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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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cheesecakebars11_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris-Brady

Thanks for sticking with me gang, while I get this off-to-college/graduation business sorted out! Here is a nice, quick little recipe that would make a lovely Mother’s Day dessert to have with tea or coffee. It’s super easy, a great one to do with the kiddos.

You can vary the flavors with this to suit, I used orange flavoring and mini-chips but you could use citrus or almond as well. This comes from Maida Heatter’s Book of C0okies, and they freeze well if you want to make them ahead. It’s tempting to cut them in larger squares, but the smaller 2″ squares seem just right.

Cheesecake Bars, Makes about 16 2″ squares

  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 8 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese at room temp.
  • 1/4 c. granulated sguar
  • 1 t. flavoring (vanilla or other)
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour and oatmeal. Blend until well mixed.

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Set aside a cup of the mixture and press the rest into a lightly greased 8″ square pan.

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Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, cream the egg, sugar, flavoring and cream cheese together well.

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Pour it over the hot crust.

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I added a few mini chips here to compliment my orange flavored filling.

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Top the cheesecake with the rest of the crumbs.

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Return it to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

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Cool thoroughly and then refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut it into squares with a sharp knife and serve.

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Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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badabings13_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

The blog has been in a bit of a baking drought lately, because quite frankly, we’ve been in a drought! I’ve been spending about two hours every day out watering to keep my gardens going and it’s cramping my baking style. But I’m here to make it up to you – today we’ve got these amazing bars and we’re heading into a birthday weekend, so next week there will be PIE.

For whatever reason I’ve never felt too creative with Bing cherries. Maybe it’s because they are such stainers, we tend to just eat them fresh. But after I had yummy almond cherry crisp made with Bings I decided to get them another look. The base of these bars is a chewy almond BROWN BUTTER (heck yeah!) blondie-type batter, sprinkled with Bings and topped with more almond streusel.  I was a little worried the cherries would juice up and stain the batter but they didn’t – they stayed intact and baked up in a very pretty – tasty – way. Once the butter is browned you dump in the rest of the ingredients and badaboom you’ve got badabings!

BTW, you could easily sub in a GF flour mix for the regular flour.

Badabing Chewy Cherry Bars, Makes on 9 x 13 pan (about 15 bars)

  • One stick of butter
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • Four eggs
  • 1 t. almond extract
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. almond flour
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1/3 c. wheat germ
  • 1 c. Bing/dark sweet cherries, halved and pitted

For the streusel:

  • 3 T. softened butter
  • 3/4 c. oatmeal
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. flour

Heat the butter over medium heat in a saucepan until you start getting a nutty brown color. Take it off the heat and set it aside to cool to lukewarm.

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Preheat the oven to 325. Pour the butter into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugars, then beat the eggs in one at a time, followed by the almond extract.

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Add the flours, oatmeal, wheat germ, and baking soda.

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Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Top it with the cherries and slide that bad boy into the oven.

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While the bars are baking mix up the streusel. Combine all the streusel ingredients and work them together with your fingers until crumbly.

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Check the pan in the oven. When the edges are brown and the center is nearly set (about 20 minutes), remove the pan from the oven, quickly sprinkle it with streusel and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes. The streusel should lightly brown.

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Let the bars cool and cut them into squares.

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Store leftovers at room temperature covered with plastic wrap. Because of the brown butter these actually get better over the next day or two.

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One year ago: Stuffed Zucchini

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