Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

February 7, 2012

apple butter bars.

When did there start being not enough hours in a day?

Sleep. Classes. Schoolwork. Meetings. Lab. Club. Eating. Seeing civilization.

The last two get kind of neglected nowadays .. one day, by 3pm, I had eaten Greek yogurt & one of these bars from Dudley's that have 0.8 grams of plant sterols. They're actually super healthy and taste really good. But I learned in my foods class that sterols are cholesterols that are only derived from animal sources, and the way that vegetarians get it is from milk. So how can "plant" sterols exist?

No clue, but I want to ask my cute little Indian professor, I am sure she would know. Speaking of that class, the exam is in two days ... I have yet to buy the textbook. Yeeeeeeeey let's see how bad this week can end up being.

On the bright side, this weekend was awesome!

I love going home now. I was quite against it last year, or at least neutral. Never would I feel an inclination to go home. I don't now either, but if my parents suggested it and I didn't have an exam, I probably would. Like this past weekend.

I made apple butter bars. Because my mom had recently made "gari" (sweet) chutney with kajur (dates) and apple butter. Apple butter is not a traditional ingredient, but I hold faith in every single cooking technique my mom uses. Also, in my mind, apple butter is forever associated with this chutney, because what else do people use it for? I went to Amish land in PA for a field trip. We ate this one family style meal where they served shoofly pie, chicken, bread, and apple butter in a bowl. It was bizarre, and the apple butter didn't really go with anything.

We also stopped by Intercourse, PA & I bought pumpkin butter. I think I ate a spoonful of it before it sat in my fridge for like three years. Don't judge me, okay, it didn't grow mold or anything. Which is freaky, and made me glad to not have eaten it.

Anyway, there was an unopened nice big jar of apple butter sitting on the counter, and I wanted to use it. So I made these bars. I also didn't want to be called "healthy and plump with round cheeks" by my grandmother again so I substituted a bunch of stuff for the bad stuff.

There is no contrast of chewy and crunchy here. It's all soft. Which, despite the stereotype, can be good sometimes. It works in these fluffy, moist bars. I added sunflower seeds to the tops of some of them, but I would recommend walnuts instead. And roughly chopped, because if the bars are made in a jelly roll pan, they will be thin.

I am already planning on making more wintry things. Who knows if it will happen .. I'll check my planner first. YEAH THAT'S RIGHT. I got a planner. A red one, with big enough pages to fit everything. It's so neat and organized inside. I love it, and if I lose it, I will have lost my life plan, fall to pieces, and have a total nervous breakdown.

I'm exaggerating. Maybe. Not really. But really. I do love it a lot. Despite the plastic tabs giving me a multiple paper cut on my cuticle .. it's still razed and bloody.

Oops, my bad, I should talk about pleasant things before I give you the recipe. Hm. Well I got some good news today, which should somewhat alleviate my current bad mood. It's unfortunate, I was planning on writing this either when dead tired or really happy & I am neither. I shall leave you with this article. William Yosses, you have a Y in your name and you have my dream job. I think that is prerequisite enough for us to switch places. You can live on Easton Ave next year and take Biochem while I create healthy baked good items for Michelle Obama's children! Wonderful.

Apple Butter Bars 
heavily adapted from here.
  • 3/4 cup toasted oats flour (toast oats of any kind & then grind them) 
  • 1/4 cup oat bran 
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 3/4 cup white flour 
  • 1 tspn baking powder 
  • 1 tspn baking soda 
  • 1/4 tspn salt 
  • 1/2 tspn EACH ginger and cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tspn ground cloves 
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened  
  • 1/4 cup oil (can also just use softened butter)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 Tb yogurt 
  • 1 cup apple butter 
  • 1 tspn vanilla 
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped, optional 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10x15 jelly roll pan. 
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together, from flour to cloves. 
  3. Cream butter, oil, and sugars. 
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add yogurt, apple butter, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. 
  6. Fold dry into wet mixture. Fold in walnuts, if using. 
  7. Transfer batter to prepared pan & smooth out. The batter tastes heavenly, although I do not condone eating raw eggs. 
  8. Bake 10 - 18 minutes, or until the bars look done. They will bake fast because they're thin. 
  9. Let cool. Or eat warm on top of vanilla ice cream with toasted walnuts. 

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