Dessert Apple Cider: A Crock-pot Recipe

Hello, readers! It’s Bethany here for this autumn drink recipe!

Autumn is here in all its glory. With bonfires, hayrides, camping, snuggling, pumpkin spice, boots and scarves, it is time for Hot Apple Cider to make its way to our blog! Not only does this amazing cider have a 5 minute prep time, but  it is made in the kitchen appliance that was brought down from the heavens–the crock-pot *enter hallelujah chorus*.

I love this recipe because it can be made for several different occasions. You can add the dessert toppings and serve this for a fall party, OR  you can choose to keep it as a simple and rustic cider in a mug. The dessert version makes for a fun party favorite, and the simplified version is great to curl up with after a long day. This recipe is based off of a recipe I found on a site that I visit quite often for slow cooker meals: Taste of Home. I highly recommend checking it out! I have tweaked it to my taste, style, and convenience Let’s get started!

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WHAT DO I NEED: 

  • 8 cups apple cider (I buy a gallon jug.)
  • 1/4 cup caramel syrup. **Note: The original recipe calls for 1 cup of caramel, and this was too sweet to me and a few of my taste testers . I prefer a spicier cider, so 1/4 cup is more than enough for me; however, I would suggest 1/2 cup if you like a sweet cider. 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches) **Note: I found a small and inexpensive package of cinnamon sticks in the baking isle. 
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • Cheesecloth or non-bleached coffee filter
  • **Dessert Version: Garnish with  whipped cream, hot caramel ice cream topping and cinnamon sticks (3 inches)

DIRECTIONS (5 min prep time, 2-3 hour cook time) 

  1. In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the apple cider, caramel syrup and lemon juice.  
  2. Place the cinnamon sticks and allspice on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Bring up the corners of the bag and tie with string to form a bag. I did not have a cheesecloth, but I have found that a non-bleached coffee filter does essentially the same thing for this recipe! If you find yourself without a cheesecloth, you can follow my lead. After putting these ingredients into my coffee filter, I tied it off like a bag, and left it to steep in my cider mixture for the rest of the cooking time (as seen below). 

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3. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through. Discard spice bag. Pour cider into mugs; garnish with whipped cream, caramel topping and additional cinnamon sticks if desired. Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup each).

MAKE YOUR DESSERT

It’s time to decide how you would like to serve it up! This cider can hold its own in a mug or it can be elevated to be a stunning fall dessert drink. If you are going to make it into a dessert drink, be sure to remember that if you put your whipped cream onto your piping hot drink, it might turn loose pretty quickly. I waited a few minutes for it to cool a bit.

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This cider has been a great hit and I can’t wait to share it at my next fall get together! Maybe I’ll have to whip up some  Pumpkin Spice Cakes that Tera blogged about last week to go with it! Be sure the keep up with all of our Oak & Earth adventures through social media, and tell us about your experience! You can follow my adventures on Instagram @BethanyMPoteet.

Happy fall y’all!

-Bethizzle Potizzle with the Apple Cizzle.

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Nothing Bundt Pumpkin: (The Yummiest) Pumpkin Spice Mini Bundt Cakes!

Hey y’all, it’s Tera! As I am typing this post out (briskly, during my little’s nap time), I can hear the rain trickling off of the trees outside and the cars slushing the water along the street. It’s cool enough outside that I have a cozy blanket wrapped around me, and I’m daydreaming about the fast approaching holidays (not wishing it to be here too soon)….FALL is in full swing! Fall is nostalgic for me. I think of warm, cozy things, the family gatherings…the weather gets cooler (amazing weather, I might add), but the season is so warm to me! This fall in particular will hold some special memories for my family! Our life has been so hectic and busy since moving back to Arkansas from Colorado, and our most recent endeavor has been a whirlwind of a time in the home purchasing world. I’m excited to say that there should be some fun and treasured news coming soon for this Pianalto Family. It’ll be fun to share with you more about that soon! Okay. Back to fall.

I LOVE all things fall; the hayrides, the football, the yummy scented candles (a serious obsession of mine, really, ask anyone), the scarves and boots, the parties, the weather, the magnificent, beautiful colors, the smells–usually accompanying the food, and the PUMPKIN. SPICE.-aka. the most commonly used phrase throughout the entire fall season [and we all know Starbucks started this pumpkin frenzy. Have you guys tried their “mini” size, by the way? It’s perfect. #PSL for life]. I have entirely boarded the crazy train for this one. I want my home to smell like pumpkin spice. want to smell like pumpkin spice. And I want to eat all things pumpkin spice.

