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applepiebars15_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It’s hard sending a child to college, it’s harder still when they come home down two jean sizes! So part of the reason I don’t post as much lately is simply that I spend a lot of time baking and mailing. While I do bake a lot of my son’s favorites to send, I do try to mix in surprises – like these apple pie bars. Apple pie is one of his favorite desserts, but it’s hard to deal with in a dorm room with a tiny fridge and no place to wash up.

Given that, I tried to pack all the pie goodness in these individual servings that he can take out of the freezer as need arises. I started with a base from my chocolate oatmeal bars and took it from there. You could have these as-is, or you could fancy them up by plating them and topping each one with a scoop of ice cream.

Apple Pie Bars, Makes about 16 2.5″ servings

For the bars:
2½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. light brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 large eggs
3 cups old-fashioned oats
5 c. peeled and sliced baking apples

For the glaze:
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. water

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and mix well.

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Beat in the eggs.

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Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.

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Reserve a cup of the mixture, press the rest into a greased baking sheet (mine’s about 14″ square).

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You’ll have to flour your hands, the dough’s quite sticky. Put the sheet into the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.

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While the crust is baking, heat two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. When the butter’s melted add the apple slices.

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Saute over medium heat until the apples are just barely tender.

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Reduce the oven to 375. Spread the sauteed apples over the hot crust and sprinkle with cinnamon.

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Then dot the top with the rest of the reserved crust mixture.

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Return the sheet to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, until the streusel is brown.

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Cut into squares while still warm.

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When the bars are cool stir up the glaze (just stir all the ingredients together) and drizzle it over the top.

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Once the glaze has set you can package them (for college shipping!) or store them in an airtight container. I would put them in the refrigerator to keep longer than two days.

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chocolatetaco7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It may be a lot sunnier where you are but here after the holidays come the long, gray days of January. To brighten things I like to try new, fun things – especially where dessert is concerned. I made these to surprise my daughter one night at dinner, and she had fun putting them together with me. They would be great with mint ice cream, or any of the pretty colors, but being the girl she is she picked chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! (She takes after me 😉

If you need a lot of these I would double the batter to allow for breakage. A lot will depend on your oven and how it gets, as well as how quick you can get these off the sheet and formed.

Chocolate Tacos, Makes about 8

For the shells:
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. dark cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark.)
1 t. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
3 T. egg whites (about three whites)
1 t. 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 t. vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60%)
1 t. butter

For the filling:
1 pint ice cream

Preheat oven to 400°.Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring well.

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Stir in egg whites, milk, and vanilla.

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Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each corner, forming a circle with the back of a spoon.

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Bake at 400° for about 6 minutes. You have to find the time when the shells are bendable but cooked. It’s better to take them out too soon than wait too long, too long and they won’t bend at all. You’ll have sandwiches instead! Anyhoo, rush them out of the oven and bend them right away. Let them cool and repeat with the rest of the batter.

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When you’ve baked all the shells melt the chips with the butter and stir smooth. Dip the edges of the shells. We drizzled the extra over the top. You’ll notice that I lost three shells – mostly to breakage because I left the first batch in too long.

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Fill the shells with scoops of ice cream and return them to the freezer for 30 minutes before serving.

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When ready to serve plate each taco, drizzle a little more fudge or topping for sauce and some coconut for fun.

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These may made a week ahead, wrapped airtight and kept in the freezer.

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My Favorite Movies/Shows – Food Related

  • Chef's Table (!)
  • Chocolat
  • Chef
  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Hundred Foot Journey
  • Ratatouille
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Master Chef (NPR)
  • Julia's Kitchen (NPR)
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