Sunday, November 8, 2009

Apples and Cider and Butterscotch... YUM!

As I'm sure you all (well, the loyal 2 or 3 that still read my ramblings!) have probably figured out by my less than regular participation in the online world these days, I've once again been sucked into the rather large black hole that is the mid-term project and exam period at school. I'm still living and breathing food, more or less, but during the week (and some weekends, it turns out!) it tends to be less "delicious food-porn" and more "pureed [non] baby-food, reformed somethingorother" that's on my computer screen. The one saving grace of my workload thus far has been my Marketing and Merchandising course, which aside from being dead simple is actually kind of fun to work with. For instance, one of our projects has to do with promoting Canadian fish and seafood products, so drawing from my list of Toronto-area foodie pals and chefs on Twitter I was able to not only snag a couple great recipes for my handout but also a roster of awesome, local friendly restaurants for my classmates to look through.

Of course, there is other work to be done too, not nearly as entertaining as marketing campaigns but apparently essential. Unfortunately, because I tend to get bored (and therefore distracted!) quickly by the rest of my classes, the work winds up taking 3x as long as it really should! Part of it could be the fact that baking is just so much more beneficial to my stress level and interest, but naahh... let's just say it's that the work is "too much and too mindless" to be worthy of my valuable time and mental effort. Sound better, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

So to pass the time in between bursts of non-foodie writing, Tweeting, churning out an occasional post and perusing the blogs of other, more dedicated authors than I, the mixing bowls, flour, sugar and spices still come out to play once or twice a week. Would you really expect anything different?

This latest Fall snacking "cake" or "square" is my egg-free, whole grain riff on Jamie's Apple Bar recipe that she posted way back in early September. I slightly lowered the sugar in the batter portion (which I usually do as a matter of course), but then did away with any notion of real nutrition by packing it full of butterscotch chips and some spiced instant apple cider mix I found lurking in the back of our pantry. But no matter... really, if you're going to have a dessert, what's the fun in chewing on something that's a shadow of it's former self? Balance, like between work and leisure, yin and yang, et cetera, is key. And you can always freeze the leftovers - provided of course there are any!

Apple Cider Butterscotch Bars
Serves 12
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup hot water
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 (.75 oz) packets apple cider drink mix
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9x9" pan with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the flaxseed and hot water. Let stand 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cider drink mix. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl beat oil, brown sugar, vanilla and the flaxseed mixture.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in the apples.
  6. Spread into the pan and sprinkle with the butterscotch chips.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 204.2
Total Fat: 6.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 10.9 mg
Total Carbs: 34.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 2.3 g