Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hand-held Superbowl Desserts!

Let's start with the Applesauce Cake recipe I adapted from this:

The kids and I are learning about how things were done before grocery stores and specialty shops dotted the landscape and just about everything was within a fifteen minute drive from our homes, so this week we made homemade applesauce... and we mashed the cooked apples by hand so we had a nice, chunky, cinnamony version, oh, so good!!!!!

And then we recorded our observations in our Handy Dandy Science Notebooks!!!!

The natural progression of things in our kitchen is "WHAT NEXT????"

Applesauce cake is a great way to turn something marginally healthy into something crazy delicious and NOT THE LEAST BIT HEALTHY!!!!

You're welcome! Because taking the low-carb thing to extremes makes us g-r-u-m-p-y!

Here's my version of the recipe and it was melt-in-your-mouth amazing and easy because it's a dump all this stuff in a bowl kind of cake:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups chunky applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix all together, blend well at medium to medium high speed, scrape sides as needed, about two minutes.

Grease and flour 13" x 9" pan. Pour batter into pan.

Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes, be careful not to overbake... When done, use the Ruthy trick of placing cake right into the freezer and freezing for about an hour before frosting. (Cakes continue to bake once out of oven, in pan. Putting fruit or oil-based cakes right in the freezer keeps them supermoist and delectable. This is a great trick).

Caramel frosting (browned butter icing):

1/2 cup butter, caramelized (don't worry, that's a fancy way of saying "brown the butter gently")
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan on stove.

cook and stir over medium heat until butter foams and starts to turn golden/brown. Remove from heat.

Measure powdered sugar into mixing bowl, add butter and vanilla, mix until blended,

then add cream or milk until you have a spreadable consistency. Whip for three minutes until frosting is creamy and fluffy.

Frost and enjoy! This is an amazing complement of flavors. Thank you Land o' Lakes for the idea!

And from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, her "Knock You Naked Brownies"

Gratuitous Finn pic licking out the caramel bowl!!! Oh, Finn!!!!!! :)

Here's the link to that one:

I made these on Sunday and froze a batch for our annual Half-a-Superbowl party where a bunch of my young friends come over, make noise, play games, watch commercials and pretty much ignore the incidence of football.

We feed them well, they're pretty sure they're COOL because they went to a Superbowl party where punch was served in fancy glasses.... and they all go home at halftime!


These are really good brownie confections. I don't like the name at all, I'm such a stinkin' prude! So let's just call them Turtle Brownies here, because that's what they're like. A chocolatey bottom, a layer of perfect caramel, then a chocolatey-nutty top. So they taste like your eating a praline (with pecans) or a chocolate turtle.... I was out of pecans (Kitchen: FAIL!!!!) so I used finely chopped almonds and they worked well but a slightly chewier consistency than if I'd had the pecans.

And I'd like to report that I've gotten that bedroom all back in order, just like most of youse would have done, right???

Well, there was a Saturday full of watching sweet grandboys and girlies and Sunday was just plain busy and then, of course, the day job and writing sweet books, so the room is still EMPTY.... but soon! :)  Let me just say my entire upstairs is in a dreadful state, but I'm writing the SWEETEST NOVELLA RIGHT NOW, and honestly....

No one pays me to clean.


But they do pay me to write books, so we'll get to the bedroom um.... soon? Maybe?

Enjoy the Superbowl fun! God be with you! Here's a pic of the finished, caramel-layered Turtle Brownies!


  1. These look marvelous. I have to ask. What was the origin of Half-A-Superbowl? I know you have talked about it forever but I don't remember if you talked about how you got the idea.

    I'm thinking recording the first half, watching the commercials and half time and then going live is the way to go around this house.Though I can't get away with it because the Seahawks quarterback is a former NC State guy.

