Monday, October 29, 2012

Apple Bars

Waiting for a hurricane is strange.  Things get cancelled, everyone is supposed to stock up, try to take care of the important things.  Then you sit around and wait for the power to go out, afraid to start something in case you can't finish.

One good thing has come of this time though, I am starting to catch up on things like this blog!  I'm excited to share yet another version of everyone's favorite Seven Layers.  This time they're apple-themed and they were a hit with my lab, so I'm sure you'll enjoy them as well!!

Apple Bars
adapted from Beantown Baker & my Seven Layer Bars

1 stick butter
1c TJ's ginger cats crumbs (or another ginger spice cookie)
3/4c homemade applesauce (w/cinnamon)
1/2t cinnamon (increase if you have plain applesauce)
1/4t nutmeg
1/8t cloves
2 apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
3/4c white chocolate chips (or 3oz chopped)
1/2c cinnamon chips
1c chopped pecans
1 14oz can (fat free) sweetened condensed milk
1c unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350deg.  Add a stick of butter to a 9x13" pan and place it in the preheating oven until melted.

In a small bowl, mix applesauce with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and set aside.

Once butter is melted, sprinkle cookie crumbs over and pat so there's an even layer of crumbs.  Gently spread spiced applesauce over the cookie base.  Layer the apple slices over the applesauce.  Sprinkle on the white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips and pecans.  Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the pan, and then top with coconut.

Place pan in oven and bake for 30-35min, until edges are browned and bubbly.  Let cool completely on a wire rack and then transfer to the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before cutting.  These are pretty sweet, so I cut my bars into ~1" squares, feel free to cut as you see fit!

What's the best thing you've done with your apples this season??

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Pie

I'm no stranger to squash, and often find myself roasting one (or two!) a week all throughout the winter.  For this month's challenge, though, I wanted to break from my routine and come up with something a little more non-traditional.  Are you ready for it?

Yup, I put spaghetti squash in a dessert!  It's definitely not the first squash you'd pick to go over to the sweet side, but I remembered seeing one on the Today Show last two years ago so I knew it could be done.

I'd say this is like a custard pie, with the spaghetti squash providing just a little bit of texture (I might even try added 3c next time!).  I ran with the coconut theme, making it dairy-free and even more delicious.  An unusual but tasty treat ;)

Spaghetti Squash Pie
adapted from food for a hungry soul

I used coconut sugar here, which is more subtle on the sweetness scale than regular sugar.  This makes it perfect for a snack or dessert.  If you prefer your dessert a little sweeter, I'd suggest using 3/4c evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar).

1 can light coconut milk
6T white whole wheat flour  (oat flour would work well here to keep it grain-free)
1/2c coconut sugar *see head note
2t baking powder
1/4t salt
4 eggs
1t vanilla extract
1/2t coconut extract (optional)
2c cooked spaghetti squash
roasted coconut, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350deg.

Add all ingredients except for squash and roasted coconut to a blender and blend until well combined and smooth, 1-3min.  Pour into a bowl and stir in squash, making sure that it's evenly distributed.  Pour into a 9 or 10" pie plate.  Bake for 50-60min, or until the top is browned and a knife comes out clean (insert it in the middle of the pie).  It may still be jiggly in the middle (my usual test), and that's ok.  Cool on a wire rack.

Garnish with roasted coconut if desired, or serve with whipped coconut cream.

Thanks again to Natasha & Laz for hosting!  How do you like your spaghetti squash??
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