Zucchini Loaf

zucchini, garden, newfoundland, highway, dessert, A couple of months ago I planted some zucchini sprouts purchased from our local garden centre.  Every year I seem to lose my memory about how abundant zucchini plants are under ideal conditions.  This summer’s crop is doing really well.  We’ve had quite a bit of moisture this season.  Some farmers are complaining it’s too wet, while others say their yield is the best they’ve seen for years.  You can’t please everyone.

We went away last week to do some camping for the weekend and came back to find two huge zucchinis tucked away under the leaves.  I had thought I found most of the small ones, but for some reason there’s always one or two which I overlook.  Needless to say, the ones I didn’t pick were about the length from my elbow to my fingers, about a foot and a half.  So, I picked them and thought about what to do with all this wonderful bounty.

First I made some muffins.  It’s my go-to for using up stuff.  Then zucchini tots.  They are like tater tots, but use zucchini instead of potato.  Basically toss some grated zucchini in a large bowl with some bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, grated cheese, and garlic.  Press into little bite-size balls and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Yummy and fast.

Then came the loaves.  I’ve made 10 so far and there will be more coming.  Erma Bombeck talked about being that neighbour who has so much zucchini that you end up sneaking next door in the dead of night with little gift baskets filled with zucchini and ringing the doorbell.  As you crouch behind the potentilla, You spy your neighbour gingerly pick up the basket expecting an abandoned child or pet and pull back the gingham.  A cry of exasperation comes from their lips as they realize they’ve now been cursed with the gift of produce.

When we were visiting Newfoundland a few years ago we took a drive up the Northern peninsula to visit L’anse Aux Meadows.  It’s a national historic site which shows when the Vikings visiting the northern part of the island thousands of years ago.  As you’re driving up the highway you have to first be on the lookout for moose.  That highway is famous for accidents involving moose and cars.  Unfortunately neither the car with its passengers nor the moose fair well when they meet.  Always be careful driving, especially at dusk.

One other thing you’ll notice is along the highway there are gardens.  I thought it a bit peculiar to see a fenced garden just plopped along the highway.  Most of the plots that we were driving past were started in the late 1960′s when the highway was constructed. Up until then gardening had been a challenge due to the lack of plentiful and fertile soil along the coast. However, when the major road was built the dirt was piled up alongside the road where it could be put to great use in growing the main Newfoundland crops of potatoes, cabbages, and turnips.

While our garden isn’t along the highway, I wanted to share some of the bounty with my zucchini loaf recipe.  This recipe is fairly easy and you can add raisins or chocolate chips for variety.  I’ve added some All Bran buds for a little extra fiber.

Preheat your oven to 375F.  In your mixing bowl combine the eggs, oil, sugar, apple sauce, and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Then add the grated zucchini.  Mix to combine.  In a separate bowl add the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and soda.  Mix with a wire whisk to evenly distribute the ingredients.  With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients to your wet.  Mix until you can’t see any more flour.  Then add the All Bran Buds.

Pour into a prepared 8X5 loaf pan.  I spray mine with cooking spray, but you can butter and flour the pan if you prefer.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center of the loaf.   Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.   Then remove from the pan and let cool completely.

zucchini, garden, newfoundland, highway, dessert,

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Zucchini Loaf
These moist and not too sweet loaves will help you use up all that wonderful zucchini you have been blessed with.
zucchini, garden, newfoundland, highway, dessert,
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50-60 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50-60 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
zucchini, garden, newfoundland, highway, dessert,
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. In your mixing bowl combine the eggs, oil, sugar, apple sauce, and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Then add the grated zucchini. Mix on low until evenly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and powder. Mix thoroughly with a wire whisk until evenly distributed. With you mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet. Combine until you no longer see any flour. Add the All Bran Buds cereal.
  4. Pour into a greased 8X5 loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. It's done when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and let cool on the rack completely.
  5. Makes 8-10 slices.
Recipe Notes

I like to take some of the moisture out of my grated zucchini before I bake with it.  You can toss the grated zucchini with some salt and then place the zucchini in a fine sieve.  Place the sieve over a large bowl to catch the liquid.  Let sit for a least an hour.  Afterwards pat dry with a clean dish towel.  You can also use paper towel.

