The holidays are officially here & some of us are still scrambling to find gifts or collect ingredients for the dish we want to impress family & friends with. Homemade gifts are a great way to show you care, not to mention they're environmentally friendly! I decided to try my hand at canning for the first time & opted to employ my crock pot to make Apple Butter for my friends & family. For those of you looking for a last minute gift, this may be the perfect match!
Overnight Apple Butter
4 1/2 lbs of apples, peeled, cored, & sliced (I used a mix of Granny Smith, Red Granny, Pink Lady, & Fuji)
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Agave Nectar
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract (I love Nielsen Massey!)
1/4 tsp Cloves (optional)
In a crock pot, add your sliced apples, then the rest of your ingredients.Mix well to cover apples in the spices & liquids.
Cook on low for 8 hours, until apples are soft & fragrant.
Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth or desired texture.
Turn the crock pot to high, remove the lid, & allow the mixture to simmer until thickened & reduced. This can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on your desired thickness.
A wooden spoon should be able to stand in the mixture & when you put a dollop on a plate, liquid should not seep out.
This yields 6 to 8 cups of apple butter & is perfect for half pint mason jars.
My holiday celebrations have already started with a weekend trip to Southern California to see Ryan's family. At Ryan's request I made, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies. They turned out flatter than I'd hoped, but that didn't stop them from being devoured, especially by Ryan & his friend Josh. Once I acquire more white chocolate chips, I'll have to make these again with some adjustments.
For dinner I made a dish I have been loving lately, Chipotle Chili With Sweet Potatoes And Brussels Sprouts. The recipe originally appeared on Isa's blog over at the PPK, but I love it so much, she gave me permission to re-post it on Eat. Drink. Better. This is an excellent dish to share with those with a fear of vegan food, as it lacks processed vegan ingredients & substitutions. Just tell everyone you made sweet potato chili & watch people gobble it up!
I hope everyone has a happy holiday season, whatever they may be doing. I'm not sure I'll get another post in before the new year, but I am look forward to another year of blogging & reading about delicious vegan food throughout all the seasons!