So it’s definitely fall, and to me that means desserts full of spices, oatmeal, and fruit. These bars have all of those things– the finely-diced pears form little pockets of sweetness, the walnuts give some crunch, and the oats and cinnamon provide a nice, warm background for everything. They’re more breakfast-y than dessert-y, in my opinion, mostly due to the oatmeal, but that doesn’t make them bad. I’d classify them as a good fall snack, though they fall apart a little too easily for just carrying around and munching. They’d be fabulous with a nice cup of hot apple cider… I may try that myself tonight!
Summer’s here! And that means there’s an abundance of fabulous summer fruit everywhere… in the grocery stores, at the farmer’s markets, and (my favorite) in the “on sale now, must get rid of these!” section of my local store. At 99 cents/lb., I snapped up a bunch to bring home, figuring that even if they were mediocre they’d be worth a try.
After tasting them, I ended up coming back to the store and buying all of their remaining apricots… amounting to about 12 pounds. And while my daughter can eat half a dozen in a day (seriously, she just did, along with a pound of strawberries), I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat them all just straight out of hand, so I tried to think of other, more creative ways to use them up.
Roasted apricots seemed like a good idea– many recipes called for a drizzle of honey and butter to enrich things, and others used crumbled amaretti and/or nuts to top things off. I decided to throw some things together to see what would happen– and what happened? Magic. The streusel wasn’t even necessary (though it was a nice touch). Just the deep, tangy flavor of the roasted apricots was enough.
Summer and ice cream go together like… well, summer and ice cream*. So every summer I throw an Ice Cream Social, where we break out a giant under-the-bed storage container, fill it with ice, and create an ice cream buffet. Every guest is encouraged to bring a pint of their favorite ice cream to contribute, and we indulge in an afternoon of sugary, creamy goodness.
Traditionally I make two homemade ice creams to contribute, so this year I made Butterbeer ice cream and (because my ice cream maker is being temperamental) a no-churn Peach Cobbler ice cream. The components may take a little while to make, but there’s nothing difficult about any of them– and when you’re done you’ve got delicious vanilla ice cream flecked with cinnamon, studded with streusel, and swirled with cinnamon-sauteed peaches. What could be better?
*Ooh, ooh! I just thought of a better comparison! Summer and ice cream go together like peaches and cream!