Blooming Platter Vegan Cookbook Giveaway AND Baked Apples Baklava with Cider Sauce

In celebration of the first day of the first full week of Vegan MoFo 2011, I wanted to offer a cookbook giveaway for all you MoFos out there.   On the block is my brand new cookbook, The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes, published in May 2011 by the good folks at Vegan Heritage Press.

It’s simple to enter!  Just add a comment to this post on one of two topics: 1) either share how you “MoFo” (do you blog, subscribe to MoFo headquarters rss feed, read more blogs than usual, cook more than usual, etc.); or 2) share your favorite way to enjoy apples in the fall.

I’d also love it if you checked out the book on Amazon, read one or two of the very generous reviews and, if you like what you see, “like” the book while on the Amazon site.

A winner will be chosen at random (using–very cool site), next Sunday, October 9.  Deadline to enter is midnight (wherever you are in the world), Saturday, October 8.  Make sure your email address is accessible through your comment.  The winner will be notified privately via email to provide me with your mailing address.

A quick note: I will respond to the comments at the end of the contest because if I respond as I receive them, it will throw the numbers off for the random calculation of a winner.  So, I want you to know in advance that I appreciate you, and don’t want you to think I am being rude by not acknowledging your time and effort!

That’s all there is to it!  Please spread the word.  But first, check out this sneak preview recipe from The Blooming Platter Cookbook.  I love re-imagining one dish as another, and my Baked Apples Baklava is a perfect and perfectly tasty example of that.  And, though the presentation is elegant, the recipe is as simple as can be, provided you purchase the phyllo dough.  If you decide to be an over-achiever and make your own, that’s on you!

Baked Apples Baklava with Cider Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Baked apples are one of the wonders of autumn. In this dessert, tender stuffed apple halves are wrapped up like a beautiful package in buttery phyllo dough. They are as scrumptious for breakfast or brunch as they are for dessert.


1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon natural sugar

1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

2 teaspoons agave nectar

2 large McIntosh or other sweet-tart red apples, stemmed

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup vegan butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon natural sugar

16 sheets phyllo dough, thawed


Cider Sauce:

3/4 cup apple cider

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cinnamon stick, halved


Optional Garnish:

Cinnamon stick halves

Walnut pieces


1. Apples: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, sugar, apple pie spice, and agave nectar and set aside. Cut the apples in half lengthwise.  Using a melon baller, remove the core of the apples in two scoops to make a generous void for the filling. Rub the cut surface of the apples with lemon juice. Press one-fourth of walnut filling into each hollowed out void.

2. Combine the vegan butter and olive oil in a small bowl. Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel. Remove one sheet of dough to a flat work surface and brush lightly with butter-oil mixture. Repeat with three more sheets, stacking them.

3. Place the apple half, filling side up, in the center of the stacked phyllo. Bring up one corner of the dough over the filling, then the opposite corner. Repeat with the remaining corners, smoothing as you go, to make a tight package.

4. Brush on a little more butter-oil mixture and place the apples, flat side down, on a baking sheet or stone. Brush the top with a little more of the butter-oil mixture, smoothing down the edges of the dough. Repeat with remaining apple halves, filling and dough. Sprinkle each with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 30 minutes.

5. Cider Sauce: In a 1 quart saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly to serve. Remove the cinnamon stick halves before serving or use them as two of the garnishes.

6. To assemble: Arrange the baked apples on dessert plates drizzled with the Cider Sauce and garnished with cinnamon sticks and walnuts, if using.

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  1. My favorite way to enjoy apples is to makes an apple crisp in my slow cooker. I do it when I head out mid-morning and when I come home in the afternoon my house smells delish/wonderful!!!!

  2. Oh, and I went over to Amazon and liked the new book as well as put it in my cart. Of course I would LOVE to win it 😉

  3. I love apple pancakes with cinnamon and cashew cream. And, of course, everything with applesauce!

  4. I’m MoFoing over at my blog!

  5. I read every single blog during MoFo and I aim to comment on each one a fair few times. I end up with a square bottom and squiffy eyes but armed with a garzillion recipes to see me through ’til the next MoFo.
    Oh, and I blog every day too.

  6. Betsy, I love making apple crisp and I think that’s what I’m going to do today for my Vegan Mofo entry.

    Your Baklava looks really appetizing and it’s not something I would normally try to make. I’m so impressed with how creative you are in the kitchen!

  7. That recipe looks heavenly! For MoFo, for the second year running, I am doing a month of daily giveaways! I might even have a copy of The Blooming Platter to give away later this month. I’m also blogging every day and reading and commenting on as many blogs as possible. Happy MoFoing!

  8. i love apple cider in the fall. apple crisp, too! for mofo, i am just blogging about stuff i cook with my kids, as usual 🙂

  9. Thanks for the giveaway! I MoFo by blogging every day. 🙂

  10. Cool giveaway! I do all of the above – blog, subscribe to MoFo headquarters, and visit my local orchard at least a couple of times! 🙂 Happy MoFo to you too!

  11. I’m blogging for MoFo, as well as having subscribed to the complete MoFo RSS bundle. My Google Reader is insane, but I am loving it. Won’t have much of a life outside work and MoFo for October, though. 😉

    One of my favourite ways of eating apples is in a German Apple Cake, otherwise just cut into slices with some sort of nut butter for dipping!

  12. I’m MoFoing by reading the rss feed and discovering as many new blogs as I can! I also love that I end up with tons of new recipes to try.