 

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Rum Spiced Banana Bread

rum, banana, bread, loaf, dessert, sugar, screech, newfoundlandSo if you have been following my blog, you would have realized that I made the lovely Portuguese orange cakes the last time and they were topped with sanding sugar.  And if you haven’t been following my blog, then sign up for updates so you don’t miss out on the fun and food.

Anyway, I bought the sanding sugar and, of course, had a little left over because I wasn’t sure how much I would need for the last recipe.  Needless to say, there may be a few more recipes coming your way which have sanding sugar in them.  Oopsee.

There were a few bananas which were going off and getting too soft to enjoy so they were placed in the freezer for later baking.  I don’t know how that happens.  It seems that the bananas go from green to overripe in days.  I have all the best intentions about eating them for breakfast, or throwing them in a lunch bag, but when I get around to it I just don’t feel like eating bananas that day.  So they ripen.

Banana bread has become such a common dessert and you’ll find millions of variations out there with a myriad of ingredients and extras.  I wanted something fairly simple (read: one bowl mixing) and a subtle nod to my home province of Newfoundland.  What would be easier than throwing in some Screech?  Booze is better in most things.  Right? Right? –crickets chirping–

The thing about banana bread is that your bananas have to be as ripe as you can stand it.  That’s the good thing about throwing them into the freezer when they reach the peak ripeness.  That way you can preserve all the sweetness of the sugars in the fruit, without all the peskiness of attracting fruit flies.

Don’t get me started.  I left some bananas out to ripen once and within a couple of days I was finding little fruit flies everywhere.  It was like that scene in Amityville where the flies are covering the windows.  Freaky.   Needless to say, I throw them into the freezer before things get too out of hand.

Preheat your oven to 350F and put the ripe bananas in your stand mixer and mix on low.  You want the bananas to be mushy, almost liquid-like.  The softer the better.  You’ll get more banana flavour if they are really ripe.  Still mixing on low, add the melted butter, sugar, eggs, and rum.

Then mix your dry ingredients.  You can throw everything in the mixer, but I personally like to mix my dry ingredients first to make sure everything is evenly distributed.  Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add that slowly to the wet mixture and blend until clear.  That is, you don’t see any more flour in the batter.  Do not overmix as the bread will be too chewy.

Pour into a greased eight inch loaf pan and set aside.  In a small bowl combine a couple of tablespoons of sanding sugar and a little bit of the rum.  You want the sugar to absorb the rum, but not be soaking.  You don’t want the sugar to dissolve.  Sprinkle the sugar on top of batter and bake for 50 minutes on the middle rack.  Use the knife test to check for doneness.

Let the loaf cool in the pan on a rack for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the pan an let cool completely.  Serves 8-10.rum, banana, bread, loaf, dessert, sugar, screech, newfoundland

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Rum Spiced Banana Bread
This light banana bread has the subtle flavour of rum and a pleasing sugary crust.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In stand mixer on low with the paddle attachment, mash the bananas until soft. The bananas should be very well broken down. Add the melted butter, sugar, egg, and rum.
  3. In a separate bowl combing the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  4. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients. Mix until clear. Pour the batter in a greased 8 inch loaf pan.
  5. In a small bowl combine the sanding sugar and a few drops of rum. Mix until moistened. Sprinkled the flavoured sugar over the top of the batter. Bake for 50 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick or until a inserted knife comes out clean.
  6. Let the loaf cool on a rack in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely. Serves 8-10 slices.
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Partridgeberry Chewies

cookie, newfoundland, partridgeberry, oatmeal, raisin, spices, dessertWhata yat?  It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, so I wanted to get you all up to speed.  I had a tooth removed so I wasn’t feeling the best for a couple of days.  The dentist told me that I had to eat soft foods.  You know, like oatmeal, soup, yogurt, and the like.  At least I know what it will feel like when I’m put in the home later.  Nothing could be too hot or cold, as it would cause me discomfort.

