While baked apples may conjure an image in your mind of a grandma long ago spending hours in the kitchen, you may be surprised to find that baked apples can be made in the microwave for a fast, healthy treat. Just follow these simple steps to fill your kitchen with the yummy scent of apples and cinnamon, and fill your tummy with a tasty fall treat:

Gather Your Ingredients

For 4 baked apples, you will need 4 apples of any variety, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and 4 teaspoons of butter. You could also add additional fruits to the apples, such as cranberries or raisins.

Prepare the Apples

Remove the core from each apple, using an apple corer or a small paring knife. To remove with the apple corer, just plunge the corer into the top of the apple around the stem, twist and pull the core out. To use a paring knife, cut around the core area with the paring knife from the top of the apple, then remove the core with the knife. Be sure to leave an area at the bottom of the apple intact to hold the filling.

Prepare the Filling

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cranberries or raisins if desired.

Fill & Top the Apples

Spoon 1/4 of the sugar mixture into each apple, then top each apple with a small pat of butter.

Bake the Apples

Place the apples in a deep casserole dish, and cover with a microwavable lid or plastic wrap. Place in microwave and cook on high for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Microwaves vary, so check the apples for tenderness and adjust cooking time as needed. If using plastic wrap to cover, note that it will expand while cooking because of the steam the apple creates. This is normal and will dissipate when you remove the plastic wrap from the apples.

Enjoy Your Treat!

Remove the apples carefully from the microwave using potholders, then let the apples sit on the countertop for a few minutes to cool. Exercise caution when removing plastic wrap from the apples so as to avoid steam burns. Place on plates and enjoy!

Variations and Serving Options

Almost anything that sounds good to you can be added to the apples. Some options are white sugar instead of brown sugar, pumpkin pie or apple pie spice, ground cloves,maple syrup or even mini marshmallows. The apples may also be served in many different ways, including with vanilla ice cream, cookie crumbles, or even a small amount of cream or evaporated milk. Use your imagination!

Baking apples in the microwave is also a fun fall activity to do with your kids. Get the apples ready, then let them choose their fillings and toppings and have fun stuffing everything into the holes in the apples. Even toddlers will enjoy helping with this!

For more information, view the videos below:

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