  13. I love apples in lots of baked goods but I think my FAVORITE way to celebrate the cheery apple is in a Sweet Potato Casserole. I usually boil sweet potatoes and mash them with soy milk, earth balance, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, little bit of brown sugar. Peel, core, and dice an apple or two and fold them in then put in a dish and top with a mixture of chopped pecans, walnuts, brown sugar and dried cranberries. Bake for 30 mins at 350 and it is a great side dish. It can also be a warm dip for pita wedges that have been toasted with a little bit of cinnamon. 🙂

  14. Mmm, cider sauce. I wonder if that would be good on something savory, like a seitan roast? I want cider on everything.

    This is my fourth MoFo and in the past, I’ve mostly participated by blogging more (read: at all). Buuut now I have a job that is at times mindkillingly dull, and as I am under my boss’ orders to entertain myself when things are slow, I am also reading & commenting a ton this year!

    I think I need to start keeping a notebook or something of all the cool things I see on MoFo… it’s day 2 and I’ve already seen about a billion things I want to experiment with on people’s blogs.

  15. Ohhh!!! I have your book on my wish list on Amazon! 😀
    What a great giveaway!!!

    I MoFo by trying to post recipes & pics on my blog daily as well as read as many other vegan blogs as I can! (I’m addicted! LOL)

  16. I love love love apples sliced with peanut butter spread on them.

  17. Apple crumble with granola crust is my choice, but come fall I put apple in everything!

  18. I am reading way more blogs than usual. I love vegan mofo!

  19. Mofoing on my blog 🙂

    I’m taking it that this recipe is an example of what one might find in the book and that really excites me!

  20. So psyched to be doing MoFo this year: blogging, reading the feed every day, and cooking. Last year, I didn’t have my blog, but cooked, read and wrote (posted to FB). Anyway, here’s to a great MoFo! Thanks for a wonderful giveaway! <3 Vegan Fazool

  21. I was going to say baked apples! Although I’ve never made them myself. Maybe I should try your recipe!

    For MoFo, I read a lot of blogs. There’s always something new, I love it! And I try to use my cookbooks more often!

  22. I love a nice apple streudel. Or pretty much anything that is baked with apples and brown sugar in it 🙂

  23. One of my favorite ways to enjoy apples in the fall harks back to my days as a Girl Schout — Walking Salad, though kicked up a notch. Mix up some unsalted organic peanut butter with your choice of dried fruit, seeds, and maybe a little coconut. Core out an apple (leaving the bottom bit intact so the goodies won’t fall out), and spoon the peanut butter mixture into the hollow. Wonderful to take along as you hike through nature, or a quick commuter breakfast.

  24. I blog my cooking and baking! (mostly baking). My favorite apple dish? Apple Cobbler, hands down.

  25. I like to get a 1/2 bushel of Gold Rush apples from my favorite farmer/orchard and see how long I can make them last without letting any go to waste. I eat them straight up, bake them, you name it. Definitely will be trying this recipe this fall! They also make the most amazing cider out of the Gold Rush apples.

  26. Zakiyyah Moorehead

    I love to make baked apples with sweet potatoes, agave and tofutti sour cream. I would so love to win this awesome cookbook!!

  27. Peanut butter and apples is my all-time fave. They taste better than caramel apples IMHO…though I wouldn’t turn those down either! 😉

  28. Another incredible looking recipe. I love apples. Either just sliced with PB or I chop them up add vanilla stevia and cinnamon and microwave for 30 seconds then add to my oatmeal. Soooo good.

  29. My favorite apple recipe is “apple strudel” with puff pastry. I really enjoy your blog. Hope I win your book.

  30. I subscribe to the RSS feed and I look through each post (not saying I read every post).

  31. I MoFo by reading the RSS feed. I always learn something new or get great ideas from what folks are doing. LOVE vegan MoFo and the blooming platter!

  32. LOL, had no idea Vegan MOFO had been moved up from November! I won’t be able to participate this year but really enjoyed it blogging last year. I’ve kept on blogging but not nearly as much as I’d like to. I’m sure I’ll get around to it sometime this month.

    My absolute favorite way to eat apples, which is quite therapeutic, too, if you suffer from colitis, is to cut them up in squares, leaving the skin on, add water and boil for about ten minutes. Sweetener is rarely necessary, the smell is divine and oh how my tummy thanks me!

  33. I MoFo by subscribing to the RSS feed and reading as many blogs as I can! I also blog as much as possible, posting recipes and pictures of what I’m cooking.

    My favorite way to eat apples is with a vegan caramel dip. So yummy!

  34. I’ve subscribe to the RSS feed, which is actually how I found your blog! So great.

  35. I like to slice them up, toss them with agave nectar and cinnamon put them in a oven safe dish and them cover them with a mixture of whole wheat flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, sugar, almond milk, and a tiny but of oil… bake and enjoy!

  36. I love MoFo month and cook a lot more due to all the inspiring posts I read. Love the pumpkin espresso recipe you just posted; seriously can’t wait to try it! Your cookbook sounds wonderful.

  37. […] Enter to win a great new vegan cookbook in celebration of MoFo! Contest ends October 8th. Click here to enter. […]

  38. I blog over at, my theme this year is introducing my lovely dad to a vegan diet, he’s agreed to eat vegan for a month with me because he’s interested in the health benefits and I’m loving the chance to show him how delicious vegan food is 🙂

    My favourite thing to do with apples has got to be overnight apple pie oats 🙂

    The cook book sounds amazing!

  39. What a great giveaway! Lately, I’ve been buying giant Honeycrisp apples from the Farmer’s Market and eating them with maple almond butter or chocolate peanut butter. YUM! But my favorite way to eat apples is probably in apple pie (vegan, of course :)).

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