Raspberry Crumb Bars…a Bit Too Crumbly

Cold weather always makes me want to eat more…and bake more.  We had a friend’s birthday party this weekend, so I decided to dust off my baking supplies and try a new recipe.  I really wanted to make this blueberry crumb recipe, but blueberries were MIA at our local neighborhood store.  I was too lazy to make the trek to another store, so opted to substitute blueberries for raspberries instead.

The finished product?  See for yourself above.  As pretty as they look in the pictures and as much as I like to toot my own horn, the final bars were just OK.  I think a couple things I would have done differently.  Per other people’s suggestions, I would have used butter instead of the shortening indicated in the recipe.  Texture was a bit too crumbly and messy (could have been the weird vegetable shortening I used, too).  I think butter would have made it more clumpy and rich.  Raspberries were a bit too tart, so next go around, I would either use more sugar, or actually go the distance to get those darn blueberries.  Alas, this did not stop anybody from devouring them.  Clean plate by the end of the night!

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Karen’s Famous Banana Blueberry Muffins

Everybody raves about my friend Karen’s Banana Blueberry Muffins, but I’ve never had them before, so I decided to give it a go.  After whipping them up and scarfing down 4 of them all by myself, I can honestly tell you that they are freakin’ good.  They’re not too sweet and have a nice nutty flavor to them from the oats and flax.  Mine were a tad bit over-baked at 23 minutes, so it might depend on your oven.  Even so, they were still delish. I’d check them at 18-19 minutes.  They should be uber moist.  Oh, and if you haven’t guessed, my friend Karen subscribes to a healthy lifestyle, so the muffins are healthy, too….which means you can eat more of them and not feel guilty.  Happy baking…and eating!

baked goods

Karen’s Famous Banana Blueberry Muffins

3 ripe bananas
<3/4 c. Sugar (slightly)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1-2 Tbs (guess) flax meal
1/2 c blueberries (guess to your liking)
1/2 c walnuts (to your liking)

Preheat oven to 350, I like to make muffins. You can put into bread form as well.  I’ve also modified with chocolate chips!

Cook time muffins:  22-25 min  (Might depend on your oven.  Check them at 18-19 minutes.)

non stick muffin cups

If you know me, then you know that I love a good sweet and savory combo….like this salted caramel apple recipe that looks OMFG so good! I try not to bake because I have a sweet tooth, but no willpower- deadly combo. I might have to break down for this one!

omfg. so good.

Move over pumpkin spice, there’s another fall flavor in town. And his name is Salted Caramel Apple.

I grew up in Upstate NY where apples are serious business. When I was a kid, every weekend during Fall, we would go to the local produce grower and load up bushel baskets with freshly picked McIntosh, Red and Golden Delicious, sample freshly pressed cider and DROOL over the hand-dipped caramel apples. Good old fashioned, tart Granny Smiths dipped in warm, gooey caramel then rolled in crushed salted peanuts.

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