Miniature Apple Pie “Cupcakes”

Let’s talk about things that aren’t really what they seem, okay?

First off: nerds being cool… and smart.

I’m still in college, and being an active student (and a hungry one who happens to have an hour every school day devoted to lunch) I sit, alone, in the cafeteria… which includes a variety of nerdy folk.

There are the quiet nerds who play their magic cards to themselves, which is totally cool since I neither want to hear about magic nor be forced to hear about magic. Carry on, dark lords and forest nymphs.

And then there are the LOUD nerds. The ones who will probably shudder if you ever called them a “nerd” out loud, because they have a skewed idea of their own personal social standing and intelligence level, but who are undoubtedly nerdy. They use cuss words inappropriately (YES, there is an appropriate way to cuss–I’m the expert), they talk about THE most boring crap I’ve ever heard (seriously, Jersey Shore is more riveting) and are freaking LOUD.

Loud nerds think they’re cool and smart because they cuss, talk about weird scandals among their nerdy clans or hot-button topics (I heard them rambling on stupidly about antisemitism earlier–whatever) and speak of it all at a very high volume.

News flash: you all suck. And you’re super dumb. Shut up. The end.

Next: guys who drive fancy cars, thinking they’re hella cool because they dropped thousands of dollars on some tacky sports car that supposedly jacks their masculinity up a couple points.

But guess what? When you feel the need to pull up to lil ol’ me in my beat-up Chevy Malibu, revv your engine noisily for attention and raise your eyebrows as if to challenge me to a street race down my town’s main drag, I don’t think you’re cool. I think you have a little short-change down south and you’re kind of lame.

Guys think that they’re more masculine if they drive more masculine cars, but that’s as false as girls who wear more makeup to look more feminine, because that’s not true, either. While I was out scoring bargains at Ulta over the weekend, I was cashiered by a girl wearing a literal ton of makeup, but the transsexual male ringing people up next to her looked more feminine with less makeup… and he doesn’t even have boobies.

See?

Moral of the story: don’t try too hard. Well, sometimes.

And next, of course: there’s heels, Spanx, tights, mini skirts, and strapless bras. They all look super cute (well, not Spanx, unless you’re into the mannequin look–whatever floats your boat) but they’re all horribly uncomfortable and not truly cute. Cute in appearance, yes, but cute when you’re struggling to yank that teeny extra inch over your behind as you’re trekking around campus, finding your stomach dividing itself around the hiked-up band of your tights and pretending to ignore the vicious blisters digging into every millimeter of your foot… not so much.

I’m def. not suggesting you all wearing sweats in public–this isn’t the apocalypse–but honestly, if all these things are so uncomfortable, why do we wear them?

The things we do for appearances, I guess. Whether we’re trying to appear smart and cool, rich and non-douche-y, feminine and masculine, or pretty and (un)comfortable, it’s all for appearance. And half the time, we don’t do a good job at maintaining that.

What the hell am I rambling about?

Well, these “cupcakes” aren’t really cupcakes. In fact, they’re apple pies, baked in cupcake tins for the “illusion” of cupcakes, but with no cake, no frosting, no cup. Only apple pie. Ta-da, it’s like magic… but way cooler than douche-y dudes and hella makeup.

Wanna know how to make ’em? Easy! *(btw: please attempt to ignore the fact that my pictures are awful. I was mid-making gumbo for dinner when I decided to make these, hence the lighting was darker. But sometimes you just can’t try too hard. Yay for morals)

Miniature Apple Pie “Cupcakes” *adapted from my Mini Strawberry Pies recipe

1 box (2 pkgs) prepared pie crusts, at room temperature
1 can apple pie filling
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon, plus a sprinkle of ground ginger and ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
Cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
Fall-themed cookie cutters, if desired

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Liberally grease one muffin pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Roll out one sheet of the pie crust. Using a standard mouth of a coffee mug, carefully cut out circles of dough. (I got about 9 circles total).

Using the heel of your hand, gently press each dough circle down to make a larger, flatter circle. Carefully place one dough circle into the bottom and up the sides of one of the muffin pan’s cavities. Then, using the second sheet of pie dough, cut out your shapes. These will be the tops of the mini apple pies. I used an apple cutter, along with a small leaf, but flowers, larger leaves, or any other small-medium-sized cutter will do. Set aside.

3. Now, prepare your filling: in a medium bowl, dump your apple pie filling and stir in the flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until combined [the flour helps thicken the apple pie compote sauce]. Spoon a heaping Tablespoon of filling into each pie crust (to get more apple, chop the apples with the back of your spoon). Top each filled cup with one shape of dough. Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

If you want to layer your shapes (like the leaf on top of the apple), prepare your egg washed/cinnamon sugar apple as directed, then apply egg wash onto the bottom of the leaf to adhere to the apple, then egg wash and sprinkle the top. Repeat for the others, if desired.
4. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the crust is golden, careful not to overbake. Allow to cool in pan about 5 minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the edge of the pie crust to loosen.

If you wanna get really naughty (who doesn’t?) top these baby pies with vanilla ice cream and caramel (um, yes).

I don’t really care how these appear, because they’re delicious even if they’re cupcake-free.

Cupcake what?

Have an awesome Monday!

xo, Hayley

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