Recipe Testin’: Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings (Adapted from the Pioneer Woman)

appleI love Pinterest for its multitude of awesomeness. It’s no surprise it’s an extremely popular interactive vision board many use for ideas on an array of categories–food included. I often utilize Pinterest’s food boards and pins for cool recipes. Deciding after much procrastination to try a perfect fall treat incorporating basic ingredients, I found a simple, yet delectable recipe using sprite, crescent rolls, apple, butter, sugar and cinnamon. The original recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman, whose version includes 2 cans of crescent rolls and Mountain Dew. I had to improvise by adding Sprite and 1 can of crescent rolls, but it did the trick. (Click on this link for the original recipe. This has step-by-step pictures, and some of you may prefer that.)

The following is Pioneer Woman’s recipe with a few tweaks I added for creativity. It takes 10 minutes to prep, 40-45 minutes to cook (depending on oven and browning) and serves 6-8 people. The recipe is straightforward, the dessert is undeniably scrumptious and this is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  •  2 cans of original crescent rolls. I used one can and it worked just fine.
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 oz/ 1 cup Mountain Dew or sprite.
  • Cinnamon to taste. I added nutmeg as well. (To put it in quantative terms,start with 1/2  of 1/4 of a tsp. I eyeballed it, and this is the best I’ve got.)

Directions: (Preheat over to 350 degrees)

  • Peel, core and cut apples into 8 slices. This is an opportune time to use that apple peeler and corer if you have one. If not, it’s a great investment.
  • Open box of crescent rolls, and separate them into triangles. Place dumplings into a 9 x 13 inch pan. I used a round clear pan, lightly greased with butter.
  • Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll, starting from the top of the triangle, rolling downward to the tip of the crescent roll. Secure by applying gentle pressure to create an adhesion.
  • Melt two sticks of butter over medium-low heat. Add vanilla, sugar, and gently stir. Mixture doesn’t have to be smooth.
  • Pour butter and sugar mixture over the apple crescent rolls, thoroughly covering apples. Pour Mountain Dew on the sides of the pan, around the appley crescents.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon. (I got creative and used nutmeg and sugar in conjunction to cinnamon. I thought a good idea would be apple pie spice or a dash of sugar and ginger for next time.)
  • Place into oven and bake for 40-43 minutes, until apples are soft, butter bubbles and the crescents are golden brown and crispy.

Serve while warm. Toppings may include: ice cream, whipped cream, or whatever works for you! Why not try both versions/substitutions and incorporate the optional ingredients for variety? I’d love to hear your experiences in your comments.

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Strawberry Shortcake for Breakfast? Sorta!

Isn't it pretty?

Dunkin Donuts has newly released a fun limited edition flavor for their line of ground coffees- Toasted Almond and Strawberry Shortcake! (If there are anymore, I do not know of them because I only saw these two flavors at Target).I was interested in the Shortcake bcecause I figured toasted almond was more easy to imagine taste wise and wasn’t as interesting compared to the pink prettiness of the Strawberry Shortcake. I picked it up, excited about what newness I’d experience upon tasting it. And I sniffed it a little.  OH goodness! It was heavenly! So juicy, sweet and flirty to my nostrils! SOLD!

I bought it for about $6.50-ish? at Target and when I first tried it, I literally wanted to spit it back out. (and yes, I did follow the instructions on the back) Slightly disappointed, I added Coffee Mate’s Italian Sweet Cream Creamer to it to enhance the overall flavor, and tone down the artificial strawberry taste. Sure, I’m sure some of you out there are saying “Well duh, of course it’s going to taste yucky! It is artificial!” But mind you, I have had coffees and even teas with strawberry flavoring that was magnificent.  Anyhow, I tried it again, but decided to add slightly more sugar to it, specifically a 1/2 a teaspoon more,a teaspoon of  Torani’s French Vanilla Syrup and to my relief, I ended up with a smoother strawberry flavor that seemed to blend better with the coffee.  On the the last run, (my third attempt at Strawberry Shortcake Coffee perfection) I added 3 teaspoons of turbinado sugar, realizing this coffee has to have quite a bit of sugar added to it to reduce the slight bitterness of the strawberry flavor and tasted pretty decent.

