I probably drive the BF crazy [Ed. note: like no one else, and for some reason I can't help myself], but I start asking him to choose his birthday cake-dessert about a month before his birthday. Usually give a choice of some great found recipe that includes either apples, caramel, butterscotch or lemon. Love hunting for the perfect recipe, with the goal of getting his eyes to bug out.
These apple pie bars are a client favorite, and whenever I make them the BF ends up in the kitchen, plaintively staring and asking if there are "extras." [Ed. note: "Oh those were for the clients?"] Needless to say the dessert has become one of his favorites, so I decided to make it for his birthday in lieu of a traditional cake. This was a very special birthday, by the way. [Ed. note: #LOLOLD]
One of the great things about this dessert is the shortbread dough is used for both the bottom crust and crumble on top. (Meaning there's no pie crust to roll out.) As the brilliant Ina Garten likes to say, "How easy is that?"
To really send it over the top, drizzle the bars with gooey caramel (optional, but recommended). Perfectly okay to eat with your hands, or dish/bowl them up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
In addition to offering an alternative to your everyday pedestrian cookie, these bars have another perk: they travel well. Simply wrap up the baking pan and cut the bars when you get to your destination. As for optimal portion size, Garten advises, "I cut the bars in fairly large 3 x 3-inch squares if I'm serving them on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. If I'm serving them on a platter of small petits fours to pick up with your fingers, I'll cut them in smaller bite-size pieces."
PS: Speaking of Thanksgiving, a year ago we were thinking ahead with this whipped cranberry butter (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/whipped-cranberry-butter). Also, Adam Sandler sings!
PPS: Another client-approved holiday-time dessert, your friends and family won't know this yummy mini pumpkin cheesecake is sugar-free and low-carb. That is, unless you tell them. So don't. (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/mini-pumpkin-cheesecake-sugar-free-and-low-carb)
Adapted from: Ina Garten, Cooking For Jeffrey
Number of Servings: Makes one 9 x 13-inch pan
This cookie went viral in autumn of 2017. [Ed. note: At our current pace, that is roughly 27,538 news cycles, since then. Give or take.] At the time, it didn't really look like much of a cookie to me, but I probably should have believed the hype. Have lost count how many times I've made these.
The recipe comes from Alison Roman's cookbook Dining In. In New York magazine’s Grub Street Diet blog, Roman mentioned that she has but one cookie recipe in her book, and it’s for these cookies. She said that it is, “in [her] opinion, way better than a chocolate-chip cookie.” Not sure about that, but I'll tell you that when I make them the BF and I can't stop eating them. [Ed. note: Sweet.]
A few notes that will perfect your cookies:
PS: A year ago we summoned our Whole30 aspirations with this roasted potatoes and coconut turmeric sauce (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/roasted-potatoes-coconut-turmeric-sauce), then uh well yeah like threw that into the proverbial circular file with some Super Bowl-food Mississippi roast mini cheesesteaks ( www.moveablefeast.me/blog/mississippi-roast-mini-cheesesteaks). [Ed. note: It should be noted that because the game-time food was cheesesteaks that this had everything to do with the Philadelphia Eagles winning said Super Bowl.]
Adapted from: Alison Roman, Dining In and Smitten Kitchen
Number of Servings: 24 cookies
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.