I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions. If I had to guess, I'd say my hesitation is born of cynicism, which is in turn born of too many resolutions made and broken. I try to make year-round changes, because for me the pressure of 'this is your one shot this year to make a change' is just asking for a massive (and early) failure.
That said, I'm fully aware that the clean slate of a new year is a helpful motivator for a lot of people. And what's the most common resolution, in my experience? Lose weight! Or just eat better and be fitter (sort of my constant resolution). And in support of that, and of all y'all who tire of my constant butter and sugar assaults, I give you baked apples!
My mom makes baked apples for Christmas morning almost every year, and even though, as a kid, I used to think they were kind of a cop-out 'dessert', I must admit I always loved them. And now that I've recently become allergic to raw apples (seriously, SO SAD), these have become a go-to way to enjoy the delicious fruit I miss so much (booooohoooooooooooo).
They're also a really healthy but super delicious dessert or breakfast. You can adjust the sugar amount (or swap out the sugar for honey) to make them even healthier, and you can serve them with anything from yogurt to ice cream to poured custard, and everything in between (my mom likes to serve them with cream, but be warned that if you use lemon juice when baking them and then pour cream over, you will get little curdly bits). They're scrumptious and comforting served hot from the oven, and they're also very tasty cold or room temp as a snack – I'd bet good money they'd be perfect cut up over granola, too.
Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
Core apples, but not all the way down – you want to leave about 1/2-inch of apple at the bottom so the juices don't just run right out the bottom. In each apple, place:
1 cinnamon stick
1 small pat of unsalted butter
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
Place the apples on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon, plus ginger and/or nutmeg if you like. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the flesh is soft enough to pierce with a fork.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or your favorite yogurt (I used lemon and it was delicious), or just eat plain. They're also tasty cold the next day.