Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars

applecrumb

Great recipe! Just a warning though… if you are a dunce at making candy like me, it’s really easy to burn the caramel. Trust me, I know. I used sprouted wheat flour so my crumb bars turned out quite a bit darker than the pictures in the recipe. They were still delicious though! Next time I think I would use less flour and less sugar … and maybe more apples.

Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod

ingredients:

Salted Caramel Sauce:

2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes

Apple Crumb Bars

For the Apple Filling:

5 cups peeled and diced apples (I used Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice

For the crust:

3 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

directions:

To make the Salted Caramel Sauce:

1. First, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the caramel sauce you have to pay close attention so you don’t burn it. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.

2. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Make sure you watch the pan very closely. This is where it is easy to burn the caramel. You want the caramel to reach 350 degrees F. If you are new to making caramel, I suggest using a thermometer.

3. As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes.

5. Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large mason jar and cool to room temperature while you make the apple crumb bars. This recipe makes 2 cups of caramel sauce. You can store the leftover caramel sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To make the Apple Crumb Bars:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. For the apple filling- place the diced apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground all-spice. Pour over the apples and carefully combine. Set aside.

3. For the dough-in a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or by using your hands, until butter is mixed in, but you still have small chunks of butter. Mix the egg and vanilla together. Add into the flour and butter mixture and combine. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan.

4. Spread the apple mixture evenly over the bottom crust. Drizzle about salted caramel sauce over the apple filling, about 3/4 cup. Crumble the remaining dough over the apple caramel layer and pat gently.

5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Drizzle salted caramel sauce over the squares and serve.

Note-you won’t use all of the salted caramel sauce for this recipe. Store the leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Apple Cider Honey Caramels

A couple of things that I learned about myself this week:

A. I stink at making candy. Like, really bad.

B. I do not like substituting honey for sugar. I just don’t. I have never been a fan of honey and while I really am trying to eat better and eat less sugar… this was going too far!

Apple-Cider-Honey-Caramels-Recipe-843x1024

Having said that, these caramels weren’t terrible to eat… they were just kind of a disaster is all. I didn’t get the temperature high enough so they stayed a runny mess. As far as the flavor goes, I really like adding the fresh pressed apple cider. The honey however, was a real bummer for me. If you like honey, you will probably love these! I am planning on trying again this week but using sugar instead. No. Honey. Ever. Again.

Apple Cider Honey Caramels from The Nerdy Farm Wife

Apple Cider Honey Caramels

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
  • pinch of ground ginger

Pour the apple cider into a heavy, deep saucepan. Bring to a boil then add the stick of butter. Continue boiling until butter is melted then stir in the honey, cinnamon, and ginger.

Cook until the mixture reaches 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer, stirring frequently.

Pour into a parchment paper lined 8×8 baking pan and let cool.

(Quick cleanup tip: Immediately after pouring your candy, place the still-hot saucepan in the sink and fill with water to soak.)

Lift out the parchment paper and using a pizza cutter or knife, slice into rows and then small squares. If needed for easier cutting, chill the candy for a few minutes in the freezer.

Yield: 3 or 4 dozen, depending on how small you cut them.

You can either store these in single layers between parchment paper or wrap each one individually in wax paper.

Rapunzel’s Squash and Hazelnut Soup

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I forgot to take my own picture this time… I was too busy eating my yummy soup. I got this recipe from the Disney Family website. My husband however was not a fan this time. He didn’t like the apple in it… go figure. I thought it was delicious though! The only thing I did differently was add a little cinnamon when I added the cumin. Yummy, warm Fall flavors!

Rapunzel’s Squash and Hazelnut Soup

What You’ll Need

2 lb butternut squash, seeded and cut into 6 sections

1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped

1 green apple, peeled, cored, and quartered

1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced

4 cups of chicken stock, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon cumin

(I added a pinch of cinnamon)

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 cup raw hazelnuts (for topping)

How To Make It

For Soup: Preheat oven to 400° F Line a baking dish with parchment paper and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.

Arrange butternut squash in the baking dish, skin side up. Scatter chopped parsnip and apple quarters around the squash. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour a quarter cup of water into the baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides easily through the skin of the squash.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and throw away the sprigs of thyme. Set aside to cool.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced onion and half a teaspoon of salt to the pan and sauté slowly about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Turn off the heat.

When squash is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel the skin from the butternut squash, discarding the skins. Place the peeled squash into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into a smooth purée, about 20 seconds. Pour purée into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

Place roasted parsnips, apple and sautéed onion into the bowl of the food processor. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock. Purée 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. If the purée is too dry, thin it using an additional half cup of chicken stock. Note: Do not fill a food processor more than half full with hot liquids. Doing so could result in the top or bottom of the food processor bowl blowing off due to pressure.

Add puréed parsnip and onion mixture to the squash in the stockpot. Add the remaining chicken stock to the pot and raise the heat to medium high. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

While soup is simmering add a half teaspoon of ground cumin, as well as salt and white pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in a half cup of heavy cream

To Roast Hazelnuts: Preheat oven to 275° F Place 1 cup of raw Hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the hazelnut skins burst.

Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, roll hazelnuts between paper towels to remove skins. Place skinless hazelnuts into a small plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin.

Serve soup in bowls or insulated cups and top with the crushed roasted hazelnuts.

