Preheate the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg in a small basin using a fork. Reserve while you stir in 1/3 cup dried cranberries.
Using a melon baller or a small paring knife, wash and core the apples while retaining the filling's base; do not cut through completely. Apples should be placed in a casserole dish that is just large enough to accommodate them without touching.
Evenly distribute the filling among the fruits. Apply a quarter tablespoon of butter to each stuffed apple, garnish with hazelnuts if desired, and distribute any residual cinnamon mixture on top. Apples should be placed in a 9-by-13- or 9-by-12 casserole dish.
Pour 1 cup hot water into the casserole dish and bake at 375˚F for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until apples are soft (but not mushy). Baking time can vary by the type and size of apples you are using. My Nongold apples (pictured here) were perfect after 45 minutes but I've had larger Braeburn apples take 1 hour.