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Apple Bars with Lemon Glaze

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12

These bars are a tasty way to use apples and show off fall flavors.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • scant 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated apple
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10.5″ x 15.5″ jelly roll pan (or use both an 8×8 and a 9×9) very well.

In a stand mixer or by hand, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the grated pear and mix to combine. Then add milk and remaining flour mixture. Stir to combine completely.

Spread mixture in jelly roll pan. It should just fill it up (you may want to put a tray underneath just in case there’s any overflowing in the oven). Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the bars spring back when poked.

To make the icing, whisk confectioners sugar into lemon juice. Add just enough to reach your desired drizzling thickness. Drizzle over bars, then cut and serve.

Makes 24 bars.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Joy the Baker

Community garden training snack, 8/8/12

These cookies are perfect for fall – fresh apples and a hint of cinnamon make them irresistible.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cup oats (old-fashioned and quick cooking are both fine – do not use instant)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and diced small

Heat oven to 350. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, combine butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer or a lot of elbow grease, cream together until light and thoroughly mixed. Add egg and beat very thoroughly to combine. Add vanilla and beat in.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to butter and sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Add nuts and apples and mix in by hand to distribute.

Drop dough onto cookie sheets, making 24-30 cookies. Bake until lightly browned and solidified, about 11-15 minutes.

Rhubarb Muffins

Committee meeting working lunch, 4/19/12

These muffins are a quick and easy dessert or snack, and they can use fresh rhubarb from your garden. The wheat flour adds a little extra nutrition and a sweet, nutty taste, but if you don’t have any, you could substitute all-purpose flour.

Muffins:

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plain yogurt (or 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon milk, plus 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup chopped rhubarb

Cinnamon topping:

  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons flour

Preheat oven to 375. Grease or place liners in muffin tins (16-18 muffins)

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk or yogurt, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Mix well.

Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir until flour is just moistened (over-mixing will make the muffins tough). Gently stir rhubarb into mixture.

Prepare topping: thoroughly combine all ingredients.

Fill muffin cups about ⅔ full. Use your fingers to sprinkle cinnamon topping over each muffin. Bake 18-22 minutes, until tops of the muffins spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cool.

Rice Pudding

Committee meeting working lunch, 3/22/12

Rice pudding is a cheap and simple dessert, plus, it’s a good way to use up leftover rice. Using brown rice is a great way to work whole grains into your diet.

  • 2 cups cooked rice, white or brown, any variety (leftovers is ideal)
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ cup raisins, optional

Combine all ingredients except raisins (if using) in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the pudding is thickened and much of the milk has been absorbed into the rice, about 30 minutes.

Serve warm, room temperature, or cool. Top with raisins, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Lots-of-Apples Cake (Apple Sharlotka)

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/26/12

Slightly adapted from this recipe at SmittenKitchen.com

This cake is so delicious that it’s hard to stop at one piece. But since it’s mostly apples, making it healthier and lighter than many cakes, that’s not such a bad thing.

  • Butter or cooking spray for greasing pan
  • 6 large, tart apples (Granny Smiths are ideal)*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, almond extract, whiskey, brandy, rum, or other flavoring
  • 1 cup flour
  • Cinnamon for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” springform pan. (Note: you can also make this cake in a 7” x 11” sheet pan, although it is a little harder to get pieces out to eat.)

Peel the apples, then cut into bite-sized chunks. Pile the apples into the greased pan.

In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat until very thick. The batter should fall off the whisk in thick ribbons. Beat in vanilla or other flavoring. Gently stir in flour with a spoon or spatula until just combined.

Pour the batter over the apples in the pan. Smooth the batter and apples so that they are level.

Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes, until apples are soft and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Dust with cinnamon before serving warm or at room temperature.

*While fruit trees can be finicky in Nebraska, local apples are available and can be stored well.