What To Bake This Weekend // Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Friday, October 24, 2014

I have an addiction to Sally's Baking Addiction.

Yes, this weeks recipe comes from none other than the baking queen herself, my inspiration: Sally.

When I was out for dinner in London last week (I went to Bills and oh dear god is that place delicious!) I rediscovered my love of Apple Crumble. When I'm indulging in something sweet I tend to go for whatever chocolate option is on the menu and steer clear of the fruit varieties. This week, however, the apple crumble in Bills put me in my place and completely outranked any other desert I've had in a restaurant in the past while.

So, needless to say, I wanted more.

Apple crumble, however, is really hard to share and dish out to your friends (and my Mom's ever jealous work colleagues who read my blog and get very mad at me for not sharing my baked treats with them!). So, in an effort to be more generous and not keep all of the crumble to myself, I decided on Caramel Apple Pie Bars.

Whenever I see recipes that involve layering, I shy away fearing that they'll be too difficult to replicate (best leave that to the pros, one my say), but I decided to give them a go and found that these bars are so easy. I literally had everything done within the hour and was left waiting the 2 hours cooling time before I could dig in (that was the hardest part, let me tell you!).

I'm going to reprint the recipe for you below, but be sure to go show Sally some love!


Shortbread Crust
115g unsalted butter, melted
50g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt (Note: I used regular, salted butter and left out the extra salt)
125g all-purpose flour

Apple Filling
2 large apples, peeled a sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Note: I didn't have nutmeg so I put a bit more cinnamon in. Any excuse, right?)

Streusel Topping 
40g oats
70g light or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
30g all-purpose flour
60g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
Homemade salted caramel sauce 

Note: I doubled the streusel topping as I felt like mine needed a bit more, but that's totally up to you!

1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Line an 8x8 inch baked pan with aluminium foil, leaving an overhang on the sides
2. Make the Crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt (if using) together in a bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the lined baking pan. Cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
3. Make the Apple Filling: Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix until everything is combined. Set aside.
4. Make the Streusel Topping: Mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour in a bowl until evenly combined. Rub in the butter with your hands until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside
5. Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to 170 degrees Celsius.
6. Evenly layer the apples on top of the crust. You may think you have too many apples so layer them tightly and press down so they fit.
7. Sprinkle the apples with the streusel topping.
8. Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
9. Leave to cool for 20 minutes before transferring to the fridge to cool for another 2 hours.
10. Lift out of the pan with the foil overhang and cut into bars.
11. Pour caramel sauce on top.
12. Enjoy!

Let me know if you give these a try, they're too good to put into words!

My Capsule Wardrobe

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I've spent most of the past weekend stalking a new blog that I am absolutely loving: Un-Fancy is a blog written by the gorgeous Caroline and the idea is pretty inspirational. She's come up with the idea of a 'capsule' wardrobe.

The idea of a 'time capsule wardrobe' has been around for quite some time now where you invest in pieces that you 'will have forever'. If I'm being honest, while the idea of a time capsule wardrobe is interesting, I don't think it's very practical. We all change what we like, clothes get torn, styles change, etc. Building a wardrobe that I like now (at 24) that I will continue to like when I'm 40 is not realistic.

Caroline's idea is way more strategic and practical. She came up with a 37 piece wardrobe that will get her through the season. Once she has accumulated all 37 pieces, she does not shop for the rest of the season and works with what she has. The number of items varies from person to person and depends on your lifestyle, but the idea is that you have enough items to mix and match throughout the season.

2 weeks before the next season begins, she starts planning (and shopping) for her next capsule wardrobe (she doesn't retire all of the pieces from the previous season, meaning she only needs to buy bits and pieces). Then she starts the cycle all over again.

Throughout the season, her fashion blog is home to outfits created through her capsule wardrobe, showing you that it really is possible to keep yourself going with a minimal wardrobe.

I'm feeling really inspired to tackle this capsule wardrobe for myself! I've done loads of wardrobe clean outs this year, but I'm still finding that I'm reaching for the same pieces day in and day out and not feeling very happy with my current style. I've also been trying harder and harder to 'live a minimal life'. We all accumulate way too much stuff that we just don't need.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to do it. I'm going to build my own capsule wardrobe for November-January. I know we're already a month into Autumn, so I won't be working by seasons. Since Ireland is pretty much the same weather all the time I don't think me stretching out the time periods will be a problem! If I find it successful, I'll eventually fall into the pattern of the seasons!

Caroline has created a capsule wardrobe planner to help us all create our new wardrobes. I've already started filling mine out and I'm ready to shop when I hit London with the girls next week. I don't think I need too much to fill out my capsule wardrobe, but there are definitely a few items missing from my wardrobe that I need.

Stay tuned for the results of my capsule wardrobe adventure! I'm really quite excited about it!

Wishlisting at Joules.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sponsored Post

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Whether it's cooking something yummy to eat for dinner or whipping up a new recipe to share with you all here on my blog, it's my most frequented room (after my bedroom and bathroom of course!).

With moving out on the brain, I'm constantly on the look-out for gorgeous pieces to use to decorate my future home and make it that bit more 'homey'.

Joules.com is a great place for some unique pieces that you won't find in your local Homesense. Their style is quintessentially English (in fact, one of their early sales was to Queen Elizabeth herself!) and their designs are adorable.

Since I haven't delved too deep into the world of fashion blogging (yet. Stay tuned for a fashion post on Wednesday that may tickle your fancy!), I thought I would share with you a few items that I'm lusting after from the Home Department of Joules.com.

First up, I'm loving the Floral Mattress Dog Bed. I always find it hard to find dog beds that don't stick out like a sore thumb in a home. This design is so pretty that I wouldn't mind having it lay on the floor of my house (and with two dogs, it's the perfect size for them both to cuddle on!).

Crockery is always important to me and I love having adorable mugs, tea pots and plates for my guests to use when they come over. Starting from scratch is going to be difficult when I move out, but the floral tea pot and matching bowl are right up my alley (maybe not G's, but I spend more time in the kitchen than him anyways!) and their Fox plate?? So cute!!

Last, but certainly not least: what to wear whilst baking. I love me a good apron and I love the floral design on this one! It's also seriously practical (unlike my current apron!) as it's canvas so all spillage can be easily wiped off with the integrity of the apron still in tact! No baking session is complete for me without being as comfy as possible. If I can't be lying in bed sleeping, you'll bet I'm wearing comfy slippers to keep myself cozy! I love these polka dot slippers (I've had loads of ballet shoe type slippers in the past and they're definitely my favourite!).

Have you ever shopped in Joules? Let me know what you think of my picks in the comments!

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