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Cranberry Pecan Oat Crumble Bars

Case in point: we LOVE cranberry sauce – but we always struggle with too much leftover. You could make a classic Thanksgiving-leftovers-sandwich, or just a good ol’ second plate of turkey fixings – or even better: these easy, sweet and nutty cranberry pecan oat crumble bars.

Using homemade cranberry sauce or canned, it takes about 5-7 ounces in total to cover the surface of the oat cookie base to make the perfect post-thanksgiving snack – 5 ounces creating just a slightly thinner cranberry layer. Since this recipe is specifically designed to create a fun alternative to food waste – use what you have, and have fun with it! Do you have almonds instead of pecans? Or walnuts? Give those a try instead! This would also be great with a little jam rather than cranberry sauce if that’s more your style.

Cranberry Pecan Oat Crumble Bars

Yield: 9 Bars | Time: 45 Minutes

Download the Recipe

FOR THE BARS

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1 1/4 cups Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

5-7 oz Cranberry Sauce*

FOR THE TOPPING

2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats

1/4 cup Pecans, finely chopped

*Tastes best with whole-berry Cranberry Sauce, but will work with smooth as well. Use however much you’ve got on hand, this is designed for leftovers after all, making sure to have at least 5 oz of sauce to cover the surface of the oat cookie base.

DIRECTIONS

1. For the bars: preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8 baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the oats and flour and press into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread cranberry sauce evenly on the base.

3. To make the topping, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, oats and pecans. Sprinkle on top of the cranberry sauce layer.

4. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars and serving.


Autumn Salad with Maple & Spiced Pear Vinaigrette

 

I know, I know… Two maple recipes in one week? Yes, I do like maple in the fall! This salad is a great side dish for Thanksgiving or as a quick lunch option. The vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge to quickly use when assembling salad for just one meal at a time. The blue cheese can be swapped for feta, goat cheese, mozzarella, aged cheddar, or whatever sounds good to you (or whatever is about to get moldy in the fridge, let’s be honest!) Regular balsamic vinegar would be a good swap for the spiced pear version, though I’d highly recommend a flavored vinegar for the extra pizzaz.

 

Autumn Salad with Maple & Spiced Pear Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup spiced pear flavored balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Salad ingredients:

  • About 6-8 cups of mixed lettuce
  • 2 pears, chopped and peeled, if you prefer
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 dried cranberries
  • 3 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Instruction:

  1. Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a bowl and whisk together, or add to a dressing mixer and shake to combine.
  2. Put salad into a bowl and top with pears, pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese. Do not mix or all the toppings will fall to the bottom.
  3. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Maple Cheesecake Pumpkin Bars

 

Oh boy are these fall treats tasty! The maple syrup adds a great rich touch to the cheesecake layer while the pumpkin is spiced to perfection. The bars would be the perfect snack for a crisp fall day or served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. We didn’t top these with pecans, but that certainly would be a nice finishing touch. The pumpkin base is like moist cake and rises pretty high, so plan to eat with a fork.

 

Maple Cheesecake Pumpkin Bars

Cheesecake topping ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Pumpkin cake ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together cheesecake topping ingredients until completely smooth and no clumps remain. Set aside.
  2. Stir pumpkin cake dry ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together all wet pumpkin cake ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour wet pumpkin cake ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour pumpkin cake mixture into a 9×9 baking pan. I used a coated USA Pan so I didn’t need to grease the pan. If your pan does not have a non-stick coating, spray with oil or coat with butter.
  6. Spoon cheesecake mixture into pan, on top of the pumpkin cake mixture. Take a knife/spreader (plastic or wood is best to avoid scratching your pan) and swirl through the layers to create a marbled effect.
  7. Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving, so the cheesecake layer can firm up.

Ginger Pear Cobbler with Caramel Sauce

I count myself lucky to have the kind of friends that give me their extra garden produce. I am especially lucky that one of these friends gave me a bag full of fresh Brookings-grown pears that were already peeled and sliced. Now that is a true friend! (Thanks Sarah!) After a bit of experimentation, I am pleased with this saucy pear cobbler with a not-to-sweet cakey topping. You could easily use apples or peaches in place of pears, though I think the ginger suits pears best. Don’t skip the caramel sauce! It’s from The Pioneer Woman and is so delicious.

Ginger Pear Cobbler

Pear Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 lbs peeled and sliced pears, about 4 cups
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Cobbler Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg, stirred to break the yolk
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Pour first 2 tbsp of melted butter into the bottom of a 3 quart dish. Swirl around until the inside of the dish is covered
  2. Mix remaining pear filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves into the pear juice. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Mix cobbler topping ingredients excluding coarse sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until just combined. Spoon over pear mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cobbler topping is set and golden brown. You may want to put a sheet pan under the baking dish to catch any drips when the pear filling starts bubbling.

Easy Caramel Sauce – From The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Instruction:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker. Turn off heat. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.If sauce is thin, just continue cooking for a few more minutes.

Butternut Bacon Soup

IMG_0835

Warm up with some hearty fall soup! This bright soup has a prominent autumn flavor from the squash, nutmeg, and cinnamon, but also has a bit of smoke from the bacon. The vinegar helps cuts the sweetness by introducing a little sour. Overall, absolutely perfect for a blustery day as the seasons change.

IMG_0833

We used wild mushroom and sage olive oil and pumpkin spice white vinegar from our friends at Coteau des Prairies Olive Oil Co.

Recipes

Butternut Bacon Soup

IMG_0835

Warm up with some hearty fall soup! This bright soup has a prominent autumn flavor from the squash, nutmeg, and cinnamon, but also has a bit of smoke from the bacon. The vinegar helps cuts the sweetness by introducing a little sour. Overall, absolutely perfect for a blustery day as the seasons change.

IMG_0833

We used wild mushroom and sage olive oil and pumpkin spice white vinegar from our friends at Coteau des Prairies Olive Oil Co.