shortbread 12 thumb Taffy Apple Shortbread Bars

On Friday I started off a post with a line about serving something healthy. Well…

On Saturday morning I woke up to one nasty-ish email with reference to that line. It went something like, “You should ALWAYS serve something healthy… the name of your blog says so… this is false advertisement…take me off the subscription list, etc…” EEEK! She was pissed.

I wrote her back, I apologized, and I took her off the list.

If I had a nickel for every time I was asked, where’s the diet food, I’d be a thousandaire. Hence the tag line, Not a Diet-Food Food Blog.

When I started out this blog I thought that only my sister and one other friend would read it. I thought that the only people who attracted visitors to food blogs were The Pioneer Woman, Smitten Kitchen, and a couple of other well known bloggers. Basically, the blogs that I followed.

Therefore, the name Diethood was a reflection of me and only me. The name had nothing to do with my recipes. It was merely a play on words that I came up with years ago about the way that I ate; constantly counting calories, carbs, fats, but always eating… Swearing by new diets where I would never have to give up on my sweets, and promising myself the same old promise; This is the last weekend I am having sugar! Yeah. Okay.

So, to those that mind the name and feel that I have falsely led them to a blog that doesn’t reflect the name, I am sorry. I really am. Soon I might even have a new blog name because I don’t want anyone to feel misled. And quite frankly, I am tired of receiving emails such as the one on Saturday. Maybe I’ll become “The Food Blogger Formerly Known As (insert weird looking food character here)”

shortbread12 thumb Taffy Apple Shortbread Bars

Now that I got all that off my chest, we can move onto some sugar.

How about a shortbread crust smothered with caramel, sliced apples, and peanuts? Or better known as Taffy Apple Shortbread Bars. My taste-tester, which was my mom, fell in love after just one taste. She’s a harsh critic, so her criticism, or lack thereof, was a nice surprise. She couldn’t stop at just one bar, either. Neither could I. Self control did step in and I didn’t inhale the rest of the batch. I shared.

Worst part about these bars was waiting for the caramel to set. It took about 4 hours before I could cut into it without the caramel oozing down the sides. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s only a personal preference. I just wanted to feel some resistance from the caramel and crust when cutting into the bars.

If you decide to make these, I would advise you to go with either salted peanuts or, if you don’t have salted peanuts, sprinkle some sea salt over the topping. Another thing would be to not omit the lemon juice. You will be quite happy with the hint of lemon paired up with the salty caramel and tart granny apples. There’s plenty of butter and sugar in the crust, and when you put it all together it just is very very good. No, it’s amazing. You’ll see.

ENJOY!

shortbread 10 thumb Taffy Apple Shortbread Bars

Taffy Apple Shortbread Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 to 20 Bars

Ingredients

    For the Shortbread
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Topping
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, washed, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 (14 ounces) bag Caramel Candies, unwrapped
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease a 9x9 pan with cooking spray and line with foil, leaving some foil to hang off the sides so you can lift out the bars. Set aside.
  • Sift together the flour and salt, set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl cream the butter with an electric mixer, then gradually add in the powdered sugar.
  • Beat until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture. I use a large serving spoon and add in the flour spoon by spoon. Mix until incorporated.
  • Spoon the dough into the prepared pan and press in the dough.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Take out the pan and let completely cool.
  • In the meantime prepare the caramel topping.
  • Place the sliced apples and peanuts in a bowl, pour in the freshly squeezed lemon juice, toss and set aside.
  • Put the caramels and butter in a soup pot and melt, stirring frequently.
  • As soon as the caramel has melted, remove from heat and stir in the apple mixture. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the caramel mixture over the shortbread crust and put in the fridge until caramel sets and the crust hardens. About 2 to 4 hours.
  • Slowly remove the crust from the pan by holding onto the foil handles.
  • Cut into bars and serve.

Notes

When cutting the bars you want to feel some resistance from the crust otherwise the cookie will break; the longer you let the crust sit in the fridge, the better results you will have when cutting it into bars.

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21 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kristy October 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM - Reply

    Oh I don’t like those nasty emails. They just amaze me. I for one am all for your diethood! :) These bars look absolutely phenomenal. I’d like at least a plateful (for my first serving). LOL.

