Apple Pie Bars

I made these yummy Apple Pie Bars the other night when the family came over for dinner. I found the recipe in an old Taste Of Home magazine. It won the grand prize for their Dessert bar contest and I definitely now know why. These Apple Pie Bars had all of the delicious goodness of a home-made apple pie in the form of a bar cookie. This is a very good way to serve apple pie to a larger crowd. My very bad picture-taking skills does these no justice, (to dark) sorry! Anyway……. Here’s the recipe..

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 to 10 Tablespoons cold water

Filling:

  • 7 cups finely chopped peeled apples
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • dash ground nutmeg

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  1. In a bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and water; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide in half. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out one portion of dough between two large sheets of waxed paper into a 17-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Transfer to an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Press pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of pan; trim pastry even with top edge.
  3. In a bowl, toss the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; spread over crust. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pan; place over filling. Trim edges; brush edges between pastry with water or milk; pinch to seal. Cut slits in top. Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients until smooth; drizzle over bars before cutting.

Agave Fresh Fruit Salsa with Sugar N Spice Chips

My family gets together almost every single Sunday (unless the kids sports prohibits me from being there) for Family Dinner. It’s a tradition that has been going on for as long as I can remember. Nowadays we choose themes for our sunday meals and everyone brings a dish to go with our theme. On this particular Sunday our theme was summer/bbq foods. My mom brought this Agave Fresh Fruit Salsa and we all loved it! What says summer more than fresh, sweet, juicy fruit? This fruit salsa was delicious, light and refreshing. She got the recipe out of the Wholeliving July/August 2012 magazine.

The ingredients are:

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries
  • 4 apricots or 2 large peaches (mom used peaches)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh, chopped pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup organic light Agave Nectar or 1/2 cup Organic Sugar (mom couldn’t find Agave Nectar so she used Raw Sugar)
  • 1-3 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh mint
  1. Dice strawberries, peaches and pineapple into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine all fruit and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine lime juice and Agave Nectar/Sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of chili powder (increase by teaspoonfuls to reach desired flavor); mix well.
  3. Add agave mixture, cilantro and mint to the fruit, tossing until combined. Serve immediately.

Sugar N Spice Chips

  • 1 bag (8.5 to 10.5 oz) corn tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup Organic Sugar (mom used raw Sugar)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. chili powder
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Dip tortilla chips into melted butter. Using a pastry brush, remove excess butter to give each chip a thin, even layer of butter on both sides. Place chips on prepared cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and chili powder to taste. Sprinkle over buttered chips, and bake for approximately 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Breakfast Buns

I was looking for something to make for breakfast when I came across this recipe in an old Taste of Home magazine. This is an old-fashioned recipe said to be more than 70 years old. These Breakfast Buns are similar to a scone and are very good! Even the kids and husband who complained at first that there were raisins in them, loved them. I served them warm with butter.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins (I only used a 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Beat eggs, milk and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Add raisins. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over buns.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 16 servings.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

 

The dessert I made for our Cinco De Mayo dinner was this Mexican Chocolate Cake. I found the recipe in an old Gourmet magazine (April 2004). This cake was perfectly moist, the glaze like frosting was rich and delicious, and the hint of cinnamon was perfect. We all really enjoyed this cake.

The ingredients are:

For Cake

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Glaze

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 5 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Special equipment: a 9-inch tube pan or 12-cup bundt pan

Make cake: 

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter cake pan well and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
  2. Melt butter (2 sticks) in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth, then remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl, then sift again into cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (don’t worry if there are lumps).
  4. Pour batter into cake pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 45 to 55 minutes. (my cake was done at 42 minutes)

Make glaze:

  1. Melt butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, then stir in half-and-half and confectioners sugar. Add chocolate and cook, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Cool glaze until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spoon glaze over top and sides of cake (cake will still be warm) and spread with a small offset spatula or knife to cover completely.

Cooks’ note:

Cake (with glaze) can be made 2 days ahead and kept at room temperature in a cake keeper or covered with an inverted bowl.

 

 

Cinnamon Cheesecake Bars

 

I’m going to start this post off by saying everyone should have this dessert recipe in their files! I have had this recipe for Cinnamon Cheesecake Bars for around 10 years now. I have brought them to numerous gatherings, Bunco night, fundraisers, BBQ’s, Birthday Parties, Brunches. Wherever you need to go and bring a dessert or whenever, these bars will be loved! What also makes this recipe so great is that I can prepare it in only a few minutes, and I normally have all of the ingredients on hand. Without fail if I bring these somewhere I am asked for the recipe. So here it is just click and print! They are not super fancy but they are delicious and sooo easy to make!

