October 12, 2015

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

It's fall! It's fall, it's fall, it's fall!! And okay, it's about 100 degrees here today, and we probably won't have fall like temperatures until late November, but I'm still celebrating with all the apples and all the pumpkins.

Apple Pie Bars with Caramel

Last weekend we went to Apple Hill, which is a really cool area full of orchards and vineyards. And a ton of people in October. We went to a couple of the more out of the way places (much more our speed and much less crowded), and I stocked up on apples.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

And stared at some delicious looking caramel apples--my problem with caramel apples is I can never eat an entire one and I normally manage to get it all over myself while eating it... So I skipped the caramel apple and decided to turn some of my apples into a dessert.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

A caramel apple crumble pie bar dessert. An apple pie bar dessert with caramel? A caramel apple tart? With crumbles? Haha! This recipe is a mash up of apple pie, caramel apples, and a pie bar. And it's topped with a delicious crunchy crumble and drizzled with more caramel sauce--in other words, it's unholy deliciousness!

Apple Pie Bars with Crumble Topping

It is a couple of steps--but I think it's totally worth it in the end! I put the steps in the recipe in the order I did them and when the caramel apple crumble bars came out the oven I had to resist eating them right then and there! These bars would be perfect with vanilla ice cream, but they're also good all by themselves!

Caramel Apple Pie Bars with Crumble Topping

Caramel Apple Pie Bars Recipe
author: Happy Food Happy Home
makes 16-20 2x2 inch bar pieces

1 pie crust
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line a 9" x 13" rimmed baking sheet or casserole pan with parchment paper. 
  3. On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust into a 9" x 13" rectangle. Carefully transfer the dough rectangle to the baking sheet. 
  4. Prick the dough all over with a fork. 
  5. Bake the dough for 10 minutes until the edges are firm, but the dough has not yet turned golden. 
  6. Remove from the oven and set aside. 

Caramel Sauce
*makes more sauce than you'll need for the bars. It's really nothing to complain about ;)

1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
  1. In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar and corn syrup. 
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat swirling occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.  
  3. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully add the butter. The mixture will bubble! Be careful! Stir until the butter has melted. 
  4. Still off the heat, add the heavy cream and vanilla. It will bubble again! Be careful!
  5. Put the mixture back on the stove over medium high heat.  Stir the mixture until it all comes together.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes more until it becomes a delicious caramel color! Remove from heat and pour into a heat proof glass jar. 
  7. Set caramel sauce aside. 

3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and baking powder. 
  2. Drizzle with the melted butter and mix together to form small crumbles. 
  3. Set aside. 

3-4 medium apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
squeeze of lemon juice (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon corn starch
  1. Peel the apples. Quarter them and cut out the cores.  Evenly slice the apples to about 1/4 inch thickness. 
  2. Toss the apple slices with the cinnamon, lemon juice, and corn starch. 

To Assemble and Bake
1 par-baked pie crust
apple slices
1/4-1/2 cup caramel sauce
plus more caramel sauce for topping

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. On top of the pie crust (still on the parchment lined cookie sheet) lay the apples in rows, overlapping each piece 3/4 of the way.
  3. Drizzle the apples with a light layer of caramel sauce. 
  4. Evenly spread the crumbles over the top of the caramel drizzled apples.
  5. Bake the bars at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the apples are soft and the tops of the crumbles are golden brown. 
  6. Allow the caramel apple crumble bars to cool for about 30 minutes before drizzling with more caramel sauce and slicing. (I used a pizza cutter to slice between my rows of apples, then cut each row into four pieces.)
The bars will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but it's best to eat them the day of so the crumble stays crunchy!

Enjoy your caramel apple pie bars with ice cream, apple cider, or just all by themselves. Pack some up and go on a picnic to an apple orchard near you! Yay fall! 

October 2, 2015

We Moved to Sacramento!

In March of this year, Dustin interviewed for a job in Sacramento.  That particular position didn't quite match up with what we wanted, so we settled in to our lives in Indiana and moved on.

Our new house!
Until early May, when the company called back. They offered a different position that seems like a perfect fit for Dustin's experience and personality. And so, we sold our house, packed up everything, and at the beginning of July moved across the country to Sacramento!

Cheese boards are a food group, right?

It has been a super exiting (and rather dramatic) couple of months, but we're settling into Sacramento! We were looking for an apartment that would fit our needs and be in our budget.  It was a long process and for a while it seemed like nothing would work out. Thankfully we found an awesome house that is right outside the city.

At a FREE Farm-to-Fork Block Party!

Our belongings were delayed by a month getting here, so we moved into our house with the things we had packed to bring with us for a week. No furniture, no things to cook with or eat off of, no cleaning supplies, no nothing. Luckily we had planned to buy a new bed when we got here, so we didn't sleep on the floor for a month! And Ikea is 5 minutes away from us, so we were able to buy lots of Ikea goodies to make it through!