So I found this chewy oatmeal cookie.  The dentist said I could eat soft foods and this cookie is nice, soft, and chewy.  The partridgeberry jam gives it a bit of a tang, and the spices round out the flavour.

If you’re wondering what the heck are partridgeberries, they are a berry that’s common to the Atlantic provinces. They grow on bushes low to the ground and are very hearty.  The flavour is similar to a cranberry, but can be a little bitter on the finish.  You won’t notice the bitterness with this cookie though.

First preheat your oven to 350F.  Cream the shortening and the sugars with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer.  You want to get this mixture well blended and then add the egg and vanilla.  Whip for about two minutes so it’s nice and fluffy.  These cookies bake flat so you’ll want to get them nice and aerated.

While that is mixing combine the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices.  Mix the dry ingredients together to distribute evenly.  Turn your mixer to low and slowly add the dry mix to the creamed batter.  Then add your oatmeal, jam, and raisins.  Spoon tablespoons onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  They will spread a bit so leave a couple inches between each.cookie, newfoundland, partridgeberry, oatmeal, raisin, spices, dessert

The cookies will look a little moist when they come out of the oven, but they will continue to bake slightly when they are cooling.  Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

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Partridgeberry Chewies
Chewy oatmeal cookies with the slightly tart taste of partridgeberry jam
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
dozen
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
dozen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and both sugars. Cream well until blended. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until fluffy, about two minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Blend so all is distributed evenly.
  4. Slowly add the dry to the creamed mixture with your mixer on low. Then add the oatmeal, raisins, and jam. Mix until blended. Do not overmix.
  5. Scoop about a tablespoon full (#30 scoop) on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be slightly moist in center. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the pan and transfer to a rack.
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Molasses Drop Cookies

cookies, dessert, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cookie, soft, chewy, newfoundlandI remember these cookies fondly.  My mother made them often and I used to grab two or three of them with a tall glass of cold milk.  These molasses drop cookies are soft, chewy, and full of molasses flavour.  The cinnamon and ginger help round out the slight bitterness that molasses can bring.  I guarantee this will be one of your favourites.

These cookies also go by the name of Lassy cookies.  Lassy is obviously a shortened form of molasses and has worked its way into the Newfoundland vernacular.  There are lassy buns, lassy candy, and lassy bread.  There is another cookie called the lassy mog.  It starts off like the molassses drop cookie, but you add raisins and nuts to the batter.  Of course, molasses is great by itself on some bread or toutons, but it’s even better in the form of a cookie.

You start by creaming together the shortening and the brown sugar.  Once that is creamed add the egg.  Whip this batter for two minutes.  Don’t cheat and make sure you whip the batter for the proper amount of time.  This incorporates air into the batter and will make your cookie light and fluffy.   Take the time to preheat your oven to 350F.

While that is being mixed combine the sour milk and molasses.  Milk can be soured by add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to fresh milk and let it sit for five minutes or so.  When you mix the molasses into the milk you will see curdled pieces of milk floating about.  This is perfectly fine.  The soured milk help balance out the flavours of the cookie.

In another large bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  Use a wire whisk to evenly mix the dry ingredients.

Now, with your mixer on low add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.  Then add about 1/2 of the milk/molasses to the batter.  Add the next third of flour, then the rest of the wet ingredients.  Finally add the last of the flour mixture.  You always want to end mixing with the dry ingredients.   This way you can judge if the batter is too loose or stiff.  Also you won’t run the risk of over mixing your batter.  Mix until clear.  That is, until you don’t see any white of the flour in the batter.

Line your cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.  You can just use cooking spray on your cookie sheet, but if you read this blog regularly you’ll realize I like using a Silpat.  It makes cleaning so much easier and the cookies don’t stick at all.  Invest in some Silpat liners.  You’ll thank me later.

cookies, dessert, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cookie, soft, chewy, newfoundland

Scoop the batter with a #30 scoop onto the liners, leaving space for the cookies to spread slightly.  Bake for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the oven.  Because you can only do one pan at a time, I scooped my cookies and left them in a cool place so they wouldn’t deflate while the others were baking.  The coolest place was my garage, so I set the pans out there.  The cookies will look slightly underdone when you take them out, but rest asured, they will continue to bake when they cool on the pans.

