Johnson Farms builds on a legacy created by Don and Katherine Nivens, who operated Nivens Apple Farm in nearby Moore. After 42 years, however, it was time for a well-deserved retirement. For several years, Nivens Apple Farm held an apple recipe contest during the Nivens Apple Fest each fall. Their customers submitted recipes, and a panel of judges chose winners by doing actual taste tests during Apple Fest.

We recognize everyone has different tastes; that’s why we compiled all the submissions and have posted them here, and owe a big thanks to all who entered the Nivens Apple Farm contests.

Apples are great to eat by themselves — but they are also excellent in these recipes. We think your family will agree! 


Apple Oatmeal Creme-Filled Cookies

— Submitted by Laura Barth

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups apples, peeled and very finely chopped

Ingredients for the creme filling:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Directions:

To make the dough: Beat butter with mixer on high speed until soft. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients together: flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract to the butter. Beat until combined. Beat in remaining dry ingredients. Stir in oats and apples. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 12 – 13 minutes or until edges of cookies are slightly brown. Let cookies cool completely before spreading with creme filling. To make the creme filling: Beat shortening and vanilla extract with mixer. Add one cup of the powdered sugar and mix again. Add milk and last cup of powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Spread between 2 cookies. Makes about 18 creme-filled cookies. 


Apple Pie Parfaits

— Submitted by Valerie Gardner

Ingredients for the crumbled crust:

  • 1 pie crust, store purchased or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar 

Ingredients for the apple mixture:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped, about 4 cups
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Directions:

To make the crumbled crust: Roll out pie dough into a thin circle, about 14 inches in diameter. Place a on a cookie sheet or pizza stone. Brush crust with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Crumble crust and set aside. To make the apple mixture: In a large skillet, add butter, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugars and vanilla. Saute until apples are tender and you’ve got a nice syrup. Remove from heat. In a parfait glass, add 2 tablespoons crumbled crust, some apples with syrup, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Repeat. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel syrup, if desired. Makes 6 – 8 parfaits.


Katie’s Apple Crisp

— Submitted by Katie Ryan Margadonna

Ingredients: 

  • 6 apples peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • Caramel sauce topping
  • Vanilla bean ice cream (optional) 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss apples, in medium bowl, with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Pour into a 8-inch square baking dish. Mix brown sugar, oats, flour and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use forks to mash the cold butter into the oat mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread over the apples to the edges of the baking dish. Pat the topping gently until even. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

— Submitted by Bree Eastman

Ingredients for the apple pie filling:

  • 18 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons apple pie spice (or substitute cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 10 cups water

Ingredients for the crisp:

  • Apple pie filling
  • 1 box of cinnamon cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter 
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

To make apple pie filling: In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and set aside. Pour water into a Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices. Add to water. Stir well, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. To make the crisp: Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray. Put about one third of the homemade apple pie filling in the bottom of the slow cooker. Dump the cinnamon cake mix on top of the apple filling. Do not mix. Put the stick of butter of top of the cake mix. Do not mix. Cook on low for about 6 hours. NOTE: The filling recipe makes about three times more filling than you need for this crisp. Ladle leftover filling into freezer containers. Cool at room temperature no longer than an hour. Seal and freeze. Filling can be stored up to 12 months.


Apple cake

— Submitted by Stephanie Dale

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chopped, peeled apples
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the apple cake glaze:

  • 1/4 cup evaporataed milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar 

Directions:

For cake: Beat oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift flour with other dry ingredients and add to oil mixture. Continue beating. Fold in nuts and apples. Put in greased and floured tube pan in a preheated 350-degree oven. Bake for one hour. For glaze:Combine sugar, butter, and milk and boil for one minute. Pour glaze over hot cake and let stand for 2 hours before removing from cake pan. Makes 12 – 16 servings, depending on size of slice.


Raw Apple Cake 

— Submitted by Paula White

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon black walnut flavoring
  • 3 cups chopped, raw apples
  • 1 cup pecans or black walnuts

Directions: 

Preheat oven at 325. Butter and flour a Bundt pan. Mix together everything but apples and nuts. You will need to do this with your hands because it is too thick for a mixer. Add apples and nuts mixing in well. Put into Bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. This recipe makes about 14 slices, depending on how thick you cut the slices.


Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes

— Submitted by Carla Champion

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk

Ingredients for the apple filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and diced small)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of a half a lemon

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Ingredients for the garnish:

  • Whipped topping
  • Caramel syrup
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Mint leaf

Directions:

Mix all cupcake ingredients together until well blended. Fill cupcake holders half full with mix. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add diced apples and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and cook for 5 more minutes until tender. Add lemon juice and stir well. Add a spoonful of mixture to each cupcake liner and then add another spoonful of cupcake mix to top of apples. In another bowl, mix topping mix together with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture onto each cupcake top and bake 12 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees. When done, place on a cooling rack. When ready to serve, place on a plate and top with whipped topping, caramel syrup, chopped walnuts and mint leaf. You may also add a dried apple slice. Enjoy! 


DJ’s Fall Baked Apple Dessert

— Submitted by DJ Anderson

Ingredients:

  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 can flaky biscuits, original style; divide each biscuit into thirds
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with vegetable spray. Wrap each quarter apple with 1/3 of one biscuit just so it only covers the top of the apple. Lay in pan. Bring the butter or margarine, sugar, honey and water just to boiling. Pour over the apples. Sprinkle with the cinnamon & chopped pecans. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown and apples are done. Serve with whipped topping — warm or cold.


Harvest Time Pork Chops

— Submitted by Lynnette Williams

Ingredients:

  • 4 thickly sliced pork chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 Nivens apples, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Nivens Apple cider (can substitute chicken broth if you prefer)

Directions:

 Season both side of pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Place pork chops in skillet and cook for 6 minutes. Turn and cook 6 more minutes. Removed from pan and cover with foil. Add bacon to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, then add the potatoes and onions. Season with with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, then add the apples to the pan and cook for 5 more minutes. Add vinegar and cider (or chicken broth) to pan and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with pork chops. Makes four servings.


Apple Dumplings

— Submitted by Vicki Leonard

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of biscuits (10 in a can)
  • 1 can of applesauce or sliced apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick margarine
  • Nutmeg and allspice as desired.

Directions:

Roll out each biscuit one at a time until very thin. Carefully put a spoonful of applesauce on one half and roll the other half over, forming a half-moon shape. Press edges with a fork, put in large baking dish closely together without touching each other and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Then mix water, sugar, margarine and spices together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour this mixture over pies in baking dish and bake in oven about 20 minutes or until brown. Pies will float to top when brown. When done, remove from oven and spoon some of the hot syrup in baking dish over pies and let soak. Serve warm. Makes 10 servings.


Fresh Apple Cake

— Submitted by Ann Larke

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
  • 3 cups apples, chopped small
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Brown sugar topping:
  • 1/2 cup margarine 
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Mix together sugar, oil and eggs. Sift together dry ingredients. Blend in dry ingredients and add vanilla flavoring, apples and pecans. Batter will be stiff. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased and floured tube pan for 1 hour 15 minutes. Apply topping: Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat; let boil about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Spoon hot sugar mixture over warm cake. Can be applied with pastry brush.


Apple Streusel Muffins

— Submitted by Karen Harper

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples
  • Streusel topping:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first six ingredients. In separate small bowl, beat eggs, then stir in sour cream and melted butter. Add mixture to dry ingredients with the apples. Stir until moistened. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in small bowl and cut in the melted butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle a little streusel topping on each muffin. Bake in 400-degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Makes 18 muffins.


Sweet and Nutty Chicken Salad Dip

— Submitted by Christine Elmore

Ingredients:

  • 2 12.5-ounce cans premium chunk white chicken breast in water
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped Gala apples
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped red seedless grapes
  • 1/2 cup chopped, salted, roasted peanuts (purchase in shell, take out of shell before chopping)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise 
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Drain chicken breast. Place chicken breast into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to tear apart the larger chicken chunks to make chicken pieces more even. Add celery, peanuts, and onion. Mix with spoon. Add mayonnaise. Mix. Add lemon juice, soy sauce, peanut oil, and pepper. Stir well. Fold apples and grapes into the mixture. Serve well chilled with crackers. Eat or freeze within two days. Makes four to six servings.


Sour Cream Apple Pie

— Submitted by Dale Edwards

Ingredients for pie:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
  • 4 cups sliced Golden Delicious apples
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or rum flavoring

Ingredients for topping: 

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut

Directions:

Beat egg and sugar together. Add sour cream, flour and flavorings. Mix well. Put sliced apples in 9- by 13-inch dish and pour mixture over the apples. Mix topping and put on top of the other mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.


