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Posts Tagged ‘Cinnamon’

Boozy Homemade Horchata Cocktail | Relishing It

Oh, the holidays!  Such a joyous time of the year celebrating with family and friends– and, of course, a few cocktails.  This one here is gold, my friends.  Apparently, I had been living underneath a rock, because up until recently I had never tried Rumchata. I’d heard of it, but to be honest, thought it sounded a bit lame.  A little “too girly” for me, I guess. I’m more of a boozy, classic cocktail girl– a manhattan is my winter elixir of choice– so perhaps it’s not so surprising that I overlooked this little white bottle of cheer.

Boozy Homemade Horchata Cocktail | Relishing It

Boozy Homemade Horchata Cocktail | Relishing It

Well I’ve tried it now, and it turns out, it’s quite good. It’s sweet and tastes pretty much like rice pudding in a glass. And sometimes sweet is exactly what’s called for, right? For those of you who also live under rocks (I kid), Rumchata is a liqueur made from horchata and a bit of rum. Which begs the question, what’s horchata? It’s a Spanish drink made by soaking rice or a mixture of rice and almonds or tigernuts in water and cinnamon for a day or so. Then it’s blended and sweetened with sugar and milk. So, in my usual fashion, I decided that I wanted to make this stuff from scratch.  Because a bottle of Rumchata costs a whole-lotta (you see what I did there?). Actually, it’s not that expensive, but really there isn’t that much alcohol in it, so I’m basically paying for rice water?  No thanks.  I’ll make it myself. And it will be even better.

Boozy Homemade Horchata Cocktail | Relishing It

Voilà!  It’s ridiculously easy and tastes oh-so delicious. Making your own rumchata does require a bit of planning because soaking the rice in water overnight yields the best flavor.  I like to mix the horchata with both a bit of rum and a bit more vodka.  My theory is if you’re going to drink a cocktail, drink a damn cocktail.  Making it yourself lets you decide exactly how sweet you want it to be.  I don’t like mine cloyingly so.  You can also decide how rich you’d like it.  Whole milk does the trick for me, but perhaps you’d like to use a mixture of milk and cream?  You decide.  This is such a delicious cocktail that tastes like holiday cheer in a glass with creamy flavors of rice pudding and cinnamon– be careful, it goes down rather easily.  It’s absolutely perfect to make for a party. Cheers!

Boozy Homemade Horchata Cocktail | Relishing It

The Recipe: Homemade Horchata Cocktail

To make the Horchata:

(makes about 5 cups)

2/3 cup white rice (I used long grain)

3 cups warm water

1 two-inch cinnamon stick

1/2 cup granulated sugar

splash of vanilla

2 cups whole milk  (or a mixture of whole milk and cream) *See Note

ground cinnamon, for serving

To make the Cocktail:

(makes 1)

1 1/2 ounces (1 full shot) vodka

3/4 ounce (1/2 shot) dark rum (Jamaican or Caribbean work well)

4 1/2 ounces (3 shots) horchata

cinnamon, for dusting

Note: almond milk can be substituted for a dairy-free version.  Coconut milk works too, just be sure to adjust the amount of sugar you add. 

To make the Horchata: begin by pulsing the rice in a blender or food processor until it’s the consistency of coarse polenta.  Your blender may or may not do a good job with this task.  Mine was mediocre.  So, don’t worry if yours doesn’t do this well.  Place the rice in a quart jar and add the cinnamon stick and 3 cups of warm water.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.

Place the mixture back into the blender, cinnamon stick included and blend once again.  There may be some splattering, so throw a towel over the mixer or food processor.  Don’t expect the cinnamon stick to get fully blended.  Into a large pitcher, strain the mixture through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth and give it a squeeze at the end to extract as much liquid as possible.  Then add the milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, and a splash of vanilla to the pitcher.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Store in the refrigerator. Your kids will love this served over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

For your cocktail, mix the vodka, rum, and horchata into a shaker for a second or two.  Then pour into a low-ball glass filled with ice. Grate some fresh cinnamon on top and cheers away!

