Amish Apple Butter Streusel Bars

Amish Apple Butter Streusel Bars

Amish Apple Butter Streusel Bars

I, like so many people, have always had a fascination with the Amish lifestyle. I call it a lifestyle because, while I have read a good amount about their religion and respect 9and even agree) with a lot of it, it seems to be more than JUST a religion, but a lifestyle also. Especially in this day and age where so many of the Amish are forced by necessity to interact in the modern world, yet still choose to stay true to a life that forbids many of the things we all take for granted. There was a time in my life when I seriously considered trying to find a way to gain entrance into their world, but I came to realize that while I’m far less “modern” than many I know, I’m still probably too “of the world” to survive happily living as they do.

That said, I do, however, love what is considered the typical form of Amish cooking. Is what we do out here that is called Amish 100% accurate? I’ll probably never know. But it’s easy to find some foods that claim to be of the Amish spirit, at the very least. Add that into that category. Homey and comforting, using home canned goods (preferably) like my Spiced Apple Butter, generally made to feed a lot of people, and delicious. This recipe covers all those bases ๐Ÿ˜€ I adapted an old Amish apple butter bar recipe I had and this is what I ended up with.

These bars are utterly delicious. You have a streusel style crust covered with a rich cheesecake style later, then topped with large dollops of apple butter and more streusel. You go from sweet and creamy to crunchy and nutty to tart and fruity in each bite of these. They are perfect for the family and after school snacks, perfect for a potluck or church dinner and great for a family dessert topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ˜€

Amish Apple Butter Streusel Bars

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts, (10 minutes, 350 oven)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 sticks ( 1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups apple butter
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil and butter the foil or spray it with non stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, 2 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Use a wooden spoon or your clean hands to mix in the butter, combining until it is a crumbly mass and no dry flour mixture remains.
  3. Set aside 1and 1/2 cups of the streusel and then press the rest of the streusel firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the crust is just a light golden brown.
  4. While the crust bakes, make your filling- in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese together with the sugar until light and creamy. Add in the milk and vanilla extract and blend just until combined. Beat in the eggs just until well combined. Sprinkle the flour/cinnamon mix over the top and stir that into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. When the crust is ready, pour the cream cheese batter over the top of the crust and smooth. Evenly dollop the apple butter over the cream cheese filling, then use a spoon or butter knife to gently swirl it into the filling. Sprinkle the reserved streusel over the top.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Place the pan on a rack to cool completely. You can cut if then, but I found it slices better if chilled. Either way, cut into squares and serve. Keep refrigerated for storage.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Amish Apple Butter Streusel Bars

Amish Apple Butter Streusel Bars

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

The guys and I went to visit my second oldest son Cameron and his wife Tiffany last week. They live in Tennessee with a mountain view and it’s so darn pretty it will make your eyeballs bleed.ย  No, I’m not sure why your eyeballs would bleed. Don’t pressure me for logic here. I have a headache.

But…while we were there, Cam made a yummy dinner one night of a smoked brisket and some homemade refrigerator pickles (recipe coming soon, since I swiped it from him). For dessert that night, we had a Smores Pie my daughter in law made (also recipe coming soon. it was SO good!) and I also whipped up a three berry and nectarine crisp. I made one similar to this last Summer, but this one was much better, I have to say. It wasn’t as sweet, I’ve perfected my streusel since then (If I do say so myself) and I omitted the lime cream I served with that one and we had it with ice cream. So, so delicious and seasonal. This also doesn’t use as many nectarines, but instead I upped the berries.

If you don’t like nectarines, go ahead and use peaches. I prefer nectarines myself because they aren’t fuzzy, making it unnecessary to peel the fruit (thus saving time and also adding a bit of fiber to the crisp), plus they tend to be sweeter and juicier. But you do you.