Apple Goodness

— Submitted by Carla Champion

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cresent rolls
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 4 Red Deliciious apples
  • 1 12-ounce pack of mini chocolate-chip morsels
  • 1 12-ounce pack of mini white chocolate-chip morsels
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (use walnuts if desired)
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 cups of miniuature marshmallows
  • 1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Cut apples into small pieces and mix the two apples together. Roll out cresent rolls with rolling pin. In a small bowl, mix the apples, the chocolate chips, nuts and marshmallows. Place a heaping spoonfull in the middle of each rolled-out cresent roll. Fold the side over and brush melted butter on top. Place in a 350-degree oven and bake for about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle cheese on top. Place back in oven for about 5 to 7 more minutes or until golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Rmove from oven and sprinkle with leftover nuts an, if desired, top with a few diced apples for appearence. Optionally serve with  a scoop of ice cream on top or with a cup of coffee.


Fried Ice Cream with Apple Pecan Topping

— Submitted by Corey Pullen

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Egg whites
  • Pecans 
  • Corn flakes
  • 1 can apple topping or fresh sliced apples
  • Honey
  • Whipped cream
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

Place egg whites into separate bowl. Place cinnamon into separate bowl. Place corn flakes and pecans in a separate bowl. Line bottom of a baking pan or dish with waxed paper. Place oil into a pot or fryer and heat to 300 degrees. Take about 8 ounces of vanilla ice cream and roll into a ball. Lightly roll vanilla ice cream ball around in cinnamon. Then dip coated ball into egg whites and then roll around in the corn flake-pecan mixture. Place the coated ball onto wax paper on the baking dish or pan. Freeze for about 1 hour or until hard. Once frozen, remove from freezer. Carefully submerse frozen ball into hot oil for no more than 6 seconds. Remove ball with metal slotted spoon or metal tongs. Place into a bowl and top with apple topping or fresh sliced apples, honey and whipped cream.


Seasoned Pork and Apples

— Submitted by Anna Smith

Ingredients:

  • Pork tenderloin (big enough to feed your family)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 3 apples of your choice, cored; peeled if desired
  • 1/4 cup apple juice

Directions:

Evenly sprinkle pork with cinnamon and nutmeg. Core apples and peel if desired. Cut apples into slices about 1/8-inch thick. Place the pork tenderloin into a slow cooker. Lay the apple slices on top of the pork and sprinkle with extra nutmeg and cinnamon if desired. Add apple juice to slow cooker. Turn cooker on low and cook for 8 – 10 hours. Servings will depend on size of pork tenderloin.


Baked Cinnamon Apples

— Submitted by Jackie Barrera

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

Peel apples and core the seeds. Mix cinnamon and sugar together. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Roll the peeled apples in the sugar-cinnamon mix. Place the apples on a cookie sheet, then sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mix into the center of cored apples. Bake at 350 degrees for about a half hour. While cooking, slice or shred the remaining peels. Once the apples are baked to desired consistency, remove from oven and sprinkle tops with the sliced peeled peels for added color.


Easy as Pie Apple Cobbler

— Submitted by Sandra Branham

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 can apple pie filling with apple pieces
  • 1 apple, cut into slices
  • 3 teaspoons butter

Directions:

Mix first five ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Mix pie filling and apple slices and spoon into square baking dish. Cover with batter mix. Drop butter pieces on top of batter mix. Sprinkle a little sugar on top, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. For extra pie filling use additional can of apple pie filling.


Honey Sage Pork Chops with Apple Slaw

— Submitted by Emily Kimbrough

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick cut, bone-in pork chops
  • 4 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 cup canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups Savoy cabbage, julienned
  • 1 cup fresh apple, julienned
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons champagne or rice vinegar
  • Sriracha chili sauce, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Top with a flat, raised roasting rack. Rinse the pork chops and pat dry. Place on the rack over the sheet pan. In a small bowl, combine sage, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper and 4 tablespoons canola oil. Stir to combine. Rub each pork chop on both sides with the sage mixture. Place in the oven and bake until internal temperature is 140 degrees, about 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest, about 3 – 4 minutes before serving. Note that the pork chops’ internal temperature will rise about 8 – 10 degrees during the resting period. While the pork chops are cooking, combine the cabbage, apples, carrot, vinegar, remaining salt, 4 tablespoons of canola oil and sriracha to taste. Add more salt, vinegar, and sriracha to taste. Serve the pork chops topped with the apple slaw. Makes four servings.