Baked Apples and the Holiday Spirit

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Christmas is less than two weeks away, and normally, I would already have my tree set up and decorated, my jingle bell wreath on the door, and assorted other holiday decorations thoughout the house.

This year, I just can’t get in the holiday mood.  Oh, I’m doing my Christmas shopping and everything, but it just doesn’t FEEL like Christmas!  Maybe it’s because we haven’t had any snow.  Or maybe it’s because I haven’t watched the Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas specials on TV.  But whatever the cause, I decided today to fix my holiday funk.

And how do I readjust my holiday attitude?  With food of course!  In this case, with baked apples.  For whatever reason, baked apples and vanilla ice cream feel like Christmas.  And even better – it’s easy and yummy!

I remember learning how to make baked apples in middle school Home Ec class, and I’m pretty sure I made them constantly for a whole fall and winter after that.  (Thanks for letting me use the oven, Mom!)  So tonight, I made them the same way.

I took two honeycrisp apples and dug out the cores – but not all the way!  Just create a kind of a well in the middle of the apple.  Fill the wells with brown sugar, a little butter and cinnamon.  I put them in a tiny adorable cassorole dish, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

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When I opened the oven, the warm cinnamon scent of the apples just filled the kitchen.  There are some foods that just smell like happiness – baked apples are certainly one of those foods.  (In case you’re interested, sushi is another.  Ummmm…sushi….)

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Then you break the apple apart, and the brown sugar that doesn’t soak into the apple makes it’s own syrup for the ice cream…awesome!

Welcome back, jingle bell wreath!

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Happy Holidays!

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