I’ll bet even your grandmother didn’t bake like this…
I found a cheesecake recipe I wanted to experiment with, and, off course, I needed a graham cracker crust. Since we hadn’t sent up any graham crackers, my choices were to buy some at our local store, order them through Amazon.com, or forget the whole idea. Prices at the Native Store are too high, so I ruled that out, and with only five weeks remaining till we head south, it seemed late to be ordering food. The next obvious step was to give up. Ha! That’s not me! I searched around and found a couple of recipes for graham crackers from scratch. Fantastic! My crackers came out looking a little rough around the edges, but they tasted perfect. Actually, in our opinion, they taste better than store-bought. These homemade beauties have a crisp cracker crunch and a sweet honey-cinnamon taste. Now, I’ll tackle the cheesecake recipe.
Honey Graham Crackers
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp and 2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- Optional cinnamon sugar topping – 3 tsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon
- Mix together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Blend butter, sugar, honey and corn syrup until well mixed and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix.
- Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in milk. You should have a nice ball of dough at the end of this step.
- Cover dough and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface. It is easiest to do this working with only a quarter section of the dough at a time. Roll until the dough is about 1/8″ thick. Cut the dough into rectangles using a knife. Place rectangles on ungreased cookie sheets. Prick decorative holes with toothpick. If desired, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar topping on crackers.
- Bake for 13 minutes. Finished crackers will be browned and will become more crisp as they cool. Cool on wire racks.
A big box of aging Granny Smith apples showed up at school. They were bumped and bruised but still firm and perfect for baking. With no one else showing interest in them, I took half-a-dozen home.
The grocery store reduces the price of overstocked items and expired items. We are always on the lookout for deals at the store because prices are through the roof up here. Remember the $8 red bell pepper?
A few Granny Smith apples and a package of just-expired but still perfectly good cream cheese were the inspiration for last weekend’s baking wonder. I searched allrecipes.com, which has a cool feature where the user can enter ingredients and matching recipes will be generated. A Bavarian Apple Torte recipe sounded great. The torte is built on a layer of shortbread cookie followed by vanilla cheesecake. This in turn is topped with baked apple slices tossed with cinnamon and sprinkled with sliced almonds.
Jack and I had a slice with our dinner that evening. It was incredible! The next morning, I took the rest of the torte to the school office where it disappeared in minutes (or seconds). The verdict was unanimous: this dessert is phenomenal. Hands down the best dessert I’ve ever made — and I’ve made lots! The other point in its favor? It’s incredibly easy to make. You will impress anyone you serve this to.
So, what are you waiting for?
Bavarian Apple Torte
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar, divided into thirds
- 1 cup flour
- 1 (250 g/8 oz.) brick of cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Beat butter and 1/3 cup of the sugar in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add flour; mix well. Spread onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
- Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar in same bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Spread evenly over crust. In a large bowl, combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Add apples; toss to coat. Spoon over cream cheese layer; sprinkle with almonds.
- Bake 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F; continue baking 25 minutes or until center is set. Cool on wire rack. Loosen torte from rim of pan. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Recipe from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/philly-bavarian-apple-torte/detail.aspx.