I come before you today exhausted, disillusioned, and overall grumpy.
Why you may ask? Oh, nothing major, just the first Presidential Debate last night.
Can I tell you how tired I am of all of this? I will not mention who I plan to vote for, or what I think of each of the candidates, but I will tell you that I am so freaking tired of this hot mess.
I am tired of the hatred, the fear mongering, the pandering: all of it. No matter where I go, it's on the TV, the radio, in classrooms; I can't get away from it
If you are like me, and so absolutely tired of this overwhelmingly negative ordeal, I have the perfect prescription to brighten your mood.
Turn off the TV, the radio, close the blinds if you have to...tune it all out
Instead, listen to the chopping of apples, smell the scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice fill your kitchen; envision a warm, gooey apple crumble bar, drizzled with caramel sauce.
Taste; embrace the coziness and drift off into bliss.
Feel better? I know I do.
I'm not advocating to just avoid the whole election; it's an important part of our lives and deserves some of your time. But don't let it get you down.
Don't let it break up friendships, or families. Don't let it separate us as a nation. We are stronger than party politics. Maybe we just all need to make some of these Apple Bars and share them with everyone around us. Apples are American after all.
Sorry, I don't mean to preach. I just really really love these Apple Bars and they helped me through some frustrating moments this week. If you are also in need of a pick me up, these are the way to go.
Remember to enjoy the simple things in life.
Happy Baking My Friends,
Caramel Apple Pie Bars Lazily Adapted from TwoPeasandTheirPod
for the filling:2 1/2 cups peeled, diced Granny Smith Apples
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of allspice
for the crust:1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into slices
1/2 egg, slightly beaten (2 tbsp of egg)
1/4 tsp vanilla
caramel sauce for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a square 8x8 pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. For the filling: Place diced apples in a large bowl and toss gently with lemon juice. In a medium bowl combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Pour over apples and toss gently, making sure apples are well coated in mixture. Set aside while you make the crust.
3. For the crust/crumb topping: combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the mixture is crumbly and no big lumps of butter remain.
4. Mix the egg and vanilla together and stir into flour mixture. The mixture will still be crumbly: that is ok. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
5. Spread apple topping mixture evenly over dough. Drizzle with about 1/3 cup caramel sauce (I used storebought). Then top with remaining crumbly mixture, spreading evenly.
6. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until top becomes golden brown. Let cool in pan completely before cutting into bars, drizzling with more caramel sauce, and serve.