other crisp apple)
  • Either one 10 inch cake pan, or one 10 inch oven-safe skillet
  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F). Oil and line cake pan with parchment paper  If using skillet, simply oil pan.
  2. Beat oil and sugar together in a large bowl until well-mixed. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until mixture is thick and creamy.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Then add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until well-incorporated. The batter should be very thick.
  4. Add in apple cubes and mix until pieces are distributed thoroughly. Then pour batter into cake pan, drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel sauce and top with streusel.
  5. Bake cake for 50-60 minutes until top is brown and cake tester comes out clean.

Enjoy!