Let them cool on the pans for a few minutes before you place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

cookies, dessert, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cookie, soft, chewy, newfoundland
Molasses Drop cookies


Print Recipe
Molasses Drop Cookies
Amazing chewy Molasses Drop cookies.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together the shortening and brown sugar. Add one large egg. Beat for two minutes on medium speed. Mixture should be light and fluffy.
  2. In a small bowl combine soured milk and molasses. To sour milk add one tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar to fresh milk. Set aside for a few minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves in a large bowl. Stir with wire whisk to distribute ingredients evenly throughout.
  4. Add 1/3 of the dry mix to the creamed mixture while the mixer is on low. Add 1/2 of the milk/molasses mix. Add the next third of dry ingredients, then the rest of the wet. Finally add the last of the dry and mix until clear. No white flour should be showing in the batter.
  5. Drop with #30 scoop onto lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Steamed Carrot Raisin Pudding

dessert, carrot, raisin, pudding, sauce,
Carrot Raisin Pudding with Brown Sugar Sauce

Steamed puddings have been around for centuries.  Early puddings used to be cooked in animal intestines — as haggis still is. This wasn’t overly convenient. The intestines were only available when an animal was slaughtered, and required a good deal of work to clean them before they could be used.

Cloths for boiling puddings weren’t thought up until the early 1600s. Pudding cloths were lined with suet and flour, the mixture was poured into this, the cloth was tied up and then boiled under water for hours. When it was boiled in a cloth, it came out sphere shaped. With the advent of the cloth technique, Steamed Pudding making in England started to take off.  In Newfoundland, a steamed pudding, such as Figgy Duff, usually comes as part of Jiggs dinner.  Jiggs dinner is a boiled dinner done on Sundays with salt beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips.  All are boiled together in a large pot, as well as the dessert in a pudding bag.

Steamed dessert puddings that rose (such as Christmas or Plum pudding, or Sponge puddings), would not have been possible before the invention of baking powder (in America, in the mid-nineteenth century.)

While it may seem like a lot of work, steamed puddings are relatively easy to prepare and cook.  You just need something to cook the pudding in, usually a large pot and something to hold the pudding.  You can use a pudding bag, an old (clean) coffee tin, or a pudding mould.  Pudding bags and molds can be found at home and decor stores, or you could click on the ad at the bottom of my post.  (Subtle as a lead pipe, I am.)

This steamed carrot pudding is a great way to hide a little more veg into your meals.  It’s a sweet pudding, and should be served with a sauce.  The easiest way is just to buy the caramel, chocolate, or custard sauces available at the supermarket.  I will tell you how to make a homemade sauce, so stay tuned for that.

For your pudding, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl.  Add the raisins and currants and toss them with the flour mixture.  Make sure they are coated with flour.  It will evenly distribute the fruit throughout the dessert.

In another bowl with your hand mixer on medium, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add the beaten egg to the creamed sugar.  With your mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until the batter becomes too stiff to mix.  Fold in the remaining flour/fruit.

Stir in the grated carrot, potato, and bread crumbs.  The batter will be thick.  Stecarrot, dessert, raisin, pudding, sauceamed puddings typically don’t have much flour because you don’t want the dessert to be too gummy.  Place the batter into a greased pudding mould.  If you do not have a mould, then use steam-proof container and cover with aluminum foil.  Secure the foil with an elastic so no water can get in or out.  Place the mould into a large pot and pour water so it reaches at least half way up the sides.  Bring the water to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer.  Steam the pudding for 2 1/2 hours, then uncover and place in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes.  This will just firm up the crust.

Serve with your favorite sauce.


