Warm Pears and oranges

Tender pears and Mandarin oranges prove to be a delightful dessert when warmed in a slow cooker.  As I have shared in previous posts, fruit desserts are some of my favorites. Of course, they can also be served with a slice of pound cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, or even vanilla Greek yogurt.  This recipe is one to try before the warmer weather sneaks up on us this Spring.  The comforting flavors of this recipe can be enjoyed throughout the Fall and Winter months.

Here is how I make this recipe–gather these ingredients:  1 can sliced pears with juice, 1 can mandarin  oranges without juice, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 2 fresh Bosc pears peeled and sliced.  Additional fresh pears or canned pears could be substituted for each ingredient.

In a small bowl, combine these ingredients:  1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 Tablespoons melted margarine.

Place the first set of ingredients in the slow cooker, and then cover with the ingredients from the bowl.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours.  Serve warm. I topped each serving with whipped cream and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Yummy.

October apple crisp in a slow cooker

Fall is here in Michigan, which allows me to welcome back my slow cooker for everyday recipes.  I have two different Cuisinart cookers, as they accommodate different recipes throughout the year. The multi-cooker is a larger version of the traditional slow cooker.

This recipe makes about eight small servings of apple crisp and I was able to go outside and enjoy the Fall weather while this one was cooking indoors unsupervised. It took about 3 1/2 hours for this mixture to achieve tender and delicious apples.  I made my own fresh vanilla ice cream too, or it could simply be served with whipped cream.

To make this recipe, gather these ingredients:  5 medium Gala apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup Quaker oats, 1/2 cup sugar free butterscotch pudding mix dry, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/3 cup stick margarine cut into cubes.

Cut, core and peel the apples, and place in the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Sprinkle over the apples.  Cover and cook on low for at least 3 hours and check the consistency of the apples.  If not tender, continue to cook for another 1/2 hour. Delicious served warm, but this recipe easily will refrigerate and can be served several days later warmed in a microwave.  Tastes like Fall to me.

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crock pot ginger apple crumble

Warm fruit desserts are perfect for Fall entertaining and enjoyment.  And, making them in a slow cooker is just so easy.  This recipe comes together in about 10 minutes, but cooks very slowly on low for 6 hours. Served with either whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this ginger apple sensation hard to resist seconds.

How I made this delicious Fall recipe:  Start by peeling and slicing 5-6 apples of choice.  I used Gala apples last week. I used a quick spray of Pam around the ceramic crock pot and placed the apples in the bottom of the cooker.  Next, I combined the following ingredients and placed them on the apples– 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 3/4 cup rolled oats, about 1 teaspoon of chopped candied ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of chopped margarine.  I had mixed these ingredients well before placing into the slow cooker.

Cover the crock pot and allow to cook for 6 hours.  Stir and serve warm.  A simple but tasty dessert. And, the ginger is what makes the difference. Yummy.

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Slow cooker dessert: apple butterscotch crisp

Here is an easy recipe for a slow cooker dessert that I happened to try this past weekend.  The fall flavors appealed to me as well as the ease of preparation. The taste was excellent and comparable to any of my baked apple crisp or cobbler recipes.  It is nice to be able to prepare the ingredients and not think about the dessert for 4.5 to 5 hours.  The slow cooker does the work and the result is  equal to any other baked dessert I have prepared in the past.

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I found this recipe in one of Jonnie Downing’s books, as she is the website editor for CrockpotNinja.com.

To make the crisp, assemble the following ingredients:  3-4 large Granny Smith or other firm apples, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup quick cook oats, 3/4 light brown sugar, 1 package instant butterscotch pudding mix, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 stick cold unsalted butter.

Spray the slow cooker with vegetable spray.  Place the sliced and peeled apples in the cooker first.  In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, while cutting in the margarine into small crumbles.  Sprinkle this mixture over the sliced apples.

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Cover and cook on low for up to 5 hours.  Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream topped with a caramel drizzle.  Easy, simple and delicious.

For this recipe, I had the opportunity to use the new Bru Joy dual-blade stainless steel julienne peeler, which is professional in every measure.  It is sturdy, strong, and ultra-sharp.  In fact, I used my mandoline glove to protect my hand during apple peeling.  I am very impressed with this product. I can’t see myself using any other vegetable/fruit peeler except this one again.

For more information, please see this link:  http://www.amazon.com/Bru-Joy-Ultra-Sharp-Vegetable-Stainless/dp/B00K5I73YS/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417461890&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=bru+joy+stainless+steel+vegetable+pepler#customerReviews

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brownies in a slow cooker

After experimenting with a few different slow cooker recipes for a chocolate fudge brownie dessert, I created this recipe for brownies in a slow cooker. The closest recipe came from an online recipe found at Taste of Home.  Although I have several different types of slow cookers, many of them larger than what is needed for this recipe, I find that the smallest slow cooker works the best.  I used a 3 1/2 quart model, and the diameter of this slow cooker allows for the brownie to be turned upside down onto a cake plate for serving.

This recipe is almost like having a lava cake, or even a slice of hot fudge cake.  It is very easy to make, and can be put together before a party, and will cook up to 3 hours, depending on the temperature of your slow cooker.  The best part of this recipe is that it does not use eggs. So, no worries there. It is best served warm, and can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in the oven or microwave.  Served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, I am certain it will become a favorite of your family.

To make the brownies:

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl:  1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons baking cocoa, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Then add, 1/2 cup fat-free half and half, 2 tablespoons melted margarine, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Of course, other flavorings could be substituted, such as almond extract or orange extract.

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Next, spread this mixture on the bottom of the slow cooker.

For the next layer, sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of milk chocolate chips over the ingredients.  For the last step, mix together 3/4 cup brown sugar with 3 tablespoons cocoa in a small bowl.  Add 1 3/4 cups boiling water and mix.  Pour over the other ingredients in the slow cooker, but do not stir.

Cover the slow cooker and allow to cook on high temperature for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  Test to see if the brownie is done and coming away from the edges of the slow cooker.  The bottom of the brownie will show chocolate on the tester, even when the brownie is done.  Remember, the icing is on the bottom.

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When the cake part of the brownie is baked, loosen the sides of the brownie from the cooker with a metal spatula.  Invert the slow cooker onto a plate, and watch the chocolate lava icing flow over the cooked brownie.  Serve and enjoy.  This recipe will serve at least 8 people.