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Fall Baking Bonanza

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
  2. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  3. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2 minutes. If you notice the butter separating or if the sugar clumped up, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine it again. (If you’re nervous for splatter, wear kitchen gloves. Keep whisking until it comes back together, even if it takes 3-4 minutes. It will eventually– just keep whisking. Return to heat when it’s combined again.)
  4. Very slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools.
  6. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Caramel solidifies in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove to desired consistency.
  • For the Crust
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the Apple Filling
  • 1½ pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick (3 large)
  • 1½ pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick (3 large)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

For the crust, place the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and creamy. Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter-sugar mixture, beating until combined. Scatter two-thirds of the dough in clumps in a 9 × 13-inch baking pan and press it lightly with floured hands on the bottom and ½ inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put the mixing bowl with the remaining dough back on the mixer, add the walnuts and cinnamon, and mix on low speed to combine. Set aside.

Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling, combine the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples and lemon juice in a very large bowl. Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well. Melt the butter in a large (10-inch-diameter) pot, add the apples, and simmer over medium to medium-low heat, stirring often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Spread the apples evenly over the crust, leaving a ½-inch border.

Pinch medium pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly on top of the apples (they will not be covered). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is browned. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Copyright 2016, Cooking for Jeffrey, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved


The Perfect Gingersnap Cookie (yes, we're that confident):

3/4 cup butter
1 c sugar, plus extra for rolling.
1 beaten egg
4 T molasses
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t ginger (ground)
1 t cloves (not whole!)
1 t cinnamon

Mix together all ingredients. Roll into balls. Dip in sugar. Place 9 balls per cookie sheet, because they will spread. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12min. Underbake for chewy cookies. Add a minute for crispy, snappy delights. Enjoy!


Hot Fudge Sauce - Modern Honey

  • 1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter *
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • * I use salted butter. If using unsalted butter add a pinch of salt to hot fudge.
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat cream and butter over medium heat. Whisk often to ensure it doesn't burn on the bottom. Once butter is melted, reduce heat to low.
  2. Stir in cocoa powder and sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Whisk well after each addition to prevent clumping. When the mixture is completely smooth, remove from heat. If you desire a thicker fudge, cook while whisking for several minutes longer). Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Transfer the fudge to a glass jar or storage container and let cool to room temperature before covering with a lid (the steam will cause condensation to form). Keep it refrigerated until ready to serve. May microwave it or heat on a stovetop.


Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola - Creme de la Crumb

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts 
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pie puree
  • Preheat oven to 325 and lightly grease a large baking sheet. (Preferable one with a raised edge)
  • In a large bowl combine oats, nuts, coconut, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl whisk together honey, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin.
  • Pour the wet mixture mixture over the oats mixture and stir to coat well. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet in an even layer and bake 15 minutes, stir, and continue to bake in 10-15 minutes intervals, stirring well between each, until the granola is uniformly golden and no longer moist (for me this was a little over an hour but it will depend on your oven).
  • Allow to cool completely (the granola will crisp a little more as it cools.) Store completely cooled granola in airtight containers for 1-2 weeks