It was finally my turn to pick a recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie after joining way back in April of 2008. I had a hard time narrowing down what my choice would be in the months leading up and had about three I kept going back and forth between. However, when the time came, I decided on these Applesauce Spice Bars with no hesitation. I know they’ve always made me look twice whenever browsing through the book.
Fall Season might officially be about a month away according to the calendar, but these bars will definitely get you in the Fall mood.
They are so very easy to make. You only need a mixing bowl, a sauce pan and basic kitchen utensils. I love recipes like this… perfect for the times when you still want to bake something delicious but don’t have time for something complex and then cleaning up tons of dishes afterwards.
Buttery Brown Sugary glaze…!
They smelled wonderful while baking, the smell reminded me so much of my Grandmother’s house. The bars turned out moist and nicely spiced, chock full of apples, nuts and raisins and covered in a thin layer of buttery brown sugar glaze. Yes! I’m sure if left overnight, the flavors in the bars would have had more time to meld and the spices would become more pronounced – at least, that’s been my experiences with most of Dorie’s spiced recipes. However, these never made it to the second day taste test… the boyfriend and I ate the whole 13×9 pan in one night. Don’t tell anyone.
I liked these bars both plain and with the glaze. I really liked them with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream though.
I’m very happy with my choice, it was a total success around here. Thanks to everyone who baked along with me this week. I hope all of you that tried the Applesauce Spice Bars them were pleased. Big shout out to Laurie for creating the Tuesdays with Dorie group and being such a wonderful leader for all of the TWD bakers. And, of course, thanks to Dorie Greenspan for writing the masterpiece that is Baking: From my home to yours.
Next week, I hope to get back in the swing of things and get back to regular baking. Especially since Linda of Tender Crumb has selected Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie on pages 337-339. I had never missed a TWD since April 2008 but since getting our new puppy last month it’s like every previous routine I had flew right out the window! Things are calming down a bit now though and I’m not on a 24/7 puppy watch anymore – more like a 23.5/7 puppy watch now.
Dorie Greenspan’s Applesauce Spice Bars
Pages 117-118, Baking: From my home to yours
For the Bars
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon applejack, brandy or dark rum (optional)
1 baking apple, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and finely diced or chopped
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Glaze
2-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13 inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour. Tap out the excess flour and put the pan on a baking sheet.
THE BARS: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir with a whisk until it is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Still working in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing until they are well blended. Add the applesauce, vanilla and applejack, if you’re using it, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is once again smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear, then mix in the apple, raisins and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the cake just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and let the cake cool while you make the glaze.
THE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, whisking frequently. Adjust the heat so that the glaze simmers, and cook, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Turn the bars out onto a rack, remove the paper and invert the bars onto another rack, so they are right side up. Slide the parchment paper under the rack to serve as a drip catcher, grab a long metal icing spatula and pour the hot glaze over the bars, using the spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.
Cut into 32 rectangles, each about 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.
Storing: In a covered container, the bars will keep for about 3 days at room temperature. Because of the glaze, they cannot be frozen.
Simple is best.
The Tuesdays with Dorie pick for this week was Parisian Apple Tartlet chosen by Jessica of My Baking Heart. Only four ingredients are needed to make it and the most work you’ll have to do is peel an apple. That’s my kind of recipe.
For how easy this is, the tartlets deliver taste wise. But then again, all of the ingredients by themselves taste good. Dorie says many fruits would work well with this. I think the mango or apricot versions in the Playing Around section would be interesting to try. I’m sure a lot of the TWD members have experimented with different fruits, be sure to stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll to check out a few.
Thanks to Jessica for a great choice this week, I can see myself making this again. Please visit My Baking Heart to view the recipe or see Dorie Greenspan’s fabulous book Baking: From my home to yours on page 319. Next week, Tommi of Brown Interior selected Honey-Peach Ice Cream on page 437. I can’t wait to break out my ice cream maker again, the Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream that I posted back in August 2008 was the first and last time I have used it. Sad.
I used to hate french toast.
Maybe it’s because I had never had croissant french toast with soft caramel apples.
I like french toast now.
Peeling apples is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. I always dread it because of the “arthritis” in my hands but once I get started, I find it therapeutic. It also makes me think of the scene in Sleepless in Seattle when Tom Hanks is telling his young son about his deceased mother and how “she could peel an apple in one… long… curly strip. The whole apple.” And us viewers know that Meg Ryan sits in her kitchen all the way across the country able to do the exact same thing. I love that movie.
