The second week of August welcomes the late summer harvest as well as back to school preparations for students and teachers.

National Apple Week, a national food holiday that’s celebrated during the second week of August, pays homage to the plump juicy fruit, a symbol of both education and the late summer bounty. This might explain why so many students gift their teachers with apples and apple-infused treats on the first day back to school.

Here are eight recipes for National Apple Week that are sure to earn you an A+…

1. Apple Crumble Bars

It turns out that you can make apple crumble a portable snack! These apple crumble bars can be easily tucked into a lunch bag or devoured on the way to school. The fruity bars are made with naturally sweet apple butter, dried apple slices, and nutritious oats and topped with a decadent brown sugar-style streusel.

Source: Cooking Channel

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2. Apple Butter

With apples so available at farmer’s markets and fruit stands, apple butter is much cheaper to make than it is to buy at the grocery store.  Preserve a slice of late summer to enjoy all year long, whenever you smear a generous spoonful of homemade apple butter onto toast, a bagel, or into you morning oats.

Source: Simply Recipes

3. Buttery Apple Biscuits Recipe

What better way to enjoy homemade apple butter than on a soft, warm-baked apple biscuit.  This buttery batch is infused with fresh, sliced apples (a tart variety of your choosing), molasses, and I like to sprinkle a little touch of cinnamon on top of each biscuit prior to baking.

 

Source: Taste of Home

4. Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes

More for the teacher than the student, these spicy apple cupcakes are a wholesome blend of late summer Gala apples, cream cheese and sour cream,  vanilla, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and brown sugar. The delicious crunchy, powered sugar topping might seem excessive, but the extra A-for-effort will get you guaranteed brownie points!

Source: Cooking Light

5. Apple-Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup

If you truly believe that back-to-school breakfasts should feel like a warm hug from mom, a short stack of these warm and syrupy apple-bacon pancakes will start the day of perfectly.  Equally sweet and smoky thanks to a whole chopped apple and a bit of crumbled bacon cooked right in, these pancakes are topped with a rich apple cider-infused syrup.

 

Source: Eating Well

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6.  Baked Apples with Dried Cherries

They call these apples “Rome Beauties” for a reason! The vivid red, juicy orbs would make Snow White’s stepmother drool, and one bite into the sweet, velvety flesh will leave you spellbound—especially baked to tender and dripping in dried cherries, crushed walnuts and gingersnaps, pure maple syrup, and a dollop of reduced fat sour cream.

 

Source: Martha Stewart

7. Apple Orchard Panini

Why save apples for breakfast, dessert, or snacks when you savor them at lunch and dinner too? This apple orchard Panini transcends all meal expectations—dressed with roasted turkey, thin-sliced Granny Smith apple, melted Brie cheese, and a thick smear of sweet apple butter toasted between two slices of crusty Italian loaf.

Source: Iowa Girl Eats

8. Baked Apple Doughnuts

Who says donuts have to be deep-fried and fat-filled? You’ll never grace a drive-thru in the mornings again after tasting these healthier baked apple doughnuts—made with the goodness of whole wheat flour, ground cinnamon and nutmeg, sweet brown sugar, apple cider, maple syrup, and a mix of applesauce and low fat buttermilk to keep them nice and moist on the inside.

Source: FitSugar.com

Anna

Anna adores cooking, drinking wine, and listening to records, but she does a lot of yoga to balance things out ;) This explains the black bean brownie disaster of 2007 (don't bring that up). She's noshed in countries like Greece, Turkey, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and numerous other weird, yummy places that will get her waxing all poetic about her favorite recipes.

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