Tag Archives: apple

LWOM: Healthy Apple Spice Bars with Caramel Penuche Icing

It was a Wednesday, and as a consequence, Piglet was sitting on a log. Mind you, this was his Wednesday log, which is different from his Thursday or Saturday log, although sometimes you found it hard to tell the difference, and so did Piglet.

“Tiddly pom, hum,” he said, since it seemed like the right thing to say when one is sitting on a Wednesday log.

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Speaking of the right thing to say, it was an afternoon perfect for soft, warmly-spiced apple bars frosted with caramel penuche icing and–

“Excuse me?” said Piglet.

“Excuse me,” I said,  startled.

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“Were you speaking just now?” he asked, looking up with a slightly mesmerized expression, as I’m sure you’re wearing at this very moment. Because his attention was fixed on this gif right above us, too.

“I think so. Or at least the gif above you was. It was one or the other of us, you know.”

“Oh. I thought somebody must have been.” He paused and twiddled the daffodil that he had been twiddling after his thumbs had been all twiddled out. “And…and who were you speaking to?”

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“Why–to the readers, I suppose,” I said.

“Oh.” The flower wiggled its petals and worried its stem. There was a pause.

“Not to me?” he asked finally.

“Well, not at first,” I said, but I added kindly, “But it could have been to you.”

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Piglet considered this. He considered saying “Oh, hooray, and three cheers for Piglet!” but decided that might make him sound what he called “over-eager.” So he said instead, rather randomly, “You know, people like to talk to Pooh very much.”

“I know,” I said. Because it was true.

“But he can be a bear of very little brain–as he says himself, of course,” Piglet finished hurriedly. And then he added, so as not to sound too self-interested, “I admire your the pig cup in your pictures. And the apple spice bars look very nice, too. There’s something about pigs that are very pleasing and nice and…and un-bear-like, you know.”

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“Of course,” I said.

“I mean,” he went on, speaking now to the stem of his greatly worried daffodil, “what does one DO as a Pooh bear?”

“Eat, I suppose. And think about eating. And other Pooh-like things.”

“Right,” Piglet replied. “

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We waited. The daffodil jiggled a little bit as he thought about this carefully.

“Do you think, hypo-thack-tikly speaking, (which was a grand thing to say, because Christopher Robin said it all the time), one–say, perhaps, a pig, or a tiny pig–that one could become a Pooh?”

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“Well,” I said. “When one wants to pretend like one’s a grown-up, Piglet, what does one do?”

“Wear grown-up clothes and do grown-up things like cook and stay up late and cross the street without holding anybody’s hand,” Piglet said proudly, for he had done all of these things before when he wanted to feel grown-up.

“Precisely,” I said. “And so if one–say, a tiny pig–wanted to be a Pooh Bear, what would one do?”

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“Aha!” Piglet said suddenly, jumping up from his Wednesday log and casting a longing look at the pan of apple spice bars with rich caramel penuche icing sitting in front of him.

And do you know what happened then?

I’ll let you decide. Although, if I were you, which I am decidedly not (but if), I would look below for a clue.

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Done just like a Pooh bear.

Ala

What character would you be from the 100 Acre Woods?

(I apologize for the blurry, pixelated gif this time–it was a rushed day! But I’ll get it right next time around :] )

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 I’m sure Piglet would, too).

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Healthy Apple Spice Bars with Caramel Penuche Icing
Apple spice bar recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Caramel penuche icing recipe originally posted at lifesabatch (and it’s delicious!)
 
Apple Spice Bars:
Yield: 30 large bars (or 9×13-inch pan)
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add egg, mix in until combined. Stir in applesauce. Add remaining (dry) ingredients and stir until the entire mixture is just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until bars are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Caramel Penuche Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and return mixture to a boil for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Add milk, then return to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes before mixing in powdered sugar.
  2. Pour over cooled bars. Enjoy!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

LWOM: Caramel Apple Pie Bars (from the Perspective of Pooh)

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.

“Hmm?”

“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?”

“Go on.”

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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To make apple layer: Combine apples, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Sprinkle diced apples evenly over cheesecake layer.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

Apple Pie Streusel Bread

THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO APPRECIATING THE EDUCATORS AND TEACHERS IN OUR LIVES.

This has an embarrassing amount nothing to do with the fact that I’ve just started teaching an undergraduate course.

Have you ever had a teacher you respected to the core?

Like an apple core–you know, strong, sturdy, and full of so many little seeds of great ideas?

Now that I’m a full-fledged apple-core teacher of sorts, I’ve also crowned myself queen of magnificent metaphors. Because apparently everything I says actually has weight now, or at least so I’ve gathered from the fact that every ounce of word vomit that spews forth from my lips is written down by a dozen zealous pen-wielding university undergrads.

Funflour Fact #7: Did you know that (according to www.fotps.org) the average teacher…a) Spends an average of $443 per year of their own money to meet the needs of their students, and b) spend an average of 50 hours per week on all teaching duties, including non-compensated school-related activities such as grading papers, bus duty and club advising? 

Teachers have been on my mind a lot lately. Just last week, I graded my first full batch of papers and nearly flew off my rocker at the sheer amount of work that goes into such a seemingly “simple” task.

Probably the only thing we got right about our teachers when we were still little bright-eyed brats was that they basically live in their classrooms. I’m stuck in my office at 9 PM as I type this, but I guess that’s about the same thing. And until I started teaching this fall term, I never really–I mean really–appreciated how much our teachers have done and continue to do for us.

Just this morning, I attempted to channel massive levels of anxiety into productive writing energy for nearly half of my students, whose second paper is due this week. We had quite a few tightly-wound strings and lots of near-hyperventilation moments.

Wallflour Power: Don’t wait until it’s too late–show somebody important in your life that you care by making something special for them when there’s no official “occasion.” (This apple pie streusel bread could be a great start!)  

I will be keeping my paper bag handy at my desk from here on out…right next to the Costco-sized packs of tissue boxes.

I will also need to keep a loaf of this apple pie bread around, because apparently it is a total balm for the soul. So I was told…after my friends inhaled it in one round. On second thought, maybe I’ll just save some for myself so that they’ll actually have a sane instructor when they come to talk to me.

Lots of people can point at the education debate and say that teachers don’t do their jobs, that the government “supports” education when the legislation and history says otherwise, and all sorts of crazy stuff. If you’ve ever been in a teacher’s shoes, though, you’ll know just how dedicated these people are.

So this is a post in honor of all you teachers out there–dear teeches, we appreciate you!!

Here’s one for all the appreciated teachers in your life: apple pie bread, everyone. Print this, and show a teacher how much you appreciate them today!

(This post was also part of the October Improv challenge at Frugal Antics–blog hop!)

Which teacher in your life has made the most lasting impression on you, and why?



get the InLinkz code

Apple Pie Streusel Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
Slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction
 
Ingredients:

For the Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled apples, diced (approximately 3-4 medium apples)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans OR graham crackers, lightly crushed (not too finely) into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For the Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine until fluffy. Add sugars; blend until well-combined and creamy. Add buttermilk and baking powder; mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Gradually add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in apples, pecans or graham crackers, and raisins. Spoon into a prepared greased 9×5″ loaf pan.
  3. For the streusel: In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, oats, and pecans. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Spoon evenly on top of batter. Bake entire bread for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted all the way through comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, and cut when completely cooled.
  4. The final (and most important!) step: serve this to a teacher or instructor in your life whom you appreciate!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread, Fruit Desserts