Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Dalyn Miller PR, as well as a signed copy to give away to one of my readers. All opinions about the book are honest and my own.
At the beginning of October, I hosted a play date at my home for a group that I lead for local stay at home mothers and their kids. We meet every Monday morning for play – sometimes with different themes or music and movement, learning, or just to play. This day we met at my house for two reasons: to show off my new house to my friends since we had recently moved in, and because I had neglected to turn in paperwork in time in order for us to meet at one of the churches where we normally meet… oops. Moving is hard work, I’m telling you!
So despite the unfortunate circumstances of being tardy in paperwork, I was very excited to host the play date at our house. Not only were my friends able to see my new house (yay!), but I was able to bake! And, of course, there’s that third perk in which I do not actually enjoy leaving the house very often, but I digress. Baking is one of my very favorite activities, but with my husband steering clear of gluten and our new healthy eating habits, I’ve been avoiding baking because gluten-free baking and I don’t really get along, and baked goods don’t get along with my waist line. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the baked goods get along a little too well with my waist line. At any rate, I had a captive audience that would be arriving at my house and the opportunity to share delicious treats with them!
I’ve previously shared part of this story with you when I reviewed the cookbook EATS: enjoy all the seconds by Mary Rolph Lamontagne, and then again when I reviewed the master apple recipe in her cookbook – Apple Sauce. The fun part of her cookbook is that she teaches you a master recipe that you’ll use as an ingredient in one of the dishes that follow it in the cookbook. Since I chose to share the Apple Sauce recipe with you, it’s only fair that I share with you how one of her recipes using the apple sauce turned out! For the play date, I made two of her recipes – the Apple Sauce Oat Squares and Apple Muffins. Today I’m going to share with you the results and recipe for the Apple Sauce Oat Squares. They were very delicious, and a hit with the moms, as well as my husband when he came home from work and scrounged on the leftovers.
First, we start with the creaming. Here we’re creaming butter with brown sugar.
Next, we mix the dry ingredients. While the recipe does tell you to sift these, you may notice my definite lack of a sifter in this picture. It’s because I do not sift. My apologies. I even have 2 sifters. Unfortunately, I gleaned the aversion to sifting that my mom carries with her. I simply measured my ingredients into a bowl and probably stirred with a fork.
Now we add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients.
This we stir until it is delightfully crumbly.
Now we get to the fun part of the recipe. Any recipe that advocates stirring with hands is one that I consider delightfully fun. It’s also why I loved to make bread by hand so much. I say that in the past tense because when it comes to baked goods and my waist line, homemade bread is one that I really must avoid. I adore it. At any rate, in place of hand kneading, I will take this wonderful little mixing up of ingredients. We add our oats to our mixture of creamed and dry ingredients and stir with our hands.
Ahhh, delightful! Now we press 2/3 of the crumbly mixture into the bottom of our pan.
And add the apple sauce that we created in our master recipe.
Finally, we add the pecans to the rest of the crumbly mixture and sprinkle over the top. However, since our moms group is a nut-free group, I did not add pecans and simply sprinkled the rest of the crumbly mixture over the top. And, well, it seems that I neglected to take a picture of that step. I did, however take a picture of the way I spread the apple sauce over the top of the mixture pressed into the pan! You’ll notice that my apple sauce is still pretty apple-y. That’s because I like chunky apple sauce. Had I completely followed the instructions in the apple sauce recipe, it would’ve resulted in a smoother sauce, which you are more than welcome to do if that’s the type of sauce you like.
After the treat came out of the oven, as well as smelling delicious, it looked like this –
Nom nom nom
All that was left to do was to cut them into pieces and try not to eat them all before my friends arrived!
While I was able to kill some time by taking pictures, it was a very trying exercise! But it was well worth the wait since my friends really enjoyed the treat! And you can too – I’ve received permission to include the recipe in my post here. I also have the opportunity to give away a signed copy of the cookbook! Check out my review of the cookbook and enter my Rafflecopter giveaway here. But make it snappy – the giveaway closes on October 30th!
From EATS: enjoy all the seconds by Mary Rolph Lamontagne, published with permission. These squares are easy to make and are so moist that they melt in your mouth. They are also not too sweet, which can be dangerous since it is easy to eat the entire batch.
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1¾ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup apple sauce (master recipe)
- ½ cup roasted pecans, chopped roughly
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a square baking pan.
- Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
- Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together and add to the butter mixture.
- Add the oats and mix well. Using your fingers is most effective and satisfying to achieve the best consistency.
- Divide the crumbly dough into two-thirds and one-third.
- Press the larger amount of dough into the prepared pan.
- Spread the apple sauce over the dough.
- Add the pecans to the remaining crumbly dough and sprinkle over the apple sauce. It will look a bit like a crumble topping.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the pan and then cut into squares.