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Oatmeal Cookie Cups with Caramel Apple Pie Filling

A fall treat from Kristy Hegner, author of Chocolate Slopes!
Fall traditions are some of my all-time memorable experiences as a child…hayrides, apple picking, apple cider donuts and even football. All these scream FALL to me and I love it. I grew up visiting our local apple orchard and cider mill and picking our own apples from the trees. We would then bring them home to make tons of apple sauce, apple pie and apple crisp. I love that apples are so versatile that they can be added to desserts like these apple pie oatmeal cookie cups and even to breads like my new favorite Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread. Apples are also great in savory dishes like these Roasted Vegetables with Apples which is one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables in the fall.
As a dietitian I can’t stress enough the importance of getting kids involved in food and nutrition whether that means in the kitchen to cook with you, allowing them to be an active part of grocery shopping or tending to a garden. This not only teaches children about where food comes from and how to cook, but it also gets them interested in the food they are eating and makes them much more interested in trying the food they picked and prepared. I experienced this first hand after a recent trip to an apple orchard with my family. I purchase apples on a regular basis and have them in a basket on my kitchen counter, free for anyone to grab. However, apples are not the first choice for my kids when it comes to choosing fruit; but, since visiting the apple orchard and sampling a few while we were there, each of my kids have been eating at least one apple a day! It’s amazing what the experience of the apple orchard did for my kids! So keep experimenting with different recipes and ways to prepare apples along with other vegetables and fruit and you’ll be surprised by how much your kids will enjoy it!
Oatmeal Cookie Cups with Caramel Apple Pie Filling 
Cookie Cups:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
Caramel Apple Filling:
4 medium apples (about 4 cups) chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups water
caramel topping drizzled over top of oatmeal cups filled with apples
Cookie Cups:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine sugars and butter in a mixer. Blend until well combined.
3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
4. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined.
5. Stir in oats.
6. Divide cookie dough evenly into each muffin tin pushing down on the sides and bottom creating cups. 
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Once baked, wait a few minutes then push down on sides and bottom again to make cups bigger. 
9. Cool completely, then add apple filling and top with caramel.
Caramel Apple Filling:
1. Combine apples and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan add brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and water.
3. Bring to a bowl for about 2 minutes then add apples.
4. Cook for about 15 minutes.
Kristy Hegner, MPH, RDN is a nutrition and food blogger at Chocolate Slopes. Kristy received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Michigan State University and her Master of Public Health degree from Wayne State University. At Chocolate Slopes you’ll find healthy (along with some indulgent) recipes, realistic nutrition tips and the motto “everything in moderation.”