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Side story: Just last night–no not joking, last night–us O&E girls spent upwards of an hour in the candle aisle at Target. We literally got kicked out of Target for closing time and essentially sat and sniffed candles the whole time. We could have spent another hour, unashamedly. Obsessed much? By the way, I got one called Market Roast and it is a perfect fall scent for your dwelling. End of side story.

Of course along with fall comes all of the fall themed recipes and delicious foods shaped like turkeys, but are actually cheese and salami. I love seeing how creative some people are with their food presentation. Let’s just call them Pinteresters, and I am not excluding myself from this. It’s just when it comes to those amazing platters of food and those perfectly sewn DIY baby rompers, some people got it, some people don’t got it. (hint: I tend to ‘don’t get it’)

Pinterest: sharing deceptively difficult and unattainable ideas since 2010. Still goin’ strong.

Let’s get back on track now…

One of my favorite recipes for pumpkin spice is one that is in an old family cook book of my husband’s fam. It’s hard to beat a homemade recipe, and really, really hard to beat this particular one! With all of the fun parties and gatherings that happen this time of year (and food is bound to happen at them), I wanted to try and put a twist on the recipe and up the ante a little with presentation and taste. Level: Pinterester.

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So, instead of just whipping this recipe up as a loaf or as muffins (which you can most certainly do), I baked them into mini bundts and came up with a cream cheese glaze to top them off! It makes you look like you know what you’re doing when it comes to pumpkin spice, without actually making your job any harder, and your friends will all want your recipe. Plus, make them even more festive like I did by adding a little tootsie roll “stem” to make pumpkin bundts! So cute. If you want your house to smell delicious, and your guests’ mouths to fall off from the goodness (or your own, no judgment here), look no further! You have found the spot. Read along!!

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Okay, here’s the yummy part:

For the Pumpkin Mini Bundts:

(you’ll need a mini bundt pan, or a doughnut pan for another fun idea!)

  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 C. cake flour (you can use all-purpose flour too. I like cake flour because it is so light and airy)
  • 1 1/2 C. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 T. cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • 1 C. (optional) crushed pecans
  • 3/4 C. oil (or substitute all or half with applesauce for healthier option)
  • 1/2 C. water (I usually use a tad less so my mixture isn’t too runny. If you feel like your mixture is runnier than you want, add a tiny bit of flour)

Mix together your dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl mix your wet ingredients. (I add the chocolate chips and nuts very last) Slowly add your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix them well. (hint: Don’t over mix ingredients to allow the bread to rise well. Just mix all the dry into the wet and make sure it is well-combined) Grease your mini bundt pan (I use coconut oil), and spoon mixture into the cups, about 3/4 of the way full. Set your oven at 350 degrees and bake these for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The chocolate chips will come off onto toothpick, but as long as the bread part is clean, they’re ready! Let these cool before adding the glaze on  top.

For the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup cream cheese, softened (depending on how much you want)
  • 2 T. half and half or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • add a “pinch” of pumpkin spice for extra yummy flavor (to taste)

Make sure your cream cheese is super soft (nuke it in the microwave if it’s not), to prevent little cheese lumps. Combine these ingredients together and mix them up well. Once your mini bundts are cooled off, take a spoon and drizzle the glaze over the tops  of the cakes. YUM!

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These turned out super yummy and I love how cute they are in little bundt form. So festive and a creative way to bake them for your fall parties and get togethers with friends (plus, it’s the best pumpkin spice bread recipe there is)! They look like mini pumpkins to me, so if you want to indulge in your super festive side, add the little tootsie roll stems on top! This was a fun day of baking for me, and the mini bundt cakes got thumbs up all around.

I’m so excited to continue sharing more festive ideas and crafts over the next few months! Us gals at Oak and Earth would love to hear your favorite recipes for this time of year!! If you don’t already, follow my instagram handle @terapianalto to hear all of the blog updates and happenings. We have some wonderful things planned for the near future that we are so excited to share with you all. And as always, if you try a recipe, adventure, or craft, and love it, instagram with our hashtag #OakandEarthBlog so we can share your O&E experiences with you!

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Peace, Love, and Pumpkin Spice,

Tera Pianalto -xo