Tuesday, October 21, 2008

sweet fall feast of applesauce spice bars

i don't participate in blogrolls or baking challenges (well, not online), but i do read a lot of cooking blogs and can't help but notice the recent(or not so?) love, and perhaps even obsession, for dorie greenspan. and it's not just online. i was at a party some months ago and saw her dimply plum cake for dessert. i promptly used this observation as party fodder and told my surrounding event-goers all about dorie, based on my very limited firsthand knowledge and supporting web "research".

so for what i believe is my first dorie recipe, i tried my hand at these fall-friendly bars. i like apples, i like raisins, and i like rum (although, i omitted this because i was bringing them to work) so i knew they would probably be good. plus, with dorie's loyal followers tattooing her name all over their bodies, i trusted that she might know what she doing. i mean, no one gets a tattoo that doesn't really mean something to them, right?
chopping some crisp apples

applesauce spice bars (recipe by dorie greenspan - not a direct book copy)
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp applejack, brandy, or dark rum (optional)
1 baking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 c plump, moist raisins (dark or golden)
1/2 c chopped pecans (i didn't use these due to a nut allergy at work)

2 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
1/3 c light brown sugar, packed
2-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. preheat oven to 350F, butter and flour a 9x13 baking pan and place on a baking sheet
2. whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt
3. in a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat
4. add brown sugar and stir with a whisk until melted and smooth (about 1 min)
5. remove pan from heat and slowly whisk in eggs one at a time until well blended
6. add applesauce, vanilla and liquor and whisk until smooth
7. with a spatula, gently add dry ingredients, mixing only until combined
8. add apple, raisins and nuts
9. pour into prepared baking pan, smooth top and bake for 23-25 min (until pulling in at sides)

10. while cooling, prepare glaze by whisking together cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup over medium heat
11. bring to boil and whisk frequently; allow to simmer and cook for 5 min
12. remove from heat and add vanilla
13. pour hot glaze over cooled bars (in baking pan*)
14. allow to cool and cut into square to remove from pan

*dorie suggests to remove bars from pan, then glaze...i prefer a thicker glaze that doesnt run over the sides. you do what you want.

pre and post baking

this recipe was easy and from what it seems, the bars came out perfectly. i say from what it seems because i've seen blog post upon blogpost featuring these bars...and mine fit in with their online friends. i am glad that i kept the bars in the pan to glaze because many people describe a loss of great proportions when the bars were removed.

fall! in a cakey-bar!

i really enjoyed these. i loved the chopped apples, juicy raisins and sweet glaze. i saved a few bars for husband and brought the rest in for a small birthday celebration at work. paired with mulled apple cider (which wasn't apple overkill, i promise) these were so tasty. people enjoyed them and if i didn't have 50 other fall recipes ready to try, i'd say i'd make these again. i probably won't this year, but you should try them. everybody's doing it, trust me!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

i'm sorry i'm not posting very frequently...i've been so busy with other parts of my life that i have been neglecting to document what i make. rest assured that i do have a few things ready to blog about and in the coming days/weeks, i will try to be better about including them. until then, you'll have to read my old posts. i know you can't stand it when i'm away, but that's all i can offer. i see you outside right now, hoping that i am typing a new post and not just playing the sims2. i told you not to come here unless i invited you, so please, go home...i assure you i will post more.

and look here, a design post! remember way back in the heat of the summer when i brought sweat and sweets together with my lovely bride friend? well she got married months ago and i didn't bring her their wedding gift until only very recently. way too recently. i have been holding on to that gift and special card and since i hadn't given it to her, i couldn't post about it. i think she reads, every so often, and what a shame that would have been. not only did i not give her a gift on time, but she'd get to see her wedding card on here before in real life. i'm careful, though, and i don't post cards until they've gone out in the mail.  it's why i've got some back up posts right now...things i can't blog about because the person for which they're intended should see then in person, first.

ha...that is the most ridiculous-about-nothing paragraph i have ever written. i come back to blog and it's about how i can't blog about things. 

but i can blog about this here lollipop card. nice vanilla stock, a purple lollipop and pretty, 3-d yellow bow...happy wedding! matching envelope liner for the win. this obviously doesn't apply to too many people, but it is perfect for my dear friend, i think. 

ok, you need to remove your nose from my window and seriously, go home. i'm clicking 'publish post' now.