You know the drill…. at least you SHOULD know it after five years of hearing me say it. Get to cooking! ๐Ÿ˜€

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

 

  • Streusel-
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, refrigerator cold and sliced thin
  • Fruit filling-
  • 3 ripe nectarines, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 6 ounce carton fresh blackberries
  • 1 6 ounce carton fresh raspberries
  • 1 dry pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup sugar (if the fruit is nice and sweet, go for the lower amount)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 3 quart baking dish; preferably a glass one, as metal pans can react with the fruits and leave the filling with a grayish tinge, plus metal with fruit can have an off flavor.
  2. Make your filling- In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients except the vanilla. Stir thoroughly but gentle so as to not mash the berries. Sprinkle the vanilla over the top and carefully stir it in. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and make the streusel
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients for the streusel. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Get it barely cut in, then it’s easier if you use your fingers to finish. Just grab the streusel and kind of rub it between your fingers and thumb to help combine the ingredients. You want to end up with pieces ranging from pea sized to quarter sized.
  4. Note- do NOT use warm butter. The butter has to be cold for streusel to work. Otherwise, it all melts when baked rather than ending up as nice crunchy chunks.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the crisp. If you don’t want to use it all (but why not?), just freeze what you don’t use.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the fruit filling is thickened and bubbly, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve warm, preferably with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp 1

 

 

Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 3

I would apologize for having been gone so long, but you’ve all heard it before. I’ve become like that straying spouse that says for the 12th time, “I promise; it won’t happen again! Trust me!” and then they step out on you again ๐Ÿ˜› I do what I can post wise lately and I know that those of you who have been around for pretty much my full five years (Yes! We passed the five year mark early this month. D’you believe it!?) love me anyway.

Are you all as totally sick as me of all the political crap on facebook anymore? I love my friends, but I swear, I can’t scroll half an inch there without being bombarded with “Democrats are evil; no, Republicans are evil!” posts. It is enough to make one want to go live on a deserted island in the south pacific with only a banana tree for food and a macaw for company.ย  Wait; I wanted to do that anyway. I mean, really, think about it. Bananas are a perfectly good food to live off of (though if I wanted protein, I imagine my buddy the macaw would start looking tasty hehe) and you can’t beat a nice sunny tropical island. Just send me with a few crates of books and a way to play music and it’s all good.

This wasn’t originally going to be a post, but it was too tasty to keep to myself. It’s nothing earth shaking. I was making my original banana bread and I noticed that I had a partial bag of chocolate chips I needed to use up. Then, when I glanced in the freezer for something else, I saw my stored bag of streusel. The two brain cells I have left decided to use both of these things in the bread. I have to say, it’s really quite good. I added a layer of streusel to the middle of each loaf along with a small handful of chocolate chips, then topped each loaf with more of the same. Simple, yet delicious. I sent some in with Joshie for his teacher today and she texted me saying it was fantastic. I soooo love when people enjoy what I’ve made. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a perfect after school snack, great with coffee for a quick and somewhat decadent breakfast (but it has bananas! It must be good for you, right?!), a nice late night treat; just an all around nice baked good to have around. And, as as in the case for most quick breads, this is easy to throw together and get in the oven.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup solid shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups of mashed bananas (this is about 5 to 6 medium bananas)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional, but it adds a nice flavor)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (toast in a single layer in a 350 oven until they are a light golden brown)
  • 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • Streusel-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (optional; with me, nuts in streusel depends on my mood)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease 6 mini disposable foil loaf pans and set aside. Alternately, you can do this in a 9 inch loaf pan, but you’ll have extra that you’ll need to make muffins with.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, on low speed, cream together the shortening and the sugar until well combined. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla, banana and butter flavorings and eggs. Beat well.
  4. Dump in the flour mixture and using a large spoon or rubber spatula, combine JUST until mixed. Itโ€™s fine if there are a few lumps or white streaks. I have said before and will say again, you do NOT want to over beat quick breads and/or muffins. You end up with tough rubbery final products doing that. Resist that urge.
  5. Fold in the toasted walnuts. Again; donโ€™t over mix.
  6. Fill each mini loaf pan about half full. Sprinkle with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the streusel and then about a tablespoon of the chocolate chips. Divide the rest of the batter evenly over each loaf, carefully smoothing the top to get it over the streusel. Top each loaf with another 2 tablespoons of streusel and some chocolate chips. If you have streusel left over, it freezes wonderfully.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out cleanย  If this starts to brown too much, just lay a piece of foil over the top as it bakes.
  8. Let it sit in the pan for ten minutes, then gently squeeze the bottom of the pan to loosen the loaf and turn it out carefully to a rack to finish cooling.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 5

 

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp



I obviously love baking. I mean, 90% of this blog is centered around baked goods of one type or another. I love quick breads, crisps and cobblers,, muffins, scones, biscuits, cookies, etc, etc, etc. But you notice something you don’t see in that list? Pies. I love to EAT pies, but with the exception of making both pecan and pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don’t like MAKING pies. Rolling a pie crust, crimping it, getting it in the pan, so on and so forth drives me batty. I know that relaxes some people, but I’m not one of those people. Kneading bread dough, shaping it into a perfect loaf? That, on the other hand, relaxes me, makes me feel accomplished and all that rot.

