When my boys were young, I made a conscious effort to limit their screen time in favor of playing outside, building with Legos, coloring, playing with friends, and simply letting their imaginations run free. When it came to TV, I kept my eye out for shows that would appeal to the whole family so we could enjoy that downtime together. Watching as a family seemed far more fun than the kids tuning into their shows in the basement and my husband and I doing the same upstairs.
As a result, I found the invention of the DVR to be revolutionary. Suddenly I could record programs that seemed interesting to all and watch them when it suited us. It didn’t matter if we missed the beginning and－major bonus!－we could forward through commercials.
Survivor, The Amazing Race, American Ninja Warrior, Million Dollar Real Estate, and more recently This Is Us are some of the shows on which everyone here agrees. (Please comment if there are shows that your family enjoys together!)
But a funny thing happened recently. A new show appeared on the DVR that nobody knowingly programmed. The title was Food Network Star, but when I pressed play, it was a Pioneer Woman show. I watched the first few minutes, wondering A) how did this get on our DVR? and B) Why does it say Food Network Star when it’s really The Pioneer Woman?
Perhaps this was some sort of new marketing. If so, it worked, because I sat through the program…and the reason I watched was because the opener teased these crunchy-salty-sweet muffins that literally made my mouth water. I bought English muffins the next day and have been making these gems for breakfast and snacks ever since.
My recipe is slightly adapted from the original, using a good bit less sugar and a smidgen less peanut butter per serving.
- English muffins, split (may use a GF option if needed)
- Peanut butter (your favorite—I use creamy)
- Granny Smith apple(s), cored and thinly sliced*
- Cinnamon sugar (see below)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
For the cinnamon sugar: In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon and optional nutmeg. Mixture may be made well in advance and will keep for months stored in an airtight container. Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you use it often.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Split the English muffins and spread a rounded tablespoon of peanut butter on each half. Layer the apple slices over the peanut butter—I use about 4 thin slices per muffin half. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of each muffin half—I use a teaspoon per muffin half.
Place the muffin halves on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. If desired, you may broil on the low setting until bubbly and lightly caramelized. In this case, watch very closely to avoid burning.)
Let cool for 5 minutes before eating.