20 May 2008

tastes to remember • apple bars

Sarah over at Homemade: Experiences in the Kitchen has started a new event called Tastes to Remember. I have so many tastes to remember (most of them fondly, except for the occasional “wild game” that my father brought home) as my mother was/is a great cook. Not only did she cook, she baked AND preserved food. AND she did all this with six monsters under her feet. AND her house was cleaner than mine will ever be. *Sigh*  These bars were one of our favorites growing up. My mother always had a plate of these goodies ready with a big glass of cold milk when we arrived home from school. She knew that all that learnin’ gave us an appetite. A great recipe to have at hand,  because it has NO DAIRY ingredients. So when you run out of eggs, milk, and butter and are craving something sweet—reach for this recipe...it will not let you down. Of course, I added okara (the whole point of my blog) but the original recipe follows my altered one. 

Apple Bars •

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together:

1-1/2 cups applesauce (homemade if you have it!)
1 cup safflower oil 
1 cup wet okara (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine, not dried)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla

In another large mixing bowl combine:

4 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup nuts (I usually use pecans or English walnuts)
1 cup raisins


2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons liquid (milk, cream, soy milk or water)

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry; mixing until dry ingredients are incorporated. Grease a 10-1/2" x 15-1/2" jelly roll pan. Spread the batter (it will be thick) evenly in the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and center tests done. Let cool in pan for approximately one hour, and frost with powdered sugar glaze. Cut into bars.

Original Apple Bar Recipe •

2 cups applesauce
1-1/2 cup oil
2 cups granulated sugar (you can cut back on this)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup nuts
1 cup raisins

Follow directions above for baking and Powdered Sugar Glaze.

pixie’s and rosie’s putting up event •

This event could not have come at a better time for me. I will be the first to admit it: I do better with deadlines. I have been wanting to make my own jam for almost a year (yes, folks, you read that right...almost a YEAR). I had strawberries in the freezer from last June that really needed to be used. You see, my mother is the jam and jelly maker of the family. I remember helping her prepare the fruit; washing, stemming, coring and slicing. But for the life of me, I don’t ever remember watching her process the jam from start to finish. Could it be that she waited until all the gremlins were at school to fill those jars with hot, steaming deliciousness? At any rate, I have been very intimidated by the whole thing. So the Putting up Event came at the right time, giving me that extra little nudge I needed. That and the fact that we finally ran out of all the jam and jelly that my mother had given me on her last visit. My first jam is nothing exotic or different. Just strawberry jam. But I will tell you what my youngest darling said. “Mommy, this is WAY better than the stuff we get at the store, you should sell this!” Good enough for me!