3 Things to Do With Apples

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Shrink 'em

Who wouldn't love to have these creepy characters hanging around? To bring them to life, peel the apples, then use a small knife to carve faces (for well-defined features, cut out deep eye sockets and leave prominent noses). Bake the carved apples at your oven's lowest temperature for three hours, then let them sit in a warm, dry place for at least a few days. Once they're dry and shrunken, press black-bean eyes and rice-grain teeth into place. We also pressed on bundled-yarn wigs and tied on fabric strips cut from bandannas.

Bake 'em

This classic dessert is gooey and delicious, and our version can be cooked by kids with just a little help from a parent. To make it, heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of butter, and a pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon. Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to make a syrup. Core and peel the top third of 4 baking apples, such as Cortlands. Place them in a baking pan, fill them with raisins and walnuts, then pour the syrup over them. Bake the apples for 40 minutes. Serve them warm -- topped with ice cream, if you like.

Print 'em

Brushing paint on a cut apple gives our fruit-tastic stationery its crisp lines. Cut a round apple in half, then poke out its seeds with a toothpick and set them aside. Blot the cut surface with a paper towel until it's dry. Brush white acrylic paint all over the cut surface, then add a line of red or green paint around the edge. If the stem is attached, brush brown paint on it. Stamp the apple on a folded piece of card stock. To print the seeds, spear one with a pin, then dip it in brown paint and stamp it where desired.

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