Now, with that said, I have concluded the following:

  • This coffee flavor is unique, complete with pretty pink packaging and smell goodness. Your nostrils may actually thank you for sniffing the bag a little. You have my permission 🙂
  • This coffee is not exactly pleasant unless 3 teaspoons or more of sugar (in my case Turbinado Sugar) is added to reduce the sharpness of the strawberry taste.
  • This coffee doesn’t necessarily need Vanilla flavoring to be added unless you do indeed feel you have been shortchanged in the cream department.  (On the package, not only does one see the berries and the fluffy sponge cake but also whipped cream) Sadly, the whipped cream flavor, or cream flavoring for that matter, fails to be tasted. Yes, I am literal with my flavors. If you promise or imply  cream, I expect to taste the cream,too.
  • This coffee is basically made or broken depending on the sugar content. May not be suitable for patrons who have diabetes and/or persons who want to enjoy coffee without very much sugar in it. (And I don’t have to add that much sugar to most of my coffees and teas, nor do I really like the idea of doing so.)

Pros: It’s pretty pink color, sinfully yummy smell, and unique flavor. Pretty good with (2 1/2 to maybe 4?) teaspoons of Turbinado Sugar. (just being specific with the sugar. I’m sure regular ole white sugar will work fine as well)

Cons: Not very tasty unless I piled on the sugar. Not for persons who want to go easy on coffee that doesn’t have lots of sugar; may end up being too sweet for some of you out there. Oh, and adding vanilla creamer didn’t really do much. Can taste artificial and sharp to some taste buds. Not cheap,either. Coupon usage is highly recommended.

Strawberry Shortcake Coffee Yumfactor: (Without the heaping amounts of sugar) 2 out of 5 tongues and a tastebud. (2.5 out of 5)(With the extra sugar helpings) 3 out of 5 tongues and a tastebud and a half (3.75 out of 5). It’s not too bad with the sugar.

Liked it ? Didn’t? Then why not lave a comment?

Coffee Creamer Review: Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée

Again, with the coffee creamers.

I like anything new when it comes to foods and their flavors, so I decided on trying both of the limited edition International Delight’s coffee creamers, Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée and Sweet Buttercream. The containers are both elaborately decorated with cool swirly designs and attractive colors, not to mention the drool-inducing food graphics.

I purchased the chocolate chip creme brulée first, because it sounded rather adventurous; deep, rich chocolate with a creme brulée undertone. Because I really didn’t understand what that was specifically or how it tasted, so I had to find out.  I wondered if the chocolate would over power the creme brulée or if the creme brulée would delicately compliment the chocolate.

Well, upon my first sip of coffee, here’s what happened.  I noticed the smell first.  The scent was wonderfully rich in all its chocolatiness and had a strong punch of the vanilla custard of the creme  brulée.  It’s almost like a souped up French Vanilla, but with carmelized sugar sprinkled inside each of  its buttery layers.  If you sniffed it as long as I did, you can even make out the sugary topping of the creme brulée.  Quite naturally,  I was expecting to taste a strong creme  brulée note. Hmm. I’m actually still waiting for it to emerge somewhere when I taste it, but it doesn’t seem to happen.  The flavoring was  mostly chocolate with a soft yet sweet vanilla cream undertone.  It was most certainly there but passively, as if it its job was to calm down the dramatically noticable chocolate from time to time; think a side kick whose jokes aren’t funny and does not do anything for the story-on top of that, you constantly forget their name and function.  (Perhaps this is intended, because the words “chocolate chip” are placed before the creme brulée.)

I tried the creamer in coffee rather than in tea, and its strong chocolate  taste is a perfect match for the strong cocoa aroma.  It was more so exquisite when paired with coffee and cupcake coffee syrup, yielding a sinfully indulgent chocolate cupcake party in my mug. *Note that this flavor is sweet and because of its sweet flavor may cause you to not take your coffee seriously sometimes, kind of like someone telling a 40 year old to eat cocoa puffs for breakfast. It’s good yes, but it’s like candy!!

If you are a chocolate fan, this will surely delight your senses, but if you rooting for its sidekick, *forgets their name* this may not be for you.

Pros: Wonderfully scented, a good and interesting flavor, yummy chocolate accent. Slight yet weak vanilla and sugar taste, which is supposedly the creme brulée.  <–wait, or is that a con? *shrugs*

Cons: You can smell more of the creme brulée than you can taste as the flavors are not experienced in levels, but more so the chocolate overshadowing it.  I suppose this is to be expected for some, but the label does say creme brulée.

Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée Yumfactor: 3  out of 5 tongues and a taste bud. It was the creme brulée ont the package that made me buy it, but I was not really tasting much of it.