My reward for finishing my real estate courses! 

I've finished my California real estate courses, so as soon as I'm approved to take the test I will be ready to rock and roll with my real estate career! I'm super excited to start helping people buy and sell their homes--real estate hits so many of my personal 'happy spots' that I need from a career.

Beautiful sunset right behind our water tower!

I'm hoping to pick up on my blogging--just for fun and with no real focus... Yay randomness! Follow along if you want--or don't lol. Follow me on Instagram too! Lots of fun pictures over there! 

March 10, 2015

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup Recipe

I think I first heard the words "Cheeseburger Soup" on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I loved watching that show and seeing all the cool places they found to feature. It really made me want to seek out and try new restaurants around me!  And cheeseburger soup?? Who can say no to that?

Real Food Cheeseburger Soup

I'm not really sure what the recipe was on the show, or even what restaurant they were talking about. But I couldn't stop thinking about cheeseburger soup. This soup recipe has become one of our favorites; I love it because it's easy to throw together and I almost always have everything on hand. Dustin loves it because it's cheesy and meaty and absolutely delicious.

Cheeseburger Soup with Tomatoes

I use three kinds of cheese in the soup for extra flavor and cheesy punch. The spices and tomatoes keep this from feeling too much like fondue. And I use ground turkey for the meat because no one can tell the difference! It's also a lean meat that keeps the soup from getting to heavy.

Recipe Cheeseburger Soup

I love serving this soup with pretzel rolls--it's like a hamburger on a pretzel bun! Cheeseburger soup is a delicious soup recipe that I love making. It's easy, filling, and a fast dinner to throw together.

Cheeseburger Soup
author: Happy Food Happy Home
Serves 2-4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese (shredded from a block, not pre-shredded!*)
1 ½ teaspoons corn starch
¼ cup (1/2 block) cream cheese
2 slices American cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the bottom of your favorite soup pot.
  2. Add the onion to the pot and cook until softened, approx 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the jalapeno and the garlic to the onions and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add ground turkey and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in the chili powder and paprika, and toast with the ground turkey for 30 seconds. 
  6. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, oregano, ground mustard, and bay leaf.  Allow soup to come to a simmer.
  7. Cut cream cheese into small chunks and stir into the soup.
  8. Meanwhile, shred the Colby Jack cheese and toss with the corn starch.
  9. Add the shredded cheese and corn starch mixture to the pot.  Stir until the cheese has melted and incorporated into the soup. 
  10. Add the American cheese slices and stir until melted. 
  11. Ladle in to bowls and serve with yummy crusty bread or pretzel crackers. 
*Because pre-shredded cheese has a non-caking agent added to it, it often doesn't melt into the soup correctly.

Cheeseburger Soup Recipe

You should definitely give cheeseburger soup a try. I bet it will become a favorite meal in your house, especially if you love soup and cheese!

Are you following along?? Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, or Google+

March 5, 2015

Quadruple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Stack

Sometimes when I get home from teaching, I need a cookie. Or 5..sometimes 5 cookies. And last week was one of the 5 cookies kind of weeks. Luckily, by the time I nibbled on the batter making these cookies, I only had two instead of five. A

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie with Three Kinds of Chocolate Chips

Double chocolate chip cookies are some of my favorites, and I've been known to order them from anywhere. Subway anyone? And so I set out to recreate the soft chewy centers of my favorite double chocolate chip cookies.  But I also had to raise the bar a little a lot.

Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies

So for these cookies, I added three different kinds of chocolate chips--dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and white chocolate. The different chocolate chips add different flavors and textures through the cookies. And I added a hit of espresso powder to the batter to make the coco powder flavor really shine.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vanilla, butter, salt, coco powder, and three kinds of chocolate chips make these quadruple chocolate chocolate chip cookies the perfect afternoon snack after a stressful day. Add a tall, cold glass of milk, and my day was suddenly looking up. It's amazing what quadruple chocolate chocolate chip cookies can do!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Quadruple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: Happy Food Happy Home
Yields approx. 20 cookies

1 ¼ sticks butter (10 tablespoons), softened 
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coco powder
¾ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the egg. Mix until just combined. Scrape down sides.
  4. Mix in vanilla and espresso powder. Scrape down sides.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, coco powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix until just combined. Scrape down sides.
  7. Add remaining dry ingredients and all of the chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
  8. Use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop cookies onto lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes until the edges are set but the middles are still soft. The cookies should have a few cracks running across their tops. 
  10. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes cookies can make everything better. And I love those times--your problems aren't too big when cookies can fix them. Cookies are my go-to 'had a bad day' food; do you have a comfort food you make during a bad day? If you don't I would highly recommend trying these quadruple chocolate chip cookies!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...