I always try to peel the apple in one long, curly strip but it never works out. The below picture was the best I could do this time around. Have you ever done it?
Caramel and Apples. Mmmm. Now Tyler says “don’t freak out” if your caramel seizes on you. Mine did and I’ll admit I freaked out even though he said not to. I was stirring caramel the consistency of peanut brittle for a long time. But it all worked out ok in the end. I found the apples needed a longer cook time than the 10 minutes he suggested, I think they needed more like 15 or 20.
No, that fourth picture is not chicken that I slipped in this post by mistake. But it kind of looks like chicken.
I really liked this and I’d recommend it for your breakfast this weekend. It’s easy to make, doesn’t cost that much and most of the ingredients you’ll already have at home. It gets a five star rating on Foodnetwork.com as well.
My boyfriend thinks this post is taking too long for me to write since he wants to go to bed and my light is still on. He says “it’s apples, two slices of french toast croissant to make it a sandwich, topped with a little powdered sugar and cinnamon… it’s good. What else is there to say?”
So there you have it.
Tyler Florence’s Croissant French Toast with Soft Caramel Apples
Show: Food 911 Episode: B&B Breakfast
From the book Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen
Cook Time: 35 min Yield: 4 servings
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large croissants, halved lengthwise
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Ground cinnamon, for dusting
Click here for directions!
Croissant French Toast with Soft Caramel Apples is my twelfth post for Tyler Florence Fridays, a group with the freedom to make any recipe of Tyler’s that they choose and then share their experiences every Friday.
Breakfast Part 2,3 and 4: Ellie Krieger’s Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal, Apple-Pecan Muffins, and Peach French Toast Bake
This is the post that could not be written. Every single time I tried to sit down to write, nothing would come. I felt determined to finish it once I kept seeing people were arriving to my blog while searching for the Ellie Krieger things I’ve said I’ve made on my sidebar tracker. So in continuing on with my quest to eat healthier, my obsession with all things breakfast related, as well as Ellie Krieger recipes from The Food You Crave, I bring to you the following three breakfast ideas.
First up we have Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal.
I love oatmeal. The only problem is it’s a tad bland unless you’re eating one of the sugar laden instant kinds (the kind that I know and love so much). To me, oatmeal was never something you broke out a recipe for. Until now. I’ve made this probably 20 times. It’s perfect. It’s old fashioned oats mixed with cherry jam, dried cherries, vanilla and milk. There’s no added sugar but I found it was sweet enough from the jam alone. I’ve adapted to making it in the microwave with no problems.
Second, I offer to you Apple-Pecan Muffins.
I absolutely loved these. I made a full batch and they were gone in about 10 minutes around here. I thought about adapting this recipe into a loaf. It would make a really good apple bread. You must make these muffins soon, I’m not kidding. They’re made with whole wheat pastry flour and brown sugar. Applesauce and buttermilk add tons of moistness.
And last but certainly not least, we have Peach French Toast Bake.
This one intrigued me from the first time I came across the recipe. Not sure why because I really don’t care for French Toast that much. (Although, I’m considering trying to come around. Matt, my blogging friend, recently featured a Crème Brûlée French Toast that looks pretty good.)
Anyway, this Peach French Toast couldn’t be easier. You make it the night before so in the morning all you have to do is turn on the oven and bake. A whole wheat baguette is the base underneath a milk and egg mixture that’s topped with frozen peaches, brown sugar and cinnamon. Ooooh Mama! It’s only lightly sweet which I think makes it really good.
Ahh, it feels so good to clear this draft out of my posts. The bottom line is you can’t really go wrong with a healthy breakfast. Remember kids, it’s the best way to start your day. And Ellie Krieger can do no wrong right now with me. Everything I’ve tried of hers has been good.
The recipe links again:
It’s fall already? Really?
I’ve never considered making something like this at home. Whenever I think of baking with apples I always think first of apple pie, not turnovers. In fact, the last one I ate was maybe at Arby’s about a million years ago. For some reason, turnovers just aren’t on my radar. Hmmm… Big Mistake.