  2. Lora @cakeduchess October 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM - Reply

    I love apples and caramel together. I just love these bars. I think that you should stick to who you are. You like your name? That’s all that is important:)

  3. Feast on the Cheap October 9, 2012 at 3:52 PM - Reply

    OMG, these look ridiculously good!

  4. Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 8, 2012 at 7:34 PM - Reply

    These bars look absolutely irresistible! I think it’s a very good thing that I don’t have a pan in front of me :).

  5. Jennifer @ Delicieux October 8, 2012 at 7:33 PM - Reply

    I’m sorry about the nasty email. You can’t please everyone all of the time and I don’t think you should change the name of your blog. Your tag line is clear in it’s explanation. Try to not let it bother you :)

    Now, to your droolworthy taffy apple shortbread bars. They look absolutely divine. Toffee and apple is such a divine combination.

  6. Aimee @ ShugarySweets October 8, 2012 at 6:37 PM - Reply

    It’s a good thing this is not a diet blog. Otherwise I would never have stopped by :) This looks amazing.

  7. Matt mmWine Horbund October 8, 2012 at 6:26 PM - Reply

    These look sinful!
    As for the name – other than calling you “Font” , I dont see any value to changing the name. Because you don’t do diet food doesnt mean you cant use diethood! A diet is what someone eats – you can be on an all sugar diet – it’s still a diet. Cheers!

  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks October 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM - Reply

    They look so good! love the big HUNKS of apple! :)

  9. Liz October 8, 2012 at 3:27 PM - Reply

    I have the same problem due to the name of my blog…so I can totally relate. So far, no one has chewed me out yet…yikes! I’m glad you aren’t a diet blog….it’s much more enjoyable to visit you and find amazing decadent treats like this one! And look at those well portioned servings…everything in moderation :) Enjoy your week, Kate!

  10. You better not change your name! If someone is so rigid that they can’t just get over the fact that people don’t think exactly like them, you don’t want them reading and criticizing every word you write anyhow.

    Just stick with those of us who love you no matter what your call yourself or what your right. Just keep dreaming up these amazing dishes and sharing them with us (and your mom). :)

  11. RavieNomNoms October 8, 2012 at 9:40 AM - Reply

    What a heavenly recipe!! It looks so incredible! Apple and Taffy and Shortbread? Is this what angels are made of?

  12. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite October 8, 2012 at 8:54 AM - Reply

    I hate when people get so nasty. Either way keep up the good work!

  13. Claudie October 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM - Reply

    Sorry to hear about that email! But I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it, because I think that if she had taken any time to look around your blog and read about it, she would have known what you really mean by “diethood”. And I think many understand it 100% ;-) So no false advertisement at all — just the opposite, diethood is a reality for many of us :)

    Onto your bars: they look delicious! Never thought of taffy apples on shortbread, but this is a really great idea which I can’t wait to try!

  14. Ramona October 8, 2012 at 7:30 AM - Reply

    Sorry you had to deal with nasty people like that! You can call yourself whatever you want and put whatever recipes you want on your blog. IT’S YOUR BLOG! Why did she have to make such a big deal about wanting to leave. I wished she had put her big girl pants on and decided if she only wanted “diet recipes” this isn’t the blog for her and move on. Yish… some people…Drama!

    Okay… onto this fun shortbread bars. I love the fall flavors of taffy and apple. Really cool.

    PS… There are many ways to use the word diet in English. I looked up “diet” online just now… here is one definition: the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group: The native diet consists of fish and fruit. This is your diet of food… so she needs to get a life. Sorry… but I so dislike when people attack other people online. Urgh!

  15. foodwanderings October 8, 2012 at 7:11 AM - Reply

    Aww so sorry for the nasty email. People are so presumptuous! Your explanation perfectly makes sense, I cracked up at ‘formerly known as…’ lol BTW that last photo the angle gives such a good dimension to your shortbread w/caramel. Which reminds me I haven’t had taffy in forever!

  16. baker street October 8, 2012 at 6:10 AM - Reply

    I wouldn’t pay much attention to these emails. Your blog is your space and you can post whatever you want to and call it whatever you choose to.

    These bars look absolutely fantastic! Love the drizzle on top.

  17. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen October 8, 2012 at 5:41 AM - Reply

    I’m sorry …but people have way too much time on their hands. :) This looks delicious!

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