Pumpkin Fettuccini Alfredo

Once again, delicious! I am loving all of these yummy recipes I am finding this year! I got this one originally from The Messy Baker Blog and made a few adjustments based on what I had at home. For one… I added sausage. It just sounded good. The recipe below is what I ended up cooking but you are more than welcome to follow the original recipe in the link above. Her picture sure looks prettier than mine but it just tasted soooo good anyway. 🙂

Pumpkin Fettuccini Alfredo

pumpkpasta

Ingredients:

1 lb italian sausage

1 red pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15oz) can pumpkin

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 1/2c. chicken broth

paprika

chili powder

cumin

salt and pepper

Rice wine vinegar (just a dash)

fresh grated parmesan or white cheddar cheese

fettuccini noodles

Directions:

Brown the sausage in a deep frying pan or sauce pan. Add onion and red pepper and cook until tender. Add garlic, pumpkin, chicken broth and heavy cream and bring to a slow boil. Add seasonings and rice wine vinegar to taste and let sauce simmer while you prepare the noodles (according to package instructions). Serve with fresh grated cheese to top it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my go-to, all time favorite, start craving them every time I think of October, best, yummiest, punkin’est cookies ever. Love them. Here you go!

pumpkincook4ed

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

pinch of salt

3/4 c. margarine or butter

1 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/3 c. pumpkin puree

1 tsp. vanilla

1-1 1/2 c. semisweet or dark chocolate chips (the darker the better!)

***The trick to this recipe is having all ingredients at room temperature!

1. Mix half of the flour and all other dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer, adding all other wet ingredients until well blended. Add dry ingredient mixture until just mixed, adding the second cup of flour gradually until reaching a consistency you are comfortable with. (I like to keep it pretty gooey and depending on what kind of flour you use, this step is important. Sprouted whole wheat flour for example makes for a thicker dough, so I use less.)

2. Place spoonfuls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until tops just start to bounce back like a muffin or cake. You don’t want to overcook these, or they will be dry.

3. Cool on parchment paper and place in ziploc bags or tupperware before they get completely cool. The trick is to keep them moist… this is not a cookie you can leave out. They actually taste the best after they have been sitting overnight in a sealed container. I rarely eat them right out of the oven. 🙂

Cauliflower Chowder

New favorite! Creamy, warm and toasty and so delicious. The cauliflower was an awesome substitute for potatoes. It seemed much lighter but still very filling. I got the original recipe from Damn Delicious and made some adjustments.

chowder4ed

CAULIFLOWER CHOWDER

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used 4)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced (I used 5)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (I used 6)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/3 c.)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • (I added 1 c. shredded white cheddar as a garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower are tender, about 12-15 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.

Barbecued Pork and Apple Kebabs

Late dinner… late post. This is a recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s website recently and it reminded me of yummy Fall flavors so I added it to the list. YUM!!! Did it turn out delicious! Seriously, you gotta try this. (I used a peach preserve instead of apricot but I am sure either would taste great).

kebab1 kebab2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup apricot jam

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds (about 1 1/2 inches each) pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise and cut into 16 cubes

1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 8 wedges

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1

Heat grill to medium-high. Make the sauce: In a large bowl, combine jam, vinegar, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

STEP 2

Assemble 4 long skewers, alternating 4 pork cubes with 2 onion wedges and 2 apple wedges on each (begin with pork and end with apple). Roll skewers in remaining tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper.

STEP 3

Lightly oil grates. Place skewers on grill; cover grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until grill marks are visible, 6 to 8 minutes.

STEP 4

Open grill; baste skewers with some sauce, and cook, turning skewers and basting occasionally with more sauce, until pork is no longer pink in the center and is nicely glazed, 4 to 8 minutes more.

Homemade Hot Chocolate!

hotchocolate

I don’t know about you, but as soon as I even think about the Fall season I start craving hot chocolate. I couldn’t resist tonight. It might not be cold enough outside for it, but I made hot chocolate anyway! This recipe from Weed ‘Em and Reap is awesome! I do like mine just a little creamier so I opted to use 4 cups of raw cows milk instead of 1 water/3 milk. Yum! Thanks Danelle!

Hot Chocolate {the healthy & delicious version}
 
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 c. filtered water
3 c. whole organic or raw grass-fed milk
2 TBS. pure cocoa powder
1/4 c. honey (or sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
Directions:
In saucepan over medium heat melt water, honey & cocoa.  Add vanilla, salt and milk.  Heat to desired temperature then remove and serve!  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

pumppancakes

A breakfast worthy of the 1st Day of Halloween 🙂

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 1/3 c. Bisquick*

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

2/3 c. pumpkin puree

1/4 c. oil

2 eggs

milk (add to desired consistency)

Mix bisquick, sugar and spices in a medium size mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, oil and eggs. Combine with bisquick mixture and then add enough milk to get your desired consistency. I like my pancakes on the thinner side so I add more milk than maybe some people might.

* For those that don’t buy bisquick, you can substitute/make your own by following these instructions: Make your own Bisquick

Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 c. butter (1 stick)

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. buttermilk*

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. vanilla

To make syrup melt butter and sugar in small sauce pan. In a separate bowl/cup combine buttermilk and baking soda letting it get nice and foamy. Add buttermilk mixture to melted butter mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes constantly stirring so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat, add vanilla and it’s ready to serve!

*For those like me who don’t use buttermilk all that often, you can make your own by combining 1/2 c. regular milk and 1/2 T. vinegar. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and voila!