I used dried orange zest and Minute Maid OJ in place of fresh, Granny Smiths for the apples, and decorating sugar instead of regular sugar for the top. I had some stress over fitting 1/3 of a cup of the filling into the puff pastry squares. It all didn’t seem to fit and I thought the turnovers looked absolutely horrible pre-bake so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But no worries, they puffed up nicely and looked fine once out of the oven. The taste was really good. Although, next time I think I’d try to make extra apple filling and see how much more I could stuff in.
I’ve gotta say I’m really loving these Bonus Recipe Challenges so far. Since I’ve got a lot going on right now, I always intend to skip them for a little bit of a breather. Then I see the choices and I can’t bring myself to sit out. Next week, the Barefoot Bloggers try Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup chosen by Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker.
Ina Garten’s Apple Turnovers
Show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: LA Story
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 pounds tart apples, such as Empire or Granny Smith (3 apples)
3 tablespoons dried cherries
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt
1 package (17.3 ounces, 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Click here for directions!
I’ve been interested in this recipe since I got Baking so I was happy that it was selected. There was no melting and cooling of butter involved (which I hate to do for some reason) and absolutely NO chilling time, rising time, or any kind of time waiting at all. Yay! Except for 20 minutes while they bake in the oven. I can deal with that.
The recipe calls for dried apples and it sounds like a lot of people had problems finding them where they live. My WalMart had their own store brand dried apples in a 4 oz bag for $1.29. But I didn’t see any other kinds available either in the produce section or in the dried fruits section. I thought it was strange that there were no name brand dried apples. Maybe the name brands are focusing all their attention on dried cranberries and cherries instead because there was NO shortage on them. Cranberries even come in different flavors now like Cherry or Orange.
Back to the scones… Very easy to make. Just mix everything in a bowl, shape dough into a rectangle and cut into squares. The dough was sticky but I had no problems getting it to do what i wanted. Taste wise, I thought the scones were ok, but I didn’t love them. It could be because I had just eaten dinner and was in the mood for something sweeter. They tasted fine though, had a good texture and weren’t too dry. If I made them again I think I would use a little extra sugar to make them more sweet. I would also probably up the apple cider a little and double the amount of dried apples since, to me, the apple taste kind of got lost.
Apple Cheddar Scones recipe can be found here and in Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking From My Home to Yours.
Seriously. It doesn’t get much better than these Apple Dumplings from The Pioneer Woman Cooks! website. I mean, it just doesn’t. I’ve been looking at these for a while and wondering if I should make them because I am *supposed* to be on a diet. Now I have no problem sticking to my diet from about 10pm to 5am… when I’m in bed asleep. But the rest of the time is a struggle because I absolutely love sugar, pasta, bread and some extra sugar. You know, all those “white poisons” I always hear are just what you should stay away from. But who needs all that stress in their life that comes with denying yourself pleasure from certain foods? Especially ones like these apple dumplings? Not me!
These are so easy to make. There’s very few ingredients. Nothing fancy or complicated, especially the “secret” ingredient that I think is what takes these to the next level taste wise.
The great thing about these is how crusty the top gets. And it’s all sugary. Another plus.
But then the bottom is a totally different texture. It’s soft from the apples and the dough cooking in all that good secret ingredient liquid. I was a huge fan of this texture difference. My boyfriend also really liked these and he rarely likes anything sweet.
Ice cream is a nice addition to lots of extra sauce from the bottom of the pan spooned over everything.
Ree’s Pioneer Woman site is a must read of mine everyday. She has a TON of readers, so a lot of people probably already know or have at least heard of her, but if you haven’t check out her site here. She always has funny and heartwarming stories to share about herself, her family and country life on a ranch. She has great sections on cooking, photography and Photoshop tips. I’ve made three things from her cooking site now: Best Lasagna Ever, Sherried Tomato Soup and now these Apple Dumplings. All three recipes turned out awesome AND passed the boyfriend test, too. (Which is not easy to do!) Her site really stands apart from other ones because she does a step-by-step approach to each step to a recipe, complete with photos. You feel like “This looks easy! I think I can do it!” once you see it broken down in that way. Plus, she interjects her humor throughout which is much better than just the usual reading of “Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir”.
Apple Dumpling recipe can be found here. You must make these like… tonight. Please don’t be like me and forget the cinnamon on top before putting in the oven. I said in my last post that I always get ahead of myself and end up forgetting something once I get in the middle of things. Although, even without the cinnamon these were delicious so I’ll have to try them again with the cinnamon to get the full intended effect. Um, I sure hope I can handle it!
I think we should break up.