Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oatmeal Applesauce Snack Cake

If we call something a snack cake, that means we can eat it whenever we darn well please, right? Cakes make the best snacks. Brownies, cookies, and ice cream also make for excellent snacks, in the world in which I want to live, where I can eat all the dessert all the time. Alas, we all know that snack brownie may be a stretch on a day to day basis, but snack cake can be a reality. We will make it a reality.

Actually who made this snack cake a reality is my favorite food blogger, Jessica Merchant, of How Sweet It Is. I highly recommend you check out all the glorious things she does with food on her blog. I also highly recommend you go out and buy her recently released cookbook, Seriously Delish, which is where I found this recipe. Also, included in the book are breakfast cookies. Another way we can all justify eating dessert at what might otherwise be considered an inappropriate time. Oh and did I mention the book also includes recipes for a bacon blue burger with jalapeno jam and chicken pitas with jalapeno whipped feta. You will have a lot fun cooking from this book.

This oatmeal applesauce snack cake in my mind can definitely be justified as a snack or breakfast. In fact, I think it makes for great workout fuel. Peanut butter, applesauce, and whole wheat flour give you a little protein and some healthyish carbohydrates. The whole batch only has 2 tablespoons of butter and it isn't overly sweet. Even better it's a dessert you can feel good about. Your only real problem will be finding the will not to eat the whole cake in a day.

Oatmeal Applesauce Snack Cake
Adapted slightly from Seriously Delish, makes 9 squares

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup 2% milk
3/4 cup cinnamon applesauce

1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into eighths
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Spray an 8" by 8" baking dish with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat sugar and peanut butter together for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low. Add milk and continue to mix until a dough forms. Press the dough into the baking dish. Spread the applesauce over the top. The original recipe calls for apple butter, which would also be delicious but it more expensive and harder to come by then applesauce. Either applesauce or apple butter will be delicious.

To make the crumble combine oats, brown sugar, and flour. Whisk to combine. Add butter and vanilla extract. Use your fingers to crumble the butter into the mixture. Sprinkle crumble over the top of the applesauce.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.

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