Horchata recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a great weekend.

Laurie

 

 

 

 

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Hearty Soup of Beef Roast, Root Vegetables, and Warm Spices | Relishing It

I’ve mentioned my rural roots here in previous posts, but for those of you that are new to Relishing It, I grew up on a small dairy farm in western North Dakota.  And I still get terribly homesick from time to time.  So this is one of those recipes that reminds me of my childhood, and helps me cope with being away.  It’s strange, even though I’ve spent more of my life away from Regent ND, it still has my heart.  It’s still my home.  One of the hardest parts of growing older is wanting those comforts of the past, but coming to terms with the fact that they’ll never again be as you remember them.  It’s the double-edge of nostalgia, I suppose.  I miss being that carefree kid running around the farm.  I miss seeing my childhood friends.  I miss regularly seeing my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  And I miss talking with my grandparents, who have all passed away.

Black Butte, North Dakota | Relishing It

                                                             My view every morning for 18 years

When I was a teenager, I worked at the museum in town during the summers.  On my lunch breaks I would venture up to my grandparents’ house for lunch.  My grandma would always make sure to have something ready for me and the three of us would eat together and talk about our lives.  Even then, I really did realize that it was a special time and that one day I’d look back on it with a mixture of longing and gratitude.  My grandparents (on both sides of the family) were real salt-of-the-earth people.  They were hard-working, no-nonsense, and very kind.  I’m so lucky to have had them in my life.  So many of my interests now are things that they did and were interested in– preserving, fermenting, gardening, sausage-making, and even distilling alcohol.  The conversations we could have!

Hearty Soup of Beef Roast, Root Vegetables, and Warm Spices | Relishing It

The soup I’m sharing with you today is based on a soup that my Grandma Jesch used to make for me on some of those lunch breaks.   I only have the memory of the flavors to go off of, but I think this is a pretty good representation.  She would often simmer an entire beef roast for hours, and then turn it into this most amazing, hearty soup.  It has chunks of tender beef, along with root vegetables.  But, the flavors I remember most are the warm spices.  There was a hint of something unusual that drew me to this soup whenever she made it– cinnamon, star anise, and allspice are what I figured they might be– and here they work beautifully.  Also, you’d be a fool not to finish this dish with a splash of cream.  Hope you enjoy!

Soup of Roast Beef, Root Vegetables, and Warm Spices | Relishing It

The Recipe: Hearty Soup of Roast Beef, Root Vegetables, and Warm Spices

(serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil

About a 3 pound beef roast ( preferably grass-fed and bone-in)

1/2 white onion, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 quart beef broth, preferably homemade

4 cups water

5-6 large carrots, cut into chunks

3-4 parsnips, cut into chunks (if too large, remove the woody center)

3 celery stalks, cut into chunks

8-10 smallish yellow potatoes, cut into chunks

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh)

1 dried bay leaf

kosher salt, and fresh black pepper, to taste

fresh parsley and heavy cream, for serving

Heat a large Dutch oven with olive oil in it.  Season the beef with salt and pepper.  Sear all sides of it until a deep golden color develops.  Remove beef from the pan.  Add the onion and garlic to the hot pan and sauté for a few minutes until tender.  Add the beef back to the pan, along with the beef stock, water and the spices of cinnamon, star anise, allspice, thyme, and bay leaf.  Bring to a high simmer, then reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for about 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is somewhat tender.  Next, add the celery, carrots, and parsnips to the pot and simmer until the beef is fully tender, or practically falling off of the bone, another 30-45 minutes, or so.  Then, add the potato chunks and cook for about 20 more minutes until they are tender.  Meanwhile, remove the beef from the pot and separate it into chunks using a fork– removing any visible fat, as well.  Return the pieces of beef to the pot when the potatoes are completely done.  Re-season with salt and pepper.  Remove and discard the star anise, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf.  Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and a splash of cream before serving.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Laurie

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Sunshine Smoothie with Kumquats and Turmeric | Relishing It

Another round of snow paired with a gray sky in the midwest this morning– at least the temperatures aren’t so bad.   I needed to brighten up my surroundings, so I blended up a Sunshine Smoothie.  I’ve likely mentioned this before, but I go through a bit of a kumquat love-fest this time of year.  They’re brilliant in this marmalade, perfect in vinaigrettes for salads, and they are downright fabulous blended into smoothies.

