Sunday, November 16, 2008

When It Gets Cold, the Cold Get Baking

For me, autumn, winter, and the transition in between are the times when I settle in and do the most amount of baking and creative work. It’s a time to hunker down, accumulate dozens of bags of pellets for the heating stove, and stock up on food.

We got our first snow last Sunday night. While it rained down south of us, our afternoon rain/sleet quickly turned into snow when day finally melted into night.

We let the dogs out into the snow and there they frolicked and played. They are much like kids in that respect – can’t wait for that first season snow and leaping about in it.

As for me, I usually turn to the oven – not only to warm up the house but to warm up our very souls by serving comfort food. Isn’t that what cold weather is all about – comfort ford?

So here’s another recipe which I enjoy baking during these frosty nights and mornings. This is another old one, which I’ve kept in my arsenal of recipes for a good 30 years or so.

Apple Bars
1 ½ cups granola (any variety)
1 c. flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional – spices should go with the type of granola you use)
1 large apple, pared and chopped (any baking apple works fine)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease square pan, 8 x 8 x 2 inches.
Mix all ingredients except apple; reserve 1 cup dough.
Spread remaining dough in pan. Arrange apple pieces over dough in pan. Drop reserved dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto apple; spread slightly. Bake until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
High altitude directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Decrease sugar to 1/3 cup.

This recipe is easily doubled for baking in a 13 x 9 inch pan and makes a great Thanksgiving morning coffeecake. Enjoy!

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