I just love the combination of apples, cranberries and cinnamon, all warm and toasty. The baking process mellows the tart cranberries and brings a perfect pick-me-up to the cinnamony warm apple.
It’s like having an apple pie without any of the work! For each baking apple* of choice, slice the top 1/4 inch and remove the stem but reserve the top. Scoop out all but 1/4 inch around and at the bottom of the apple. (I snacked on what I scooped out at the time, but it would work easily slipped in an overnight oats dish.)
Add 8-10 cranberries to each apple, place the apple top back on. I happened to have cinnamon sticks and star anise on hand, so I added a star anise to each apple and placed a cinnamon stick through each top and into the apple. Sprinkling 1/8 teaspoon of either ground cinnamon, apple/pumpkin pie spice or a Chai blend, on the cranberries before placing the tops back on, would all work nicely too!
Place in a parchment-lined baking dish, lightly cover the top with parchment as well, and bake at 350 degrees until the apples soften, about 45 minutes.
Serve as-is, top with ice cream or yogurt of choice, or toasted nuts.