Monday, October 20, 2008

Homemade pizza and Apple Spice Bars

Before I even talk about these, I do have to say that I have had to kick up my workouts and watch my other foods throughout the day to compensate for these great things I am making...but I still better not do this too often!

Tonight I made homemade pizza with lean ground beef and mushrooms on top. I like making it homemade so I can make a thinner crust, use lean beef, and less cheese. It was really good--Norris approved!:) I just used a Jiffy pizza crust mix, which is super easy and really cheap. You could easily make your own crust. I didn't take a picture because it was coming out of the oven when I got home from the gym and it was time to eat!

So, not a great picture of the apple bars, but an excellent treat! I know, I made treats yesterday...cinnamon rolls. I have had this recipe sitting here printed out since the day I saw it on another food blog-- Good Things Catered and it is so yummy. It tastes a lot like apple pie, but is a whole lot easier to make.

Here is the recipe:
Apple Spice Cookie Bars

2 c. plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice ( I didn't have allspice or cloves, so I just used a dash more of nutmeg)
small pinch ground cloves
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 apples, cored and diced (a little less than 2 c.)
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling (I used Splenda and cinnamon-- same trick)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9x13 pan with foil and baking spray. **This is my least favorite thing to do in baking, so I am certain it would also work fine with a well greased 9x13 pan.
-In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
-Whisk to combine well and set aside.
-In another bowl, combine sugars and butter and beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
-Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to combine.
-Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
-Turn mixer on slow and fold in flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.
-Fold in apples.
-Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle top generously with cinnamon Splenda/sugar.
-Place in oven and bake until cooked through, when top slightly bounces back to the touch, about 33 minutes.
-Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan, cutting and serving. (bars will be very soft)

ENJOY! These would be a great Thanksgiving treat if you wanted a little variation from the typical apple pie. I guess I'm in apple pie mode, since I did those dumplings a couple weeks ago...time to move on to a new flavor!

Tomorrow night: chicken tacos (simple!) and Wed. night, a new recipe for Beef Stroganoff. I used to think this stuff was the grossest when it was served in the cafeteria in elementary, so we'll see if I can get myself to like it this many years later!