Print Recipe
Steamed Carrot Raisin Pudding
Small steamed puddings make a great hostess gift.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 3/4 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Flour mixture
Cream mixture
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 3/4 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Flour mixture
Cream mixture
Instructions
  1. For the flour mixture combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Add the raisins and currants. Toss to coat. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and brown sugar with you mixer on medium speed. Add the beaten egg. Stir in the grated carrot, grated potato, and bread crumbs.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Mixing by hand if the batter becomes too thick for the electric mixer.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased pudding mould and lightly press the batter down to make a flat layer. Cover and place in a large pot. Fill the pot with water so the water comes at least halfway up the sides of the mould. The mould should not touch the bottom of the pan, so you may have to use a small can or trivet. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Steam for 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Keep an eye on the water level, just in case the water level gets too low. Just add a little more hot water if necessary. Once steamed remove the lid and place in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with your favourite sauce.
Recipe Notes

If you prefer individual puddings, divide the pudding batter among greased custard cups or ramekins, filling about 3/4 full.  Cover with aluminum foil and steam for about an hour.  Serve warm with sauce.

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Scrunchies

scrunchie, cookies, coconut, chocolate, chocolate chip, peanut, chewy, oatsNo, this isn’t a post about the elasticty donut a lot of women sported in their hair in the eighties.  It’s about a drop cookie and this drop cookie is chock-a-block full of different ingredients from all over my pantry.  There’s creamy coconut, chocolate chips, and crunchy peanuts.  It almost sounds like I’m writing an ad for a chocolate bar, but this is a cookie.

Ever have one of those days where you look in the pantry and don’t really know what to make?  Sometimes it happens to me too often.  I’m missing a key ingredient and I really don’t want to make a trip to the store for one thing, because it won’t be just one thing I’ll pick up.  So I started searching through my recipes.  And because it’s February already (where did the time go?) this cookie has a touch of maple syrup for flavour.  It’s basically a dump cookie.  You take a whole bunch of different ingredients and blend them all into one cookie.  We’re famous for taking ingredients from the people who visited us from different parts of the world.  Check out my post about molasses to see just that.cookies, scrunchies, peanut, coconut, oats, chocolate, chocolate chip

Also, if you’re wary about having a cookie with peanuts because of allergies, please feel free to leave them out.  Just replace the amount with more chocolate chips, or tree nuts if you’re not allergic to them.  I would suggest something on the crunchy side though.  It’s a great added texture.

Mix the following together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer: oil, brown sugar, egg, milk, and maple syrup.  Either will work fine for this recipe as the batter doesn’t get too stiff.  Now add the oats, coconut, chocolate chips and peanuts.  Then sit back and chill.

Really.  The mixture needs to chill in the fridge for at least ten minutes.  This way the oats will slightly absorb some of the oil and the cookies won’t spread as much.  That’s my tip for the day.  If you don’t want your cookies to spread, chill the batter first.  Of course, you can also put the batter in muffin tins, like I did for my chocolate chip cookies, but it isn’t necessary.

Preheat your oven to 375F.  While the mixture is chilling, you can mix the dry ingredients.  Mix in a bowl the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Take the chilled batter out and slowly add the flour mixture until you can’t see any more flour in the batter.  Using a #30 scoop transfer the batter to a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  I did mine for 9, but you know your oven best.  When you take the cookie out of the oven it won’t look completely cooked.  This is okay.  It will still continue to cook while it sits on the pan to cool.  Let to cookies cool on the pan for at least ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Print Recipe
Scrunchies
This wonderful cookies is packed with great ingredients from your pantry.
scrunchie, cookies, coconut, chocolate, chocolate chip, peanut, chewy, oats
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
scrunchie, cookies, coconut, chocolate, chocolate chip, peanut, chewy, oats
Instructions
  1. In stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer on low speed, combine the vegetable oil, brown sugar, egg, milk, and maple syrup. Add the coconut, oats, chocolate chips, and peanuts. Mix until blended. Chill in the refrigerator for at least ten minutes.
    scrunchie, cookies, coconut, chocolate, chocolate chip, peanut, chewy, oats
  2. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir with wire whisk to combine. Remove chilled mixture from fridge and add the dry ingredients on low speed until you can't see any flour in the batter.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  4. With a #30 scoop, place even scoop on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are slightly brown. Let the cookies cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes.
    scrunchie, cookies, coconut, chocolate, chocolate chip, peanut, chewy, oats
  5. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
    scrunchie, cookies, coconut, chocolate, chocolate chip, peanut, chewy, oats
Recipe Notes

You may substitute another nut if you have a peanut allergy.  This will obviously alter the flavour of the cookies.  Or increase the chocolate chips to one cup and omit the nuts completely.