So, what does someone who doesn’t like making an apple pie do when she has a craving for apple pie? Other than going to the store and buying one from Marie Callender? ๐Ÿ˜› She makes a crisp! What better way to get all the apple pie flavor without the hassle of a crust? Plus, there’s that whole streusel thing and Lord knows I use any excuse I can find to bake something with streusel.

This recipe came from Ina Garten. I didn’t do a bunch to change it. I took out the orange juice and all the citrus zest; I’m just not a fan of apples with lemon and orange zest, unless, by chance, cranberries are in the mix too. I also added 1/4 cup of flour to the filling, because I didn’t want a soupy mess of liquidy apples. I added a touch more cinnamon to the topping and a third LESS brown sugar, because, well, cinnamon and with the full amount of brown sugar, it would have been way too sweet. And you know when I’M saying something would be too sweet, it would be too sweet, lol. And I used a pretty wide variety of apples; Macoun, Winesap, Granny Smith, Jonagold and Mcintosh, because I wanted a variety of flavor and texture in this. Otherwise, all Ina all the time. Or something like that.

This is a wonderful crisp. It’s NOT however, made size wise for a family of two, unless they have neighbors they can give some too. This makes a good sized pan. You can always cut it in half. You have the wonderful buttery, cinnamony, crunchy streusel on top and underneath it are tender, warm juicy apples lightly flavored with sugar and spice. Top this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a puddle of heavy cream and you’ll be in heaven.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ˜€

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

  • Filling-
  • 5 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (bottles is fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Streusel-
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl (and I mean large if you’re going to have any room to stir without flipping apples all over the counter), combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir well, making sure to reach the bottom of the bowl, to make sure all the apples get coated.
  2. Dump the apple mixture into a heavily buttered 4 quart dish that you set inside of a large rimmed baking dish, or even a cookie sheet. This is just to catch any possible overflow. Also, remember, the larger the surface area the dish has, the quicker the crisp will cook plus the more streusel you can fit on top. ๐Ÿ˜€ The dish I used, while pretty, wasn’t able to fit all the streusel on it. But that’s ok; it just means I have streusel in my freezer again.
  3. Rinse and dry your bowl, then pour the flour, both sugars, the oats and the spices into it and whisk to combine.
  4. Dump the cold sliced butter into the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut it in, cutting until you have pebble sized chunks. What I usually do is use the pastry cutter to start, then once it’s more or less mixed, I stick my hands in there and press it between my fingers for a minute or two. You’d be surprised at how much blended the streusel gets doing it that way.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the apple filling. You want a nice thick layer. If you have any left, just put it into a ziploc bag and freeze it for another use.
  6. Bake the crisp at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the edges show nicely bubbling juices.
  7. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Trust me on this. Molten apples kinda burn.
  8. Serve with ice cream or heavy cream. Enjoy!
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping



I can see some of you (yes, even you, my dear brother) scratching your heads and saying, “Who is this blogger? I don’t remember this blog at all. Ohhhh, wait, this is that crazy woman who hasn’t blogged in weeks, isn’t it? NOW I remember”. I also then envision you running into the night, screaming in terror. Please tell me I’m wrong on that last part? But… yes, I was gone for a couple of weeks. Reasons don’t matter; it’s just time now for you to rejoice, throw confetti and be glad I’m back. Or something like that.

Did I ever mention that my husband does NOT like peaches or nectarines? He doesn’t care for stone fruits in general, actually. Why I stay with this man with these fatal flaws he has is beyond me. he also doesn’t like sushi, mushrooms, the skin on fried chicken or any sort of fat on meat. Pray for me.

But I like nectarines, so he has to deal with it; that or just not eat any of this deliciousness. I had a bag of nectarines that I needed to use in some way other than my normal sliced in a bowl with a little bit of sugar and cream. Plus, I had berries in the fridge that were getting long in the tooth. Not that that takes very long with berries, mind you. I wish there was a fool proof way to keep them fresh for longer than three days or so.