The ingredients are:

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls
  • 2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar for the topping
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Flatten one tube of crescent rolls in bottom of ungreased 9×13″ pan.
  3. Mix cream cheese with 1 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly on dough. Place the remaining tube of rolls over filling and with fingers press perforations together.Drizzle melted butter over top layer of dough.
  4. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of melted butter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate well before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Morning Glory Muffins

I have seen so many recipes for Morning Glory Muffins over the years and I have always wanted to try to make them. I liked the idea of these muffins being packed with so many good for you ingredients like carrot, apple, and raisins. I’m so glad that I finally did because we really liked these muffins! I don’t know if the kids realized that they were getting fruit and veggies in their muffin. I would definitely make these again. The recipe came from my Taste of Home 30-Minute Cookbook.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled and shredded
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in carrots, raisins, coconut and pecans.
  2.  Combine eggs, oil, apple and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  3. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until muffins test done.

Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen

Old-Fashioned Rice Custard

 

 

 

 

I have always been a fan of rice pudding. So when I came across this recipe in a cookbook (Taste of Home’s Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2006) I knew that I wanted to try it. I am so glad that I did because this rice custard was delicious!!! It was perfectly sweet and rich. By far the best rice pudding/custard that I have ever had! I had my Aunt and kids over for dinner and this is what I served for dessert. Everyone loved it and polished it off in seconds. As a matter of fact I think next time I will try to double the recipe.

I adapted the recipe just slighty to our tastes.

The ingredients are:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 4 cups milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter (use real butter, don’t skimp)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In the top of a double boiler, combine rice and 2 cups milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, over boiling water until rice is tender and most of the water has evaporated, about 45-50 minutes. Stir in butter.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs; blend in sugar, vanilla, salt and remaining milk. Stir into the hot rice mixture. Pour into a lightly greased 2-qt. casserole and top with cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until firm. Serves 6-8

 

Baked Oatmeal

About 5 years ago we went to visit some friends in Texas. For breakfast one morning my friend Angie made us all baked oatmeal. It was so good and we all loved it. So I asked her for the recipe and have been making it for my family ever since. I serve it warm right out of the oven with a little bit of milk and it’s delicious. I normally double this recipe but this time I didn’t and by the time we were done there wasn’t a crumb left. I used chopped green apple but you could also use raisins, blueberries, peaches or what ever else you might like. The ingredients are:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar

In a medium bowl, mix all theses dry ingredients together

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 eggs

In a small bowl mix all of these wet ingredients.

Add wet ingredient to dry ingredients and mix together.

  • 1 small green apple chopped

Add chopped apple to the mixture and combine.

  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Pour mixture into a square baking dish. Sprinkle on the brown sugar and top with pats of cold butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with milk.

Apple-Raisin Bars

The women in my family love to cook. It is a passion and a bond that we share. We all try to get together once a week for family cook night. On this night we all bring a new recipe to share. One that we’ve either created ourselves or tried from a cookbook or magazine. Sometimes the recipes are great (we call those keepers), sometimes they are just OK (good enough to eat for the night but probably wouldn’t make it again), and then sometimes they are just plain Yukky (bummer but when you are trying new recipes that happens).

This last week we got together and all in all the recipes were pretty good. My mom made a Beef and Broccoli dish (the recipe was from an Everyday Food magazine) that was good but not as good as the Beef and Broccoli recipe she already has (I’ll have to share that recipe another day). I made a Paula Deen recipe for shrimp and vegetable tempura that was not good at all. It was not light and crunchy like tempura should be. After some doctoring up it was edible but I definitely won’t be sharing that recipe either. The star of the night was the Apple-Raisin Bars that my Aunt made. She found the recipe in a Family Circle magazine. We all really enjoyed these bars! The apples and raisins with the spice of the cinnamon was perfect. This recipe was definitely a keeper, so I’ll share this one with you.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Golden Delicious apple
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Liberally coat a 13×9″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; mix for 2 minutes or until just incorporated. Stir in diced apples and raisins and spread into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

Enjoy!

Apple Crunch Muffins

I made these Apple Crunch Muffins this morning for breakfast and Oh My Goodness are they good! I can’t believe that this recipe has been lying in my bin of recipes to try for 7 years! Everyone really enjoyed them. They are moist with the perfect amount of apple and cinnamon taste. Not to mention they made my house smell heavenly. I’m so glad I finally tried this recipe and I will definitely be making them again!

The ingredients are:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1 1/2 t. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening (I used butter flavored)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Tart Apples, unpeeled and shredded

Topping:

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 t. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans (Optional, I did not use)

Mix all together and set aside.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into mixing bowl.
  3. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until fine crumbs form.
  4. Combine egg and milk. add to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to moisten. Stir in apples.
  5. Spoon batter into paper lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. (I was able to fill 11 cups) Sprinkle with crunch topping.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  7. Serve warm with butter.