Sunshine Smoothie with Kumquats and Turmeric | Relishing It

This time, I’ve decided to craft a smoothie using kumquats as the star ingredient.  Yes, I love a smoothie loaded with greens as much as the next person (this one is my personal favorite), but sometimes I want something…a little less green.  The kumquats give this smoothie a fresh vibrancy that will wake you right up.  I also recommend using either fresh or frozen organic mango.  Plain yogurt is the protein that will keep you from getting hungry– I suggest using whole milk yogurt to also help with that.  And turmeric– a fantastic, healthy ingredient that you should eat more of anyway.  You can read about it’s specific properties here.  Curries are a great way to incorporate more turmeric into your diet, or throw a little into a soup, such as this one.  Adding just a bit to this smoothie completely works, too.  It pairs wonderfully with the cinnamon and citrus flavors.  No need to peel the kumquats, just cut them in half and remove the seeds.  Place everything in a blender or food processor and whiz it together.  Hope you enjoy!

Sunshine Smoothie with Kumquats and Turmeric | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Sunshine Smoothie with Kumquats and Turmeric

(makes 1 cup)

7-8 small organic kumquats, cut in half and seeds removed

1/3 cup diced fresh or frozen organic mango

1/3 cup organic whole milk yogurt

1/4 cup organic, unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

Another polar vortex, another no-school day for the kids.  So another cozy, cold-weather meal is in order.  It was difficult to come up with a name for this dish that would capture the flavors here.  It has so many things going on, but they don’t necessarily fit nicely into a category.  A little bit of Mexican from the ancho chiles and the cumin, and a little bit of Asian from the star anise and the cloves, brought together by the American craft beer.  At any rate, let me tell you about this delicious pork shoulder that you’re going to want to make more than once this winter.

Beer Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

For those of you who have a fear of tackling a large cut of meat, this recipe is an ideal entry point.  Braising a pork shoulder could not be easier and the results are dynamite.  For starters, and not to sound like a broken record– please use a piece of meat that has been raised properly, preferably local.  Braising can be done using any variety of liquids– broth, wine, milk, or plain water.  In this recipe I used a local craft beer that paired with the spices to develop a deep, wonderful flavor.  The pork works wonderfully with the sweeter tones of cinnamon/cloves/star anise/and allspice.  It also works well with ancho chiles and cumin.  Marrying the two combinations together is fantastic.  You’ll love it.  Be sure to top it with a bit of fresh jalapeño– it’s not that hot and the freshness really brightens up the flavors.

Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

We generally serve the pork shoulder on top of  polenta.  I love a creamy, hot bowl of polenta when it’s cold outside.  Polenta is basically just yellow cornmeal.  It’s origin is Italian and from what I gather, true Italians wouldn’t dream of putting dairy into their polenta, instead making it only with water.  I’m not Italian.  So, I opted for a couple pats of butter and a sprinkle of parmesan mixed in with mine.  I think my Fortify friends may have influenced this a bit.  You will find different variations of the grind size when buying polenta.  Medium ground seems to make the most satisfying polenta.  Some people think making polenta is fussy, but I haven’t found that to be the case.  I do however advise you to be ready to sit down and eat the moment the polenta is done.  It doesn’t stay creamy all that long before it starts to harden and become a bit clumpy.  While it still maintains it’s lovely flavor, the silky texture will be lost.  So, be ready to sit down at the table and enjoy this lovely meal.

Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta | Relishing It

The Recipe: Beer-Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta

(serves about 4 with leftovers)

For the Pork Shoulder:

2 tablespoons olive oil, for browning

about a 4-pound pork shoulder (bone-in gives a great flavor)

1 medium white onion, diced

7-8 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1 4-inch long cinnamon stick

1 whole star anise

1 dried bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 12-ounce bottle of really good craft beer (Locally,  Fulton’s Lonely Blonde or Indeed’s Midnight Ryder work really well.  One is a lighter beer and the other is a black ale.  The end results are each different, but both equally delicious.)

For the Polenta:

5 cups water

1 cup polenta, preferably medium grind

salt

a couple pats of butter

a few grates of fresh parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 250 °F.  Over a med-high flame, heat a large Dutch oven coated with olive oil until it is hot.  Pat the pork shoulder dry with a paper towel and season both sides of it with salt and pepper.  Place the pork in the Dutch oven and brown every side (ends, too) until a deep, dark caramel color has formed on all sides.  Remove from the pot and place on a plate.  In the same pot, add the onion and garlic, and a bit more olive oil, if needed.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  After about 3 minutes, add the the entire list of spices.  Stir and then add the beer.  Place the pork, along with any juices back into the pot.  Bring to an almost boil, then remove from heat.  Cover and place in the heated oven for about 3 hours.  You will know when the pork is done when you touch it with a fork.  It should feel tender, not tough.  It should practically fall off of the bone when gently tugged at.  If there is too much resistance, roast it a bit longer.  Be sure to have an oven thermometer, so you know the accuracy of your oven.

Meanwhile, begin the polenta.  In a large saucepan heat 5 cups of water seasoned with salt.  When it is boiling, sprinkle the polenta on the top.  Whisk everything together and reduce the heat to a medium simmer.  Continue to whisk every so often to avoid the bottom burning.  The mixture will eventually thicken up– the exact time will depend upon the size of the grain and how high you have the heat– so, I won’t give an exact measurement in minutes (anywhere from 20-40 minutes), just look for it to be the thickness that you desire.  When it is done, remove from heat and mix in a couple of pats of butter and a few grates of fresh parmesan cheese.  Polenta requires a decent amount of salt, to bring out the flavor– re-season, if necessary.  (Note:  leftover polenta can be spread out smoothly onto a baking sheet.  Refrigerate, then cut into squares.  You can bake or fry it and top it with all sorts of things– use your imagination!)

While the polenta is cooking, tend to the pork.  When the pork is done, remove it from the pot.  I like to make a smooth sauce out of the liquid, but the choice is entirely yours.  You can certainly skip this step.  Strain the liquid.  Then pour the liquid portion into a gravy separator to remove the fat, or use a spoon to skim it from the top.   Remove the cinnamon, star anise, and bay leaf and discard.  Place the remaining onions and garlic into a blender.  Then pour the liquid (sans fat) into the blender and blend it together (always be careful when blending hot liquids).  Return the mixture to the Dutch oven and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Meanwhile, separate the meat from the bone and tear it into big chunks.  Place the meat into the sauce.  Serve with jalapeños and polenta, if desired.  This is a wonderful dish to re-warm, as the flavors deepen even more overnight.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

I thought I’d share my husband’s all-time favorite pie with you today.  It’s an interesting twist on the typical apple pie, and it would make a great Thanksgiving-day dessert.  I’ll explain the pie in a minute, but first I want to take a moment to talk about my husband– because that’s way more fun.

Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

Radd.  Yep, that’s his real, full, first name.  The one his parents made-up and named him, though according to family lore, it was mostly his mom’s choice.  I think it’s one of the best names I’ve ever heard.  And I’ve never heard anyone else with it– it’s unique, which suits him.  Radd and I started dating in high school, a looong time ago.  He had this gangly teenage-boy body that looked too small for his large head, while I was sporting huge early 90’s hair to go with my rolled jeans, and a mouth full of braces.  We really were just kids.  We ventured off to college together and he became my home, so to speak.  You know that feeling– that wherever you are together is home and quite possibly the most comfortable place in the world.  Yes, that feeling.  Why am I writing about this now?  Well, we recently celebrated Radd’s 40th birthday.  And while I was excited to celebrate this milestone with him, I was also taken aback.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this boy I’ve been with for 23 years is now a middle-aged man.  Where did the time go?  At any rate, I adore him.  He’s intelligent, hilarious, bizarre (in a great way), and an incredible dad.  Not to mention, he understands me– I mean really gets me.  Which is probably the most important thing of all.

Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

Now to the pie that I made Radd for his birthday.  This Sour Cream Apple pie is his favorite.  Full Stop.  The recipe comes from my Mom– she made it for him once many years ago and he’s loved it ever since.  It’s a delicious apple crumble-like pie with a lovely slightly tart sour cream custard-like filling.  There are notes of nutmeg (which is one of my favorite spices) and cinnamon.  Taken as a whole, it’s pretty amazing.  This pie is perfect for Thanksgiving, or any type of entertaining, because it actually gets better if it’s left in the refrigerator for a day.  The custard has time to set up and the flavors seem to meld even more after a bit of time.  Though, I know that some of you prefer a warm apple pie, so feel free to bake it at the last minute.  Whichever you prefer, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Need more great Holiday dessert ideas?  This Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake  and this Bourbon-Chocolate Pecan Pie remain some of my all-time favorites.

Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Sour Cream and Apple Pie

Use 1/2 of this all-butter pie crust recipe

1 cup full-fat sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I like mine to have a definite nutmeg taste so I use 1/2 teaspoon)

2 cups diced apples ( about 4 apples)

For the Crumble Topping:

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced

Follow the recipe and instructions from this recipe to prepare the pie dough.  Either make the entire recipe for the dough, and save half for later.  Or simply make only half of the recipe.  You decide.

Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.

To make the Crumble Topping:  In a small bowl, stir the dry ingredients together with a fork.  Then, using that fork, cut the butter into the mixture until it’s crumbly and all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the butter.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the Pie Filling, beat together the first seven ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until smooth.  Gently stir in the apples.  Set aside.

Shape the pie dough in a 9-inch pie plate.  Pour the apple/sour cream filling into the pie.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 350°F for 30 minutes.  Remove pie from oven and add the crumble mixture to the top of the pie.  Return to oven and increase the heat to 400°F and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.  Cover and place in the refrigerator if wanting to serve it cold.  Enjoy!

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Thanks for stopping by today!

Laurie

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Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

About once or twice every holiday season, I find myself craving a good ginger cookie.  They taste like Fall, perfectly distilled into a little round treat.  The warm, earthy spices, the bits of heat from the ginger, along with the unique flavor from the molasses are magical.  And since I only eat ginger cookies once or twice a year, I want them to be fantastic– really something special.  This, friends, is that class of ginger cookie.

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

A couple years ago, my friend made these cookies and they blew me away.  The little bits of candied ginger really stood out.  She pointed me to the recipe and I’ve been making them ever since– with my own tweaks, of course.   I actually thought about crafting my own recipe this year, but then realized that there was really not a point.  This is the ginger cookie that I want.  It’s perfectly crisp on the outside, wonderfully chewy on the inside.  It’s spice combination is perfect, and there is  just enough molasses to bring it all together without being overpowering.  I love this ginger cookie.  And it’s even better rolled in  demerara or turbinado  sugar.  The extra crunch from the large granules is key.  Also, try it with a light sprinkle of sea salt on the very top.  Amazing.  And there’s an added bonus– these keep a bit longer than an average cookie, so making them ahead for gift-giving or cookie exchanges is a great option.  I hope you enjoy these cookies this holiday season!

