Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Apple-Raisin Bars

THESE ARE GOOOD!  Got them from Family Circle October edition.  I saw the picture and had to make them.  Enjoy! (Note: These are definitely NOT diet friendly)

2 C all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 C packed light-brown sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter or margarine, softened (I used butter, of course)
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C diced golden delicious apples
3/4 C raisins

1. Heat oven to 350.  Liberally coat a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes or til smooth.
4.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; mix for 2 minutes or until just incorporated.  Stir in diced apples and raisins and spread into prepared pan.
5.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

Notes from Nikki:  I only used a little over 1 1/2 cups flour.  This makes them nice and moist.  Since it's a 1:1 sugar/flour ratio, I reduced sugar to 1 1/2 cups and they are wonderful!  I haven't tried it yet, but you could easily use whole wheat flour with these.  I love whole wheat!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Virginia's baked spaghetti

This is amazingly comforting and ooey gooey cheesy...perfect for a cold blustery day- shame it was 97 degrees out when i made this!!! Make it tonight.

16oz pkg spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
2 (24oz) jars prego spaghetti sauce
2 lbs ground beef or turkey, cooked and drained
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup parmesan
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
12oz can evaporated milk
3 cups shredded cheddar (medium or sharp)
Combine cooked noodles, cooked meat, and spaghetti sauce in a large bowl or pot. Set aside. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour, parmesan, salt and garlic powder, whisking till smooth and bubbly. Add canned milk and 1 cup cheddar, stir till thickened and smooth. Pour half the noodle mixture into a greased 9x13. pour all of the cheese sauce over. Then add other half noodles, then remaining 2 cups cheddar over top. Bake for 30 mins till hot and bubbly at 350.
This serves 12, so it makes lots and awesome leftovers!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blackberry Pie Bars

These are the bars Heather made at Lava.  She got this from Joy the Baker.  She is having trouble with her blogs right now, and couldn't get it on here.  So, I am helping her out.  I just printed it off for myself! 
These are the most delicious thing I have eaten in a while!  So buttery, fruity, buttery! Thank you for bringing one more yummy dessert to the family!  You never disappoint!!

Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar
adapted from The Pastry Queen

Crust and Topping

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
zest of two lemons

Blackberry Filling

4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained
(You can also use 6 cups of fresh blackberries, or 1 (16-ounce) package frozen blackberries and 3 cups of fresh blackberries)

To make the crust and topping-

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch backing pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Zest two lemons. Measure out the sugar onto a clean work surface. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with a bench scraper or the back of a spoon. Rubbing the zest into the sugar will release oils from the zest and create a lemon scented sugar.

Combine lemon sugar, flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients on medium speed until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crust mixture to use as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes until it is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling-

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. You may have to distribute the blackberries evenly around.

Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Cool for 1 hour before slicing.

**If you’re using frozen berries, be sure to defrost and drain the excess liquid. Place the frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. They’re defrosted and ready for bar baking!