Apple Squares and Life’s Disappointments

by Kelly on November 4, 2011

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.

Apple Squares-1

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.

Apple Squares-2

Apple Squares 2.0
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?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey November 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

I had one after dinner last night and it was fantastic! I had to stop myself from eating all of them to save some for the rest of the week. They have kicked my usual fun sized milky way bar dessert in my lunch box’s ass. That’s a weird sentence…


brandi November 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

oh, kelly – i’m sorry. thank goodness it’s Friday and almost a new week! Love is something that will always always pull us back in.


shannon November 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

i definitely turn to food as well! and baking, well, yes, that always does it 🙂 Sorry to hear things didn’t turn out so well this week, but it’s a good thing it’s almost over! They say some doors close so others will open…


Candice @ Sailing on Paper November 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your breakup…no matter how many times you go through one, they never get easier. I hope you can take time to heal and eat lots of yummy treats!


Cara November 5, 2011 at 9:37 am

aww, Kelly. I’m so sorry. I believe you that it doesn’t get any easier… though I do believe that everything happens for a reason and you are just one step closer to finding the right guy. ((hugs))


Renee {Eat.Live.Blog} November 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I love that you share this with your readers. We love ya Kell! And I would like to cope with disappointment by eating these apple squares, please and thank you.


Reeni November 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Aww, sorry honey! I’m an emotional eater so I would eat. And cook, of course, because it’s therapeutic, especially when there’s chopping, measuring and stirring involved. The apple squares look scrumptious! I hope they made you feel better, if only for a little while.


megan November 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

These look delicious! Do you think adding raisins would be good?

Hang in there! Champagne and cupcakes always cheer me up!


raquel November 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

hey girl you are beautiful and eventually you can move one easily, you are talented too….


Kelly November 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thanks everyone. These comments mean the world to me and I have to admit I was grinning from ear to ear every time one came in. Thank you for making me feel so supportive.

And as for raisins, I gotta be honest and say I am not generally a raisin fan, but I think the flavors would pair well with this recipe. I’d just probably keep it to around 1/4 cup since apple can be so subtle and you don’t want to overwhelm those flavors.


sophia November 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Oh Kelly, I wish I met you at the festival because I would have liked to give you a giant hug. I’m so sorry about your past disappointments, but you’re a smart, beautiful, talented individual and I know there’s better things in store for you. I believe everything in life happens for a reason and that for every shortcoming, there’s 10 things you can give thanks for it. I’m sure in the long run, you’ll look back and see this moment as a life-building experience, no matter how painful I know it must be for you right now.



Kelly November 8, 2011 at 10:51 am

Sophia – You’re so right and I know it. It is true. Life has a weird way of coming around and I truly believe that while I may not have ended up where I thought I would be that seemingly, I always end up where I need to be. I think these things always just hurt when they are fresh and admittedly, I’m not very good with these girlie emotions. There is a huge part of me that just wants to skip to the place where I feel good again. But I have to keep reminding myself there is learning in the healing.


kitchenbelle November 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Kelly, You have a knack for expressing your emotions in writing. You also have a knack for channelling difficult emotions into delicious food! Hang in there and know that you have lots of people rooting for you.


Kerstin November 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Aww, *hugs* , I hope you’re feeling better now. Things will get better.


Kelly November 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Kerstin – Thanks for the comment. I am feeling much better. These things, of course, take time to heal, but I’m already feeling much happier and more optimistic than I was when I first wrote the post. I think much of it has to do with great people like you leaving me words of encouragement.


Lizzy November 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

Kelly, I’m behind on blogs but I just wanted to tell you that things will definitely get better for you. You have so much to offer someone so I don’t think you will be single for long. Those apple squares look delicious! Sending you hugs!


Kelly November 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Lizzy – Thank you for the comment. It’s funny because when it first happened I was completely mopey, but now even just a couple of weeks out I definitely believe you. I think dating at times can be completely exhausting and heart breaking but I gotta keep up the hope. 😀 And you my dear, congrats on the baby to come!!!


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