Fact: I shoot my photos with a Canon Rebel T1i.
Fact: The Canon Rebel series is up to, like, the T5i. My step-daughter has one. That’s how I know. I haven’t upgraded my camera. I don’t feel like it. My 4 year old camera works just fine.
Fact: I hate taking photos.
Fact: I’m not, you know – a words Ninja. Sometimes I am unable to accurately convey how delicious, decadent, luscious, scrumptious, or tasty a recipe I post may be; hence, the photos.
Fact: I don’t care for composition, I don’t know where my light comes from, and aperture confuses the shit out of me. How do I compose? I throw chocolate chips around a batch of cookies, point and shoot. If a shot takes longer than 7 minutes to compose, it’s taken too long. I have homework to help with, cooking, cleaning, laundry, recipes to test, and the latest episode of Scandal to watch. In short, I have stuff to do.
Fact: I don’t submit many photos to Foodgawker or Tastespotting. Life is already full of subjective rejection. Why put myself in a position where my self-esteem takes a hit and plants doubt in my head? F*** that. Doubt is a dream killer.
Fact: I hate taking photos.
Fact: I’ve already said that. Repeat situation. Sorry.
Fact: I don’t give a shit about tailoring my photos to what’s “on trend”. If my photos look like your photos – Or if they look like those beautifully composed shots with wood backgrounds – it’s 90% luck, 3% napkins, 3% vinyl place mats posing as wood, and 4% undecided.
Fact: I was offered a chance to photograph 20 drink recipes for a”book”. 100 images in 10 days for the bargain basement price of $5 per shot. I laughed my ass off for a full 5 minutes, then I let them down in my own trademark way. It’s a snarky/classy/bitch combo. Took years to perfect.
Fact: I laughed my ass off because second to taking photos – I hate EDITING photos. I saw myself editing 100 shots in 10 days. With kids. And dinner. And homework. And house cleaning. And laundry. What was left of my hair stood on end, like Don King. I also had crazy eyes.
Fact: I tasted these apple butter bars at my very first Big Potluck Event. I’ve been making them ever since. In fact, I brought a batch with me to Big Harvest Potluck. Felt like a full circle situation.
Fact: The most important part of these apple butter bars is the apple butter. Have you made a batch of apple butter? No? You need to get on that. It will change your life situation.
Fact: I know I said the most important part of these apple butter bars is apple butter. Don’t believe it. It’s half Fact. The walnut oat crumble is equally important.
Fact: This is an easy recipe. It’s crumble on the bottom, apple butter center, and crumble on top. That should be a song kids sing at recess, coupled with a hip bump or something. Your kids have recess, right?
Fact: You can’t go wrong with apple butter bars and walnut oat crumble. These bars are like… Like teamwork. And if you’ve ever seen the Lego Movie, you know – Everything is cool when you’re part of a team. Take these bars to your next potluck. Take them to the office. Hand them out to passerby on the street. You’ll make friends.
Fact: I’m done.
- For the walnut oat crumble
- All-purpose flour, spooned then leveled - 1 cup
- Walnuts, chopped - 1 cup
- Old-fashioned oats - 1 cup
- Light brown sugar, packed - 3/4 cup
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter, melted - ½ cup (1 stick)
- For the apple butter layer
- Apple butter - 1 heaping cup
- Ground cinnamon - 1/2 heaping teaspoon
- Sprinkle of ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust oven rack to the middle position.
Cut a sheet of parchment paper in half and then line bottom of an 8x8 inch pan with 1 sheet of parchment. Add the second sheet of parchment over the first sheet, in the opposite direction. The sheets should cross each other and have a small overhang. This will facilitate the removal of your bars from then pan. Alternatively, you can line the pan with aluminum foil the same way. If, and only if you are using foil, spray a light coating of vegetable spray.
In a medium bowl, add flour, chopped walnuts, oats, sugar, and salt. Mix with your hands or with a fork to combine. Stir in the melted butter and mix with a fork until the mixture is well coated with the butter and all dry ingredients are well moistened.
Spread half the oat/walnut crumble mixture, covering the bottom of the pan. Press to form a thin crust that’s about ¼ inch in thickness. Mix apple butter, cinnamon, and ground ginger in a small bowl (or straight from the jar). Spread apple butter over walnut/oat crumble mixture evenly using a small offset spatula. Sprinkle remaining walnut/oat crumble mixture over the apple butter. You know, like an apple butter sandwich.
Place pan in the oven and bake until the crumble is a golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Resist the temptation to dip a spoon into the pan and eat warm. RESIST, I say! Use the parchment paper “handles” to remove bars from pan. Cut into squares and serve.
Makes about 16 squares.