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

The Recipe: Spiced Ginger Cookies

(makes about 30)

2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 large egg (at room temperature)

1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses

Some sort of raw sugar for rolling, Turbinado or Demerara work well

Whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Next, sift them together.  This will get rid of any lumps that ground spices sometimes form.  Stir in the crystallized ginger.  Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or by hand), cream the butter and brown sugar together for about 3 minutes on medium speed or until light and fluffy.  Next, add the egg and molasses to the mixture and continue to mix on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.  It is integral in any cookie recipe to cream the butter,sugar, and egg together long enough.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just fully incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  When the dough is chilled, roll it out into balls  ( I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) and roll them into the raw sugar.  Press down slightly ( but not too much) to flatten them a bit– or else they’ll end up being fairly puffy cookies.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes on the pan, then move to a cooling rack.  They keep  well for days in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a great weekend.

Laurie

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The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

I know it’s a bit much to say that these are the best apple bars that exist in the world.  But the truth is, I’ve never had better.  These are the apple bars that I grew up with– the ones that my Mom made.  I begged for these beauties throughout my childhood.  And I haven’t found a better apple bar in the last 30 years.

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

This is almost identical to recipe that my Mom used– it still has the wonderful unique qualities that make these bars so good.  There are crushed cornflakes on the bottom layer, which may sound a bit odd.  But they add something amazing– something magical– to the texture of the bars.  I wouldn’t say it’s a “crunch”, but whatever it is, it’s necessary.  The meringue is still there, too.  Meringue on apple bars isn’t standard, but on these it adds a little wow-factor in both appearance and texture.   I sometimes increase the amount of meringue, because my daughter and I fancy it so much.

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

The one thing that I did change about the recipe is substituting butter for the shortening that my Mom used.  I’ve actually made them both ways in order to see if using shortening was worth it (I don’t generally cook with shortening).  I used a butter-flavored shortening for comparison, and while it did lack a bit in flavor, it also made for a sturdier crust.  In the end, I decided that butter was the better option.  The crust is still amazing, and I’d rather put good, quality butter into my kids’ diet than shortening.  So, you can decide which route you want to go– either way will make an amazing apple bar.

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

A side note:  I’ve been a mother for seven years as of yesterday.  This sweet boy has brought so much joy to my life.  He’s an old soul, a funny trickster, and has a huge heart.  I’ve loved every day with him.  Happy Birthday to our sweet Aanen!

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The Recipe:  The Best Apple Bars

For the Dough:

2 1/2 cups (11 7/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed (or coarsely grated, if frozen)

1 egg yolk in a measuring cup, then filled with milk to reach 2/3 cup total

For the Filling:

about 9 medium apples (or more), thickly sliced

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes

1-2 egg whites (depending upon how much meringue you like)

For the Icing:

about 1 cup powdered sugar

splash of milk

To Make the Dough:  In a large bowl, whisk the flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and salt together.  Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until it is crumbly (it should resemble small peas).  Then, use a fork to mix in the egg yolk and milk mixture.  Mix until all of the dry ingredients are wet.  Put the mixture onto a flour surface and knead a couple of times and divide into two.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.  (Follow these photos, if you feel the need for visual help.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Peel and slice the apples.  You may need more or less apples depending upon the size of them.  You’ll want enough apples to fill the pan to the top.   In a medium bowl, toss the apples, cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of salt together.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one ball of dough out to fit into a 9 x 13 x 1 inch pan.  It should hang over the edge just a bit.  Sprinkle the crushed cornflakes onto the pan.  Then top with the apples.  Roll out the other ball of dough to fit on the top.  Fold the two layers of dough together along the edge and then press together with a fork to prevent leaking.  Meanwhile, using a stand mixer, or handheld, beat the egg white(s) until somewhat stiff.  Gently place the egg whites on the top of the bars.  This can be somewhat unruly and you may have to use your fingers.  Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown.  Make sure the meringue doesn’t get too dark.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Mix the powdered sugar and milk together and drizzle over the bars.   These bars are best eaten within the first two days.  Store leftovers underneath a tea towel.  Enjoy!

Thank you so much for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a wonderful weekend.

xo

Laurie

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