If I had to define the week in one word, it would be fail. First, I somehow managed to misplace my point and shoot camera while spending a weekend away in San Francisco. (I love how I say ‘somehow managed’ because it makes it sound as if I rarely lose things, which sadly would be a lie. I’m probably easily in the 95% percentile for absentminded and forgetfulness. Terrible trait.) I must have left easily half a dozen messages at different lost and founds (because the airline, TSA and airport each have their own), but still no luck.
And then, things ended with the aforementioned boyfriend. I debated back and forth about whether I should mention this. On one hand, he never asked to be on the blog, so sharing too much seems unfair. But on the other, it’s hard because for me, food, emotion, and my everyday life are so interconnected; It would be almost impossible to untangle them.
In the end, I thought the more observant among you might wonder if there was a spike in my cheese and chocolate consumption or when he suddenly stopped being referenced in my posts. Plus he was too good a guy to go away without so much as a final mention.
At 28 years old I’ve had my fair share of breakups and heartache and yet, it somehow it still stings every time. Clearly there must be something oh so appealing about the allure of love that keeps me going back for more. I am the girl who quit figure skating the first time I got injured and gave up various musical instruments for no good reasons what so ever, but love, I can’t stop myself from pursuing it doggedly. I am nothing if not a hopeless romantic, though not always so successful in the land of relationships. Such is life.
So what’s a girl to do when her week is kicked off with two significant disappointments? If you’re me, you head into the kitchen, of course. (Food blogger cliché, I know.) But in doing so, I had a couple specific requirements for my recipe. I wanted it to be something I could make for someone else, because honestly when you’re feeling mopey and self-absorbed I find doing something for someone else always helps to snap me out of it. I also wanted it to be something easy that I couldn’t possibly screw up. I wasn’t about to add a third fail to the list. Accordingly, I turned to an old classic – apple squares – to make for midweek dinner plans with my friend Lindsey. I’ve been making this recipe for six years so it’s an oldie in my book and though I’ve never officially kept a tally, I’ve probably made this recipe more than any other.
Lightly buttery with a coffee cake-like texture, it’s homey and comforting. I love the pops of cinnamon from the cinnamon chips and the way the shredded apples almost melt into the cake, lending their tart flavor to every bite. I’m not going to go so far as to say it will mend a broken heart and it certainly doesn’t have the magic to bring my camera home, but it still helps. It’s also delicious enough that you don’t need to wait for a moment of sadness to whip it out, I bet it would also be a perfect pairing for so many other emotions.
Adapted from All Recipes
Yields 16 squares
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup shredded apple
– 1/2 cup Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites or cinnamon chips
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×9 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Using a stand or electric mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, egg and vanilla and beat for another 3 minutes. Blend in the flour mixture until just combined, then stir in the apples and cinnamon chips. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top of the bars.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven; finished bars should spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan, and cut into squares.
What about you? How do you usually deal with life’s disappointments?