Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What a great day it is. Time to relax with your family, watch the parade, Lion's football and over indulge on some of the most delicious food you'll eat all year! Who can complain about that?

My family lives in Michigan so I am spending my day in New Jersey with my boyfriend's family. Growing up, we always had Turkey, mashed potatoes, ambrosia, dinner rolls and GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE!! To me, green bean casserole screams Thanksgiving and oddly enough, my New Jersey "fam" has NEVER had it! I was stunned! So of course I had to make it.

My friend recently made a gluten free version of the casserole the that was absolutely amazing! But I was in no position to get crazy with the recipe since the kitchen was already full of chaos so I stuck what millions across the country love: Campbell's Classic Recipe.

How great did it look? It was definitely a hit.

If you follow my blog regularly, you know that I couldn't go to Thanksgiving dinner without dessert in hand. I wanted to bring something chocolately, since I knew pumpkin and pecan pie were being served. I found the perfect recipe on Picky-Palate for Roasted Apples N' Cream Caramel Topped Brownies! That's a mouthful right?? It was even more than a mouthful when time to eat! ;)

1 box brownie Mix, family size (13 X 9) (I used a walnut brownie mix since the original recipe called for walnuts later in the process.)
8 ox softened cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp butter
4 small to medium baking apples (I use courtland,) peeled and thinly sliced
4 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (ignore if using walnut brownie mix)
Prepared Caramel sauce, warmed in the microwave (I used the recipe I found for my Halloween Caramel Apple Cupcakes and cut it in 1/2 - 10 Kraft Caramels mixed with 2 tbsp milk, microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until Caramel is smooth)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownie mix according to package. Pour into an 11 x 7 pan (makes thicker brownies) that has been lined and sprayed with foil. Place softened cream cheese and sugar into a mixing bowl until smooth. Place dollops of cheese over brownie batter. Use a butter knife to carefully swirl cream cheese into batter, without dragging against bottom of dish. (If you're not a huge fan of cream cheese, only use half of cheese/sugar mix. I used all, and found it to be too much.)

2) Place butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat to melt. Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts (or not, if in batter.) Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour evenly over brownies. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until center of brownies are cooked through. (It's really hard to tell with this recipe so use your best judgement.) Remove brownies and let cool completely. Just before serving, drizzle the Caramel sauce on top. Cut into square and serve.

As you can see from my picture, we just dug right in! The brownies were oozing with Caramel and apple so it was nearly impossible to get perfect squares, but no one cared! These are definitely one of my favorite brownies!

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