Friday, April 18, 2014

Applesauce Cake

A while back, I set my hand to making homemade applesauce. I tried it a few times without much success. I stumbled across this breakfast cake in my recipe box on a page torn out of a magazine. I think it was from Everyday Food but it's sort of hard to tell by a scrap of paper. Wherever it's origins, it is good. It uses homemade applesauce as the base and better than that, it is all done in one pan. I will give this warning: it looks disgusting unbaked. Baked, it looks like you would have eaten it in Europe in the 1600's. But don't judge a book by it's cover. 

Applesauce Cake
~ serves 8  -  roughly 300 calories a slice ~

  • 1/2 Cup oil
  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks - i end up using 4 gala's since they are small
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep apples. 

2. In a large saucepan, bring apples and 1/2 Cup water to a simmer. Cover and simmer 12 minutes, or until apples are tender. 

3. Mash apples. I use a potato masher first and then finish with a whisk. Note: Pampered Chef whisks are the bomb. 

4. Whisk to drier texture over heat, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Whisk in brown sugar completely then add oil and whisk again. Add eggs and whisk again. 

It should look like this. 

6.  Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk till mixed. 

7.  Pour batter into greased 8-inch round pan. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. This takes about 30-35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for a while, then invert and let the cake cook upside down on a wire rack without the pan. 

I wish I had an after photo to show you, so you would believe me that it comes out of the oven looking alot better than it did going in. The kids love it for breakfast, but it works as a dessert as well. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Toffee Squares

I made this for our annual church meeting last weekend. Several of you asked for the recipe so rather than email everyone separately, I'll just post it on here.

Toffee Squares
*variation of a recipe from Everyday Food*
makes 24  -   242 calories per cookie

  • 12 Graham crackers
  • 8 oz toffee bits
  • 1 1/2 Cups chopped almonds (or any other nut that you prefer)
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter - this is because you are adding the salt later
  • 3/4 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place graham crackers in a single layer on sheet. Sprinkle toffee bit and almonds over crackers. I found that I had better success if I dumped them out in the middle and spread them with my fingers (washed of course). Also, the graham crackers will shift when you add the toppings, so if they don't fit tight on the cookie sheet, use the other hand to hold them in place. 

2. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and butter to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer for 2 minutes, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is syrupy. Immediately pour over crackers. Bake until sugar topping is bubbling, about 12 minutes. 

3. Remove crackers from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate and salt over the top. Cut along the middle line of the crackers to make squares. Cook completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for about 1 week, but they really won't be around that long, if you get my meaning *wink*.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blood Moon

I stayed up to watch it. 
It was breathtaking.
The air was cutting cold and crisp. 
It was oddly quiet, without barking dogs or cars. 
No sound but my own breathing.
The stars were brighter and clearer.
 I could see Mars lit up like a beacon. 
And when it turned red, the moon seemed to become three dimensional, 
as if it were hovering just out of reach of my hand. 
A glowing orb suspended from an invisible thread against an inky sky.
It was a glorious reminder of the divine creator.