Denise,  Food

Fall Baking

top left – right; apple bars, pumpkin bars, apple cinnamon bread

With 3 kids plus a husband who works from home, someone is always hungry.  Sure, I buy granola bars and other processed snacks, but I don’t like it.  I am not shaming anyone here; it is more that I am a stay-at-home mom who has always enjoyed baking and gosh darnitt, I should bake snacks for my kids!  In a perfect world, they would be whole grain, no sugar, filled to the brim with superfoods….but lets be honest here: it is hard enough to carve out time to bake up a bunch of tidbits as it is right now.  I am not adding to the stress by being militant about ingredients at all times.  I try to provide healthy meals and choices for the kids…and then also give myself some grace when a little vegetable oil sneaks into a baked good or two.  We are all doing our best, amiright?

I have found that having a day where I just bake up a ton of stuff and freeze it is one of the most efficient uses of my time in this season of life (that season being where I spend far more time in my car than in my kitchen).  I try to gather a bunch of recipes on Pinterest that look delicious or easy or something the kids will love, then make sure I grab extra ingredients when I run to the store 15 times a week.  The pumpkin bars I whipped up one night while dinner was cooking (which is a minor miracle since I am near comatose with fatigue by the time dinner is cooking).  The apple bars are a little more time consuming, but also are basically a slab apple pie and totally worth a few extra minutes.

Two recipes I made this go around are ones my mom passed down: Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting and My great-aunt Shirley’s Frosted Apple bars.  The apple bars specifically are a family favorite and we look forward to scarfing them down whenever possible.

Frosted Apple Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, seperated
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of cornflakes, crushed
  • 10 apples, peeled, pared and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and salt together and cut in the shortening.  Add in the egg yolks and water and mix it into a ball.  Roll out half of the dough to fit a 12 x 18″ jelly roll pan.  Sprinkle with the cornflakes (A KEY TO THIS RECIPE!!!).  Mix the apples with the cinnamon and 1 1/2 cups of sugar, then put on top of the dough.  Roll out other half of the dough and use it to cover the apples.  Beat 2 egg whites and brush on top of the dough.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  You can make a simple drizzle for the bars by combining a half of cup of powdered sugar with a tablespoon of milk, and lightly drizzle over the bars once cooled.

Note: I did sub butter for the shortening this year and had fantastic success!  I didn’t even use cold butter, it was room temp.  I know, breaking all of the rules!

 

Pumpkin Bars and Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teapoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Mix the eggs, sugar and pumpkin together then stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well and pour into a greased and floured 12 x 18″ jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Top with cream cheese frosting [I just used a basic cream cheese frosting that I found on Pinterest.  Feel free to use whatever you want, but definitely don’t skip it!].

Lastly, I made a batch of apple cinnamon bread, which you can find the recipe for (along with some other fall recipes I am planning to try over the next few weeks) on our Pinterest board.  Hope you loves these recipes as much as we do!

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