Ah yes, the season of autumn. Many things are associated with this time of year. Back to school, Thanksgiving, Halloween and astounding scenery. However, baking can also be associated with fall. While it's true that Christmas takes the cake in terms of baking seasons that doesn't mean fall is out of the picture. There are plenty of seasonings, sugars and spices that are closely tied to the fall season. With cooler temperatures many people are experiencing the urge to fire up their ovens and bake delicious cakes, pies and muffins. Every fall season I have two recipes that serve as my go to for seasonal snacks.
As students ‘time’ is the singular, most valuable thing imaginable. There is never enough of it and it seems to go by instantaneously. That’s why this Betty Crocker recipe for Easy Caramel Apple Bars is perfect for university students. Preparation time is only 15 minutes and each bar contains a measly 100 calories. Not only is the recipe easy to prepare but the ingredient list is also relatively short. Easy Caramel Apple Bars provide a quick grab and go snack when studying, assignments and projects begin to add up.
Easy Caramel Apple Bars
½ cup of cold butter
¾ cup of caramel topping
¼ cup of all-purpose flour
1 finely chopped and peeled apple
1 pouch of Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix
Heat oven to 350 F. Spray the bottom of 13x9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl cut the butter in to the oatmeal cookie mix using either a fork or pastry blender. Then proceed to still in the egg with a fork.
Set aside 1 ½ cups of the cookie mixture. Press the remaining cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle the apple over the baked crust. Then mix the caramel topping and all-purpose flour in a small bowl. Proceed to drizzle the mixture over the apples.
Take the 1 ½ cups of reserved cookie mixture and evenly spread it over the apples. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool for 2 hours.
Cut the bars into 9 rows by 4 rows and enjoy.
Once in a while students realize that they can’t live off of treats and snacks throughout the entire school year. As attractive as cake and cookies are they usually aren’t the most nutritious items to eat. Luckily a recipe I came across a while back offers both nutrition and flavour. Pumpkin Bread is perfect for fall time snacking. This simple and long-lasting recipe can be stored at room temperature for 4 days or refrigerated for 10. Best of all it is packed full of nutrition. Each slice offers only 95 calories and 4 grams of fat. It provides a dose of dietary fibre and 42% of an individuals required Vitamin A daily intake.
1 2/3 cups of sugar
2/3 cup of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 cups of all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 can or 15 ounces of pumpkin
½ cup of raisins
½ cup of chopped nuts
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
Move oven rack to the low position within the oven so the top of bread pan will be in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease the bottom of a 9x5x3 inch pan with shortening.
In a large bowl mix together pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla.
Add the flour, raisins, chopped nuts, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, baking powder and ground cloves to the mixture. Stir well.
Pour mixture into the 9-inch pan. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and loosen sides of loaf.
Remove bread loaf from pan and place on a wire cooling rack with the top side up for 2 hours. Slice and enjoy.
Whether it’s Easy Caramel Apple Bars or Pumpkin Bread as this fall season continues on I'll have my oven working around the clock. These two recipes are designed perfectly for students as once you’ve baked your treat of choice you’ll have quick grab and go snacks for the rest of the week. Although it’s not Christmas quite yet, seasonal baking has already begun.