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Apple Caramel Oatmeal Bars

apple caramel barsJust last week was Guy Fawkes day.  It is an annual commemoration observed on November 5, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of November 5, 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

Settlers who came over to Newfoundland brought this tradition of lighting bonfires and it has continued ever since.  The town of Grand Falls-Windsor hosts a bonfire night and it has become quite the celebration.  People donate their wood and paper and a large bonfire is created, safely away from people’s houses.  Bonfire night is another ‘old world’ tradition that Newfoundland keeps alive.

Some rural communities also have bonfires with no connection to Guy Fawkes.  There may be a connection to ancient pagan customs instead. In Great Britain fires would be lit for Samhain (pronounced Saw-win) to appease the Celtic gods and bring light back to the dying sun.  Samhain becomes our modern Halloween, so it’s easy for the bonfire tradition to blend together, being only five days apart.

Because I’ve been playing around with molasses and apples and made the apple pandowdy, I found another great recipe you can carry with you.  These apple caramel bars are perfect as a snack sitting by the bonfire or later in the year when your bonfire is indoors. (Note: I mean your fireplace.  Please, for the love of God, don’t make a bonfire in your house.  Are ya stunned?)  These bars are moist and chewy from the oatmeal and the molasses gives it that unique Newfoundland taste.

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and baking soda in a bowl.  Add melted butter and molasses.  Mix until combined.  Press about half of the mixture into a parchment lined 9X13 pan.  Make sure to have the parchment come up the sides.  It will be easier to remove later.  Press down to make even layer, extending completely to all sides.  Bake for eight minutes.  Remove from oven to let cool slightly.

Peel, core, and slice apples.  I used Granny Smiths because I like the tartness against the sweetness of the molasses and caramel.  If you want to change it up, just make sure it’s a good baking apple.  Place apples on top of baked oatmeal layer.

Remove lid from caramel sauce and microwave for 30 seconds to one minute.  This will make it easier to pour over apples.  Use a glove to remove sauce from microwave.  This is warmed sugar.  It can get very warm.  Pour evenly over the apples.  If needed spread the sauce so it covers most of the apple layer.  I used President’s Choice Dulce de Leche sauce, but any caramel sauce will do.  Sobey’s has a Whiskey Caramel sauce which would be lovely.

Add remaining 1/2 cup flour to the leftover half of oatmeal mixture and combine.  Sprinkle topping on the caramel, remembering to cover all the dessert.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Let cool on rack completely before removing from pan.  If you like you can cool in the fridge and then cut.  If so, let it warm to room temperature before serving.  Enjoy as a bar, or cut larger pieces and serve with whipped cream.

Print Recipe
Apple Caramel Oatmeal Bars
These bars are a great treat after a cold day. Sit by the fire and have a bite.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and baking soda in large bowl or mixer.
  2. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add molasses to butter to combine. Add oatmeal/flour mixture and mix until no flour is showing.
  3. Press about half of the mixture into a prepare 9x13 pan lined with parchment. Make sure there's an even layer going all the way to the sides of the pan. Bake for eight minutes in a 350F oven. Remove and let cool slightly.
  4. Peel, core, and slice 3 cups of apples. Place sliced apples on cooled, baked oatmeal layer. Spread evenly.
  5. Microwave jarred caramel sauce until it's soft enough to pour: about 30 seconds to one minute. You want the sauce to still be thick, so soft enough to pour and spread. Pour evenly over apples.
  6. Add 1/2 cup flour to remained oatmeal mixture. Mix until flour is incorporated. Crumble mixture on top of caramel/apples layer. Make sure to coat evenly and cover the top completely. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars. Makes 32.
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