Showing posts with label Old Fashioned Apple Oatmeal Bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Old Fashioned Apple Oatmeal Bars. Show all posts

Monday, January 28, 2013

Old Fashioned Apple Oatmeal Bars

This week, I found a nice piece of top sirloin in the freezer. It's been bitterly cold here, so beef stew sounded just about right. But I'm wary of beef being dry in stews, so I did a little research on top sirloin. Opinions ranged from my favorite cut, always flavorful to beware: sometimes great, sometimes terrible, you never know what you're getting when you buy this. Some people said only to cook it like a steak, while others raved about it for stew, cooking it from ten minutes to a whopping six hours!

That's always a great start. Now I do know that there's a point at which meat becomes tough but cooked longer it turns soft and can be pulled apart. The worse the cut, the better it is cooked long and slow. That's because the connective tissue collagen that makes it tough when cooked like a steak finally begins to turn to gelatin. If you're interested in a breakdown of the process, check out this article.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I followed the 10 minute idea (sounded safe) and it still turned tough. But the dogs gave it two tails up. Top sirloin goes on sale a lot. If you buy it, I recommend using it as a steak, no matter what the recipes say. Lesson learned.

So I made baked chicken nuggets out of chicken breast and whipped up two sauces. There's a game coming up and chicken nuggets seem a lot easier and lower fat than chicken wings. The Panko exterior held up beautifully, if a bit pale. The chicken inside was perfect. Not a bit tough, though they could have used a little more flavor in the breading. I took them to my mother to try. Two thumbs down. She didn't like them at all. But the dogs gave them two tails up. I may give them another shot. I really loved the tender chicken and the crispy Panko.

By now I'm thinking I'm having a lousy day and what I really want is comfort food. I read Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and there's Sofie Kelly's answer to a lousy day. I want that chocolate! But I still need a recipe to share with you.

For some reason, maybe the fact that it's January and cold, I've been craving oatmeal. So now I'm thinking chewy apple oatmeal bars. I stumbled across this recipe, which has been around for a long time. I don't know the original source, but sometimes the simple tried and true recipes are still the best. Note how little sugar is in this recipe!

When you mix the dry ingredients, the bottom layer will be quite thin. I expected the apples to bubble up a little bit but they didn't. I could see the apples on the edge when I lifted the parchment paper, so decided it would be best to allow it to cool in the pan. Gotta tell you -- it smells just like apple pie!

Apple Oatmeal Bars

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) + 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/2 cups finely chopped apples
1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 brown & 1/4 white)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in the microwave (about 50 seconds). Mix the oatmeal, flour, salt, cinnamon and melted butter in a bowl. Use 1/2 of the mixture to line the bottom of the pan. Press into place.

Chop the apples and mix with sugar. Spread in pan. Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over top of the apples and gently press into place.

Bake 35 minutes.

The apples didn't ooze out.