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)”
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.
Taffy Apple Shortbread Bars
TAFFY APPLE SHORTBREAD BARS
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
- 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.
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.