I’d like to do something a bit different today. Today is a Friday, which is different from a Thursday or a Saturday or a birthday or an unbirthday, so of course things would be different to begin with. But today will be a different-in-a-meeting-new-friends-kind-of-way day, which is our favorite kind of day. And I’d like you to meet a friend of mine. You may have heard of him before.
Why don’t you say hello to our friends, Pooh?
“Hello to our friends,” said Pooh.
“Thank you Pooh,” I said.
So this is Pooh. Also known in the 100 Acre Woods (where he’s from–Pooh, that is) as Winnie-ther-Pooh–or at least that’s what Christopher Robin calls him. And Christopher Robin is usually not wrong about these sorts of things, except on every other Thursday, and sometimes when it’s his unbirthday.
“What sorts of things are we talking about?” a growly bear voice said.
“About you liking honey, for instance,” I said.
“Oh,” Pooh replied. “I thought we were. I just wanted to make sure.”
“That’s a very good thing to do,” I said.
“And well–if you don’t mind my asking–what other sorts of things do I like?”
“What about these caramel apple pie bars?” I asked, pointing at the picture you just saw. “What do you think of them?”
“I don’t see them quite well,” said the bear, who scratched his head with his paw in a puzzling sort of way. “It’s a very hard thing to do when you’re on the same screen page as a picture.”
“Well, maybe if you look from the outside,” I suggested quietly.
And so he did. And it looked something like this. From your point of view, of course. I imagine it looked quite different to Pooh.
“Well?” I asked when he had pondered for a pondering while.
“I’m not a very par-tick-curlar bear,” said Pooh. “I like most anything. But this caramel apple pie bar needs a little something.”
“And what’s that, do you think?”
“I don’t know about thinking. But perhaps a hug,” the not-very-partickular bear suggested. “Yes, perhaps that’s just the thing it needs.”
“It might not be a very easy thing to give a caramel apple pie bar a hug, Pooh,” I said. “Have you ever tried giving one a hug?”
“No,” he said, “but just because it’s never been done before, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, if it’s a good thing,” said Pooh.
“That’s very true, Pooh,” I said. “Why don’t you try it?”
And so reached out his furry paws, wrapped them around the bars, and gave them a large hug. You know, of the bear variety. Because he was a bear. And bears are always right about these sorts of things.
You know, these food sorts of things.
Or at least Pooh bears are. So now, if you ever meet a Pooh bear, you’ll know.
“Pooh?” I said.
“Do you want to say good-bye to our readers for today?”
Pooh lifted a crumb-coated paw and licked it thoughtfully. He tapped twice with his other paw on the side of his head. Then he raised both paws, placed them next to my ear, and whispered something that sounded like a small buzzing bee telling secrets to a daisy.
“Yes, Pooh,” I said to the bear when he had finished buzzing. “That counts, I think.”
“Well, may I simply say it, then?”
So then he turned to you, a bit like he turned to his friend the butterfly in this picture (only if you would be so courteous as to imagine yourself as a butterfly, which not everyone can do)
and he asked, very politely,
“When will you be making this recipe?”
So there you have it. When will you?
This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes. Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own a really cute Winnie-the-Pooh balloon-shaped stuffed-animal. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think (and Pooh would love to hear it, too).
Caramel Apple Pie Bars Adapted from Cookies and Cups Ingredients:
- For crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For cheesecake filling:
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For apple layer:
- 1 large apple (any variety according to your preference–I used Fuji), diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- For streusel:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
- 3 tablespoons chopped nuts, any variety
- 1/3 cup caramel dessert topping
- To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine, 1/3 cup white sugar, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. (At this point, feel free to leave your mixing bowl unwashed–why do more dishes when you can avoid it? Save water, hassle, and a whale–set it aside for mixing the streusel!) Press into a lightly greased 9×9-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making cheesecake filling and streusel.
- To make cheesecake filling: In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and 1/4 cup white sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat together until smooth. Spread over warm crust.
- To make apple layer: Combine apples, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Sprinkle diced apples evenly over cheesecake layer.
- To make streusel: In the same large bowl as you used to make the crust, combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oats, and nuts. Cut in the 5 tablespoons butter and mix until you get a lumpy, coarse meal. Sprinkle over the apple layer.
- Bake bars in preheated oven for 22-27 minutes, until golden brown. Pour caramel over warm bars. Allow your bars to cool completely before cutting into them.
- Serve to the hungry Pooh bear waiting for you at home (whoever that might be!). (“That’s a very good idea,” Pooh said to me when he read this.)