Pear & Pecan Crumb Bars

pear crumb cake 2

After being gone for a few months of blogging, I’m back! not like i’ll have a new post every week back, but i’ll aim for at least 2 a month and hopefully be able to keep adding more from there.Β 

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Were a few weeks shy of the official start of pear season, but so far many of the pears I’ve eaten have been fantastic! A nice fresh pear on it’s own cut up makes a great snack therefore, I don’t do too much with pears in recipes. I picked up a few pears that were a little unripe for my liking. They had a very starchy mouth feel & very little natural sweetness. To be fair, the pears weren’t pleasant to eat and I didn’t want to just throw them out. It took me two (2) days to think of how I could utilize the pears without wasting them. A few ideas that came to mind: infusing them in vodka, poaching them for a salad, or even blending them up for a smoothie…All basic ideas. I was pondering all this over a cup of coffee when a major sweet tooth & hunger craving hit me. I thought, what pairs well with coffee? Suddenly I thought about coffee shops and some of the menu items they offer. Soon after, the idea of coffee cake (duh) came to mind. Just like that, I played around with a few ideas & took the concept of a (apple) crisp and substituted pears, added more flour and some nuts, resulting in what I am calling a crumb cake (bars).

These are get them out of the house right now bars (They’re that good). This recipe is composed of three (3) parts: Shortbread crust on the bottom, cinnamon poached pears in the center, and a nut crumble on top make the perfect dessert for your coffee, day & night! Don’t be afraid to top with ice cream or drizzle with caramel sauce, I wont judge! πŸ˜‰

pear crumb cake 3

Mise en Place:

For the Crust:

-1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

-1/4 Cup AP Flour

-1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

-1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped

-1/4 Teaspoon Salt

For the filling:

-3 Pears, Peeled & Diced Small

-2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

-1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

For the Topping:

-1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

-1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

-1 Cup AP Flour

-1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

-1 Cup Chopped Pecans

-1/4 Teaspoon Salt

pear crumb cake 4

Method of Prep:

-Spray a 9×9 pan (I used a bread pan instead for a thicker, pie like crust on my bars). Preheat over to 350.

-Using the paddle attachment in your mixer, begin creaming your butter & sugar. Slowly add in the flour, salt and pecans. Press the crust into your pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

-While crust is baking, start on the filling. Add diced pears into a medium sauce pan. Cover with water. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until pears become translucent. Drain well.

-Next, start the topping. Cream the butter & sugar. Slowly add in the rest of the ingredients. The mixture should become crumbly.

-Take drained pears and add them into a mixing bowl. Add in cinnamon & sugar. Stir well.

-Remove crust from the oven. Carefully add pears (try to avoid getting extra liquid from the pears onto the crust).

-Add crumb topping. Bake for an additional 22-25 minutes or until the topping becomes golden brown.

-Cool completely in pan before slicing. (*Freeze up to 3 months if needed)

Enjoy!

pear crumb cake

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Cinnamon Apple Chips

I have been beyond busy, which would indicate my lack of blogging. I just got back from what started out as a wonderful and much needed vacation back home to Ohio to visit family, and see a dear friend of mine get married. This fun time away from work ended terribly due to the hurricane making her move though the east coast and pounding states on that side very hard with heavy wind and rain. Although I was supposed to arrive back to Florida on Monday, my flight got canceled twice, and Delta put me through hell in getting new flights, and delaying others causing me to miss more flights and so on. The last 3 days were quite an adventure for me in fighting for a way back south. I have safely arrived and my family up north is doing fine now that the power is back up and running (after being out for almost 3 days!) and most of the damage from large trees falling down and power lines all over the place is about cleaned up.

With that said, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Unfortunately I am staying in for the holiday. My vacation got extended which isn’t a bad thing, but having to go back to work after being off for a week means it’s early to bed and rise once again. While most folks are gorging themselves in the many chocolate variety packs and sweet candies that are going on sale tomorrow, I am pushing the candy to the side this year. For my Halloween treat, I’ve decided to make apples chips! Its a very simple, yummy, and healthy snack. If your not into dried fruits or haven’t had the opportunity to eat them, this is your time to take the fruit of your choice and dehydrate it in your oven. I absolutely love adding dried fruit into salads, oatmeal, yogurt and granola, or eating them solo. Apples are your best choice right now in terms of seasonal fruit, however, you may choose to do any fruit you like. I also prefer: bananas, mango, pineapple, and kiwi.

Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 1.5 – 2 Hours

Ingredients:

-2 Large Apples (I used Gala)

-2 Tablespoons Sugar

-1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

 

Method of Prep:

-Slice apples thin using a sharp knife or mandolin (if you have one)

-Heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

-In a large bowl, add sugar and cinnamon to the sliced apples and toss until evenly coated.

-Layer a sheet pan with parchment paper, Spread apple slices onto paper, keeping an even distance in between each.

-Place in the oven and bake for up to 2 hours until dry. The texture should be fragile and lightly crunchy.

-Let cool for 10 minutes after removing from the oven.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Cinnamon Butter

Your mother might of told you when you were younger not to play with your food. When I was told that I laughed but listened anyways, I never understood what the big deal was. Now my inner child cant help but play with food.Β  It leads to fun creations and awesome presentations, Oh If only momma knew.

Pancakes are delicious, except when your in Mexico (long story). 9 times out of 10 when people eat breakfast, pancakes are always included. I do enjoy the classic old school buttermilk pancakes but because I love everything about fall, I like to stay in season and eat pumpkin pancakes instead. They still have the same fluffy texture, and soft feel, just the color is darker and the taste is sweeter. If you have kids, you will make their day by making the pancakes into pumpkin shapes. I know as a kid I always enjoyed the Mickey Mouse cakes, and if I’m feeling extra childish, I will make them for myself every now and then. No harm in having a little fun with the presentation of your food. I made a maple and cinnamon butter to spread on top of the pancakes as well. Seriously, this is a great match. If you like your pancakes wet, drizzle on some more warm maple syrup! If you don’t have kids or a pumpkin cookie cutter (I found mine at Michaels for $1!) go ahead and make pancakes the round way. Breakfast is a lot of fun!

Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

-1 1/4 Cup AP Flour

-2 Tablespoons Sugar

-2 teaspoons Baking Powder

-1/2 teaspoon of each: Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Salt, Allspice

 

-1 Cup Milk

-6 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree

-2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

-1 Egg

Preparation:

-Whisk together all the dry ingredients.

-In a separate bowl, whisk together all the liquid ingredients.

-Whisk liquid mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated.

-Heat up a large skillet over medium heat.

-Spray with pan spray, or melted butter.

-Pour pancake batter into pan and cook for 3 minutes on both sides.

-Remove from pan, spread on maple butter and dredge in syrup.

Enjoy!

Maple Cinnamon Butter

-2 Sticks Butter, soft

-2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

-2 teaspoons Brown Sugar

-1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon

-Add all ingredients into a medium bowl. Whisk until incorporated.

-If you want to get creative you can place whipped butter into a piping bag and pipe fun designs on the pumpkin.

-Save any leftover butter and batter for the next time you make pancakes!

**Note: To make the pumpkin shapes, you can either, place the batter inside the mold and let it cook, this is the harder way to do it, or you can make pancakes as your normally would, and then cut out the pumpkin shapes once finished. If you cook it in the mold be careful because the mold will get hot! Just flip it upside down when the bottom half is cook, only fill the mold halfway. When you flip it, some of the batter may spread out the sides, it wont ruin the shape though, just cut them off in the end.