So I decided I wanted a crisp. I think my love for streusel is well known at this point considering I have about 9,452 recipes in here that use streusel. Fine, not quite that many. But I do love streusel. Add in some of my favorite fruits and I’m in heaven. With this one though, I went a bit further. The other night, I was having my usual bowl of berries and cream, but on a whim, I mixed some homemade lime curd into the cream. It was wonderful, so I decided to make it for this crisp. It adds a nice creamy yet tart finish to this. All in all, this was quite good (if I do say so myself). Buttery crispy streusel, sweet juicy fruit, all topped with a creamy topping. What else do you need? Other than ten million dollars. I can’t help you there.

You know the drill…

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup oats, not instant
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fruit filling-
  • 2 pounds (about 7 to 9, depending on size) ripe nectarines (could sub peaches), peeled and chopped
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh raspberries
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh blackberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Lime Cream Topping-
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 store bought or homemade lime (or lemon) curd
  1. Make your topping and refrigerate it. In a small bowl, combine the cream and curd. Use a whisk and beat until soft peaks form. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 400; butter 6 8 ounce ramekins or a 13×9 inch baking dish (preferably glass, as metal dishes tend to discolor fruits) In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Stir well, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to break up any large lumps in the sugar.
  4. Using a pastry blender or your fingers (I usually start with the pastry blender, then go to my fingers to finish it up), cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  5. Divide the fruit mixture evenly among the buttered ramekins. Top with the streusel. If, by chance, you don’t use all the streusel, it freezes wonderfully.
  6. Bake at 400 until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve at desired temp, topped with the lime cream.
Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars



The last post I mentioned being tired. Guess what? I’m still tired. Why, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? Because I have kids, that’s why. last night at about 2am, Joshie came in the room saying he had had a bad dream. We cuddled for a bit, then I put him back to bed. Three fifteen am, Josh came in and said he was scared in his room and he needed a drink. I got him a drink, tucked him back into bed with “Favorite Bear” and “Fuzzy Bear” and stumbled back to bed myself, after tripping over a meowing cat who decided that he too was lonely and swatting at my bare leg was the way to let me know. So, first I had to go clean the rivulets of blood of my leg and put in 33 stitches. Mind you, all of this was after not being able to sleep well anyway because I’ve been dealing with a Migraine. FINALLY, about 5:30, I fell asleep. Then my husband and Josh came to say bye at 6:30 when Russ took Josh to school and himself to work. Fell asleep again… all the way to dream sleep this time…… only to suddenly be jerked awake by the feeling of someone poking me in the head through the pillow I routinely keep over my head to keep out light and noise. What was it, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you?

It was my 18 year old son Zach. He had missed the bus and needed a ride in. After I sobbed for a while and threw a tantrum while lying on the floor kicking my feet, I drove the boy in. And stopped at a gas station for something they pretended was coffee, but I’m fairly sure was really leftover ethanol. So I added cream and sugar to it and hoped for the best.

Which brings us to these bars. I blame lack of sleep and my family for the fact that I let these go a bit too long in the oven and the bottom crust was a weeeeeee bit hard (think machete needed) to cut through. Just remember… in cases like this, do not let me be your foodie role model. You’re welcome for that reminder.

They are good even with the slightly rocky bottom crust though, which says a lot for the bars. These are just my rendition of the ever popular Salted Caramel Butter Bars that are ubiquitous to the internet. They originally came from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey which I love and have taken out of the library about 63 times. I mean, really…. just look at the title. Of COURSE I love this cookbook!

The original bars are just crust, salted caramel and crumbles on top. Can we say one dimensional? :-p Not that anything with salted caramel and streuselly crumbs is a BAD thing. I just happened to think it needed something. Whoda thunk it, huh? So what did I do, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? I added some toasted pecans in the top crumb layer and I added some chocolate chips on top of the caramel layer and increased the amount of caramel by about 4 ounces. See? Nothing earth shaking. Just enough to change it up a bit.

These are SWEET with a capital SWEET! Cut these bars small. I can see layering a couple of tart apples in there during the Autumn season to help cut the sweetness or serving these with some unsweetened sauteed apples as dessert. They just cry out for some tang. Also? Do not cringe when you see the amount of butter in these. C’mon… they’re called butter bars and this is my blog. You expected salad?