    1. Because they put it on so late, kids have to go to bed, LOL! But they get such a kick out of thinking they're going to a cool Superbowl party with treats and punch and toys and games... It's all about the food! And of course we grown ups get to assess the commercials... :) Puppies and horses and little kids with Doritos and a donkey that wants to be a Clydesdale!!!! Love, love, love!!! I want to be a Clydesdale

  2. Easy and sinfully good is my idea of the ideal recipe, and these both sound like they fit the criteria. Our clan isn't big on watching the Superbowl, but I can guarantee they'd gobble these up while watching almost anything, even cartoons! :)

    1. Carol, I love that attitude! That's exactly right. Who needs a football game to have fun? :) These both came out great, but my nod (surprisingly!!!) goes to the applesauce spice cake with caramel icing.

      Gosh, it was like something you'd get at a fall food bazaar!

  3. What a stunning way to blow my diet!!!!

    1. I know.... And I kept snitching the cake. The brownies are safely in the freezer, so I'd have to make a true conscious effort to go get one... thaw it.... and then eat it. Plenty of time for second thoughts, but the cake... aya caramba! The cake is so moist and tender (like that oatmeal cake we did a couple of weeks ago and the banana cake recipe I found online). That sticking the cake in the freezer trick is an amazing way to keep cakes moist and tender and avoid over-cooking or drying while cooling. Who knew????

    2. Those brownies would be delicious frozen. You can save all that time!

  4. Thanks a lot, Ruthy. Now you've got me craving sweets. I've had Ree's Knock You Naked Brownies and this apple dish looks AMAZING.

    Low-carb queen, my heinie . :P

    1. I love apple desserts. Do you think that's because we live in apple country, literally? The shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are noted for great orchards and an amazing array of fruits, so I've always had that benefit of fresh apples in the right climate. I wonder if that makes a difference? After Superbowl weekend it's time for me to do another break-the-sugar-habit sprint. Every now and again it's fun to have fun.... but then I grumble and stew and try to behave for a few weeks. We're such nut jobs!!!!

  5. Can't wait to try these recipes! The Applesauce Cake looks amazing! And simple to make. I need simple lol.

    1. Sally, I love simple, too! And this was totally worthy. Oh my gosh... Just marvelous!

  6. Delicious looking recipes! And your helpers are jumping right in there, aren't they? But who wouldn't want to join the fun at Ruthy's place?

    Have fun at your half superbowl party!

    1. It is a fun and weird place, with the emphasis on... well... fun and weird. :) But this way these kids can later use that as a claim to fame! "I was a Ruthy kid!!! I survived "Baby Survivor"!!!!" :)

  7. I made an apple cake a few weeks ago and looooooved it. When I make cake I usually make chocolate so it was a nice change. I made plain old vanilla icing, but I like the idea of the caramel icing. I didn't know it would be that easy. Will have to give it a try next time.

    Oh and I made your oatmeal cake...divine. I didn't have any large flake coconut though for the top, so I made a mix of melted butter, brown sugar and small flaked coconut and drizzled it over the batter before baking and it turned out yummy. I was so proud of myself for improvising. LOL

    1. Kav, I bet that worked perfectly! I've used whatever coconut is on hand and it's amazingly good and the oatmeal and coconut let me brag on how almost healthy it is! :) I'm so glad you tried it!

      I didn't know how easy the caramel icing would be, either. I used the recipe off of the Land O' Lakes website and adjusted it slightly, but it's like making caramels.... brown butter/sugar/milk. Who knew, right????? I bet this would be good on the oatmeal cake, too, or any cake with a spice component. And a cream cheese version???? (mulling....) I bet that would work. Must try it!

  8. I'm working super bowl ..just wish it started earlier in the shift so the operators would leave us alone
    staying away from this stuff too..gotta get the weight off and I have no stopping power once I start. don't like that name either LOL

    1. Gainful employment, Susanna! I know it's a bummer, but I love that I have my two favorite jobs. Watching and sometimes torturing cute little creatures and writing sweet books! I am about the happiest person on the planet because all those years of working stores and restaurants and schools have paid off. Now I can call it all "research"! And I'm SO PROUD of you out walking, and eating more carefully. Gosh, if we don't take care of the gift God gave us, our body... who will?

  9. Oh, you made my crave this cake so badly! And I also want Finn. Can you loan him to me?? He's the cutest thing ever! His pictures always make me grin. :)