Monday, November 24, 2008

A Day for Something Special

When I'm upset, I like to bake. It makes me feel as if I'm accomplishing something, the house smells SO good, and it makes everybody else happy. Usually I bake bread. I'm out of bread flour, so today I baked Apple Bars.

Apple Bars... what a pitiful name for something so sublime! These bars are seriously GOOD! If you try these, write me back with suggestion for a better name, OK?

Apple Bars

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
2 baking apples, peeled, cored, chopped
2 cups coconut, divided
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar and stir well. Add the baking soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and beaten eggs and mix well. then add the oatmeal, chopped apple, and 1 1/2 cups of the coconut (the other 1/2 cup is to sprinkle on top before baking). Last, mix the flour in thoroughly.

Spoon the very thick batter into the prepared pan and smoooth it out, then sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup coconut evenly over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly browned on top. Check them at the earliest time as these bars must not be overbaked.

Cool, then cut into bars like brownies. Hide them from anyone with a ravenous appetite. The first time I made these, Jake ate half the pan in one sitting before I could stop him. Oh my!

Remember those beautiful I views I posted last week? Well, this is what it looks like today. Combine unrelenting fog with a bad mood and too much to do, and it is most definitely a Baking Day!

Because this day is *so* gruesome, I am going to "kick it up a notch" and make these bars truly decadent by topping them with some Vanilla Butter Sauce.

Vanilla Butter Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons good vanilla

In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, then stir in the vanilla. Serve warm.

(Go easy on this sauce; it is VERY rich and a little goes a long way.)

By the way, not everyone shares my opinion about the weather. Solomon the llama is quite at home in it. He's such a character - he saw me with the camera and had to come investigate.

And then everyone ELSE had to come see what I was up to.

I think they were expecting food rather than a photo-op, poor babies. Let's see... the white blob on the left is Firebrand the alpaca, then Julianna, another llama. Lydia's old pony Penny is front and center, and if you look closely you can see Julianna's cria Beatrice peaking out from behind her hips. And of course, there is Solomon, whom you have already met.

I'm glad they came up to see me. My mood improved quite a bit, and I noticed that even though I was cold and damp, there was still beauty to be captured with my camera.

Even in November my garden isn't dead - the spiders are still busy at any rate!

I hope you all have a Blessed Thanksgiving!


all spice said...

Awww I luv YAMAS-- as my kids use to call them and love these recipes too.. You are something Judy..Know your holiday table will be just scrumptious!! and your home decorated like a picture book@@ happy holidays hugs jandee

Jennifer A. said...

Yeah, the weather has definitely turned. We had frost this morning. It finally felt like November. Now if I were as handy with a camera as you are, I probably could have made as much of my weather as you did yours.

Linda Kay said...

Judy thank you for the recipes I've got to give them a try...
Thank you for sharing.
Linda Kay

Linda Fleming said...

Perhaps the critters smelled the yummy apple bars baking and thought you were bringing some out to share with them? I think the armoma coming from your oven would bring me running!

It's so true that no matter what the weather, there is beauty to be seen if we take time to look for it. Love all your photos.

Jacque Uetz said...

Your the best at capturing beauty from a gloomy day, I love your thoughts and photos..and miss you, wish you were my neighbor! :}

Karen Becker said...

Judy, I love the pics of your llama's. You must enjoy them so, as I know they are sweet creatures. Sorry you have a gloomy mood! Hope today is better. Karen Becker

Judi W. said...

You take the absolute best spider web photos! Waft some of that wonderful baking aroma my way!