You know the drill….

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 2 cups (1 lb) salted butter, room temp (you can sub unsalted, but add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mixture if you do)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a 350 degree oven
  • Filling-
  • 2 9 ounce bags Werthers Baking Caramels, unwrapped (because you know you planned on leaving them wrapped :-p)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, preferably non stick. If NOT non stick foil, butter the foil or grease it with cooking spray.
  2. Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer for this, but you will end up covered in flour and powdered sugar. Trust me. Cream them together until smooth. Add in the flour and beat at medium speed until you have a crumbly mass of dough.
  3. Pat 1/3 of the dough into the prepared pan; add the toasted pecans to the remainder of the dough, then place the part with the nuts in the fridge. Bake the crust at 350 until it is just firm and a light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the crust cooks, make the filling. Place the caramels, cream and vanilla extract into a medium bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds. Stir to help melt, then continue microwaving for 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until it is smooth and fully melted. Mine took 2 and a half minutes altogether.
  5. Pour the caramel over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the teaspoon sea salt and the chocolate chips. Get the dough from the fridge and crumble it up over the top of the caramel. It is a lot of crumbs but don’t worry, it works.
  6. Bake at 350 until the filling is bubbly and the top layer is a nice light golden brown. Remember, I said LIGHT. Don’t be like me ๐Ÿ˜› The baking should take about 25 minutes.
  7. ย Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Cut into small squares and serve with something tart…or some nice black coffee.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

 

Apricot (or your favorite flavor) Almond Streusel Bars

Yum

Apricot Almond Streusel Bars

Apricot Almond Streusel Bars

I can just see some of you out there rolling your eyes, saying, “My God, woman, enough with the streusel! How many streusel baked goods can you post!?” To which I say, in response, “All of them”. I ๐Ÿ˜€ like me some streusel , what can I say? Streusel makes me happy. it also makes me have to sweep off the bed when I decide to try and eat a slice of this while laying in bed reading “The Clan Of The Cave Bear”. But I think Ayla would have liked streusel. Heck, if those books are any indication, Ayla was the one to discover streusel. Lord knows she and her “mate”, Jondolar, discovered everything else we have nowadays, from the bow and arrow to nuclear weapons and modern plane travel. I think they were also the first ones to bake twinkies :-p

Well now… that was a random tangent, even for me. But so long as I’m on it…. I just finished rereading that book. I read it back in the day when it came out and probably about 4 or five times since.ย  While portions of that book are rather ridiculous and tedious, Jean Auel did have one hell of a knack for describing food. The woman had me wanting Mammoth pot roast (I swear, every time I read that book, I start craving a juicy tender pot roast) and planning on hunting down acorns in the hopes that I could “leech the bitterness out of them”. And I STILL want to try the one flatcake she mentioned that was soaked in maple syrup, then dried in the sun.

But, until I come across a live mammoth or have time to pound and dry a butt ton of acorns, I will stick to streusel. Streusel for the win! Especially when they are layered with apricot preserves and chocolate chips. I love chocolate covered apricots but can never figure out whether to eat the white chocolate covered ones or the dark chocolate ones, so in these bars, I just used both. These are a simple bar… both to make and in their hominess. They are a perfect snack (just stay out of bed with them), good school or after school snack and great for a family dessert or a pot luck. Crispy, fruity, chocolatey… what more do you need?

(Originally from Better Baking)

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Mrs. Cupcake… who needs to go vacuum the bed again

Apricot Almond Streusel Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups apricot preserves (use your favorite flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cups white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil; butter or spray the foil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, oats, almonds, both kinds of sugar, baking powder,ย  and salt.
  3. Use a pastry blender or your fingers (I usually start out with the pastry blender to cut the large pieces down, then use my hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients) to cut the butter into the flour mixture. You want to get it to about the size of peas and nice and crumbly looking.
  4. Take outย  1 1/2 cups of the streusel and set it aside. Pour the rest into the prepared pan and pat it firmly down into the bottom of the pan for the crust.
  5. Combine the preserves with the extracts; stir well. Spoon this over the crust; spread to the edges. Top with the two types of chips, then sprinkle the rest of the streusel on top.
  6. Bake at 350 until the top is golden brown and you can see the preserves bubbling at the sides of the pan, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack until completely cool, then use the foil to help lift the bars out of the pan. Slice into desired sized squares, remembering that these are fairly sweet, so make them somewhat small.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars



I am notorious for totally sucking at making apple pies. I add far too much cinnamon and don’t slice my apples thinly enough, leaving some pieces half raw and others too mushy. I also stunk at pie crusts.ย  Well, I used to be anyway. For holidays, I STILL tend to buy Marie Callendars Dutch Apple Pie. Why, if I no longer suck? Cause 1) I’m lazy and 2) I love them, so I keep using the whole “I stink at making apple pies!” excuse. Sooner or later, my husband will catch on that I continue to buy $8.00 pies when I could just as easily make one for half the cost, but for now, when Thanksgiving day gets here, I have a Marie Callendar pie waiting in the freezer. Darlin’, if you’re reading this, I’m lying right here…honest, I still stink at making pies *bats lashes and looks innocent*

But, to be honest, I may just leave that pie in there this year and make these bars. I had originally planned on a bar that could be more hand held and had a double crust. But, as happens with me often, and with a lot of bloggers, it morphed into something different. This is still caramel apple pie, but less hand held bar (even though it was done is a square pan) and more “cut a slab of this bad boy, put it on a plate and smother it in caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream” sort of pie. It CAN be hand held, if you’re on the run, since it’s not drippy unless you put far too much caramel lol. But it’s really more of a plate dessert.

This is more multi-step than I usually do, but none of those steps are difficult. Make the dough for the crust and while it’s chilling, prepare your streusel and the pie filling. Then roll out your dough, put it in the pan, top with the filling, then top with the streusel. Voila… ready to go. You DO need to let this cool until it’s completely cool however. Really, with any fruit pie, you should do that. How many times have you cut a warm pie and ended up with half of the filling oozing out into the pan? Let it cool and if you want it warm, you can nuke it for 30 seconds. Trust me. It will set up firmer and not be an oozing mess. Once ready to serve, cover it as desired in caramel sauce (in my case, about 8 or 9 cups worth) and maybe some ice cream. Eat, Enjoy. Thank me. Oh..this crust makes enough for two, so if you’re not wanting to double up the filling and streusel and make two pans, just freeze the other half of the dough until you need it. It never hurts to have some on hand.

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

  • Crust- (lightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold
  • 2/3 cup solid shortening, cold
  • 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water (the original recipe called for 4 to 5, but that was nowhere near enough)
  • Filling-
  • 5 1/2 cups cored, peeled and chopped (bite sized chunks) apples, about 5 apples. I used a mix of tart and sweet apples
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup Kraft caramel bits (found in the baking aisle)
  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cups oats (NOT instant)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • caramel sauce for topping
  1. Make the crust- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×9 square pan with foil, using two long pieces, each going in the opposite direction. (line one way, turn pan, line the opposite way, so that all four sides of the pan have a layer of foil) In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and shortening until it looks like small pebbles or peas.
  2. Add the ice water, no more than 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add water until the dough comes together when mixed and isn’t sticky, just firm and holding itself together when pressed. Wrap dough in foil or plastic and chill while you make the streusel and filling.
  3. Streusel-
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until it is crumbly with, again, pea sized pieces. It’s ok if some chunks are a bit larger. Set aside.
  5. Filling-
  6. In a large bowl, toss the apple chunks with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the flour, spices and sugar. Pour over the apples and mix well, making sure to stir from the bottom, as the flour will settle. Add in the caramel pieces and stir well.
  7. Put together-
  8. Get your chilled dough. Cut in half and store half for later use. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out into a square that measures about 2 inches larger than the pan, about 11×11. Easiest way to gauge- just hold the pan upside down over the dough and eye how large it is. If you need more dough, just use some from the saved half. That half can still be used for mini tarts or tassies. Gently (I use a dough scraper) lift the dough up and lay it in the pan. Press gently down into the pans, going up the sides about 2 inches. If it is uneven, carefully cut tiny bits off of the higher areas and use it to patch onto the shorter ones.
  9. Pour the filling over the prepared crust, smoothing top. Sprinkle the streusel over the filling. Bake at 375 minutes until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges, about 60 to 70 minutes.
  10. Let cool in the pan until completely cool. Cut and serve, drizzling (pouring copious amounts of…) caramel sauce on top of each piece, reheating for about 30 seconds in the microwave is desired.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.