Because as much as November and December bring togetherness and joy, this month tends to be so much more relaxed and laid back as the world recovers from all of the shopping, cooking and merry-making.
Plus, it means the big game is right around the corner! The idea of gathering our family together on Super Bowl Sunday, the table covered with snacks, the kids making up their own end zone dance with every touchdown, my husband and father-in-law getting frustrated by no one else paying actual attention to the game... it's a yearly tradition that can't be beat!
This year I'm excited to be able to add a few new party snacks to the mix thanks to my recent introduction to a versatile, unique, delicious ingredient: Musselman's Apple Butter.
A gluten-free, dairy-free, highly concentrated form of applesauce, apple butter can be used individually as a yummy spread or in any number of dishes to give a rich apple zing.
As I had never tried apple butter before, I immediately began browsing the wide variety of Musselman's recipes to get an idea or two about what I wanted to try first... little did I know that I would end up having an extremely difficult time narrowing down the options!
While quite a few recipes caught my eye (I'm definitely trying the Monkey Bread and Apple Butter Breakfast Cake for breakfast very soon, while the Grilled Cheese Sliders sound like a tasty and different lunch), it was the Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars that won out as my first apple butter cooking attempt.
After all, these bars looked extremely easy to make, very delicious to eat, and something that the whole family would enjoy munching on while watching the game. Bring 'em on!
Apple Butter Oatmeal Bars
(I removed "Cinnamon" from the title since... well, there's no actual cinnamon in them)
1 c flour
1 c old-fashioned oatmeal
¾ c light brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 c Musselman's Apple Butter
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 8 x 8" baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Line with heavy-duty foil, leaving an overhang on two sides to facilitate removal of bars from pan. Coat foil with cooking spray.
Mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in butter with a fork until well mixed and clumps form, and then spread half the oatmeal mixture over foiled pan bottom, pressing to form a thin crust. Spread apple butter over crust and then sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture on top.
Bake until crisp and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Use foil "handles" to remove bars from pan. Cut into squares and serve (makes 16 servings).
Yum, yum and yum! These came out of the oven crispy brown and smelling wonderful — the most difficult part of the entire baking process was waiting for them to cool to room temperature.
These were an instant hit! I love the way that the sweetness of the oatmeal and brown sugar complements the rich apple flavor of Musselman's Apple Butter... the kids and I were tasting as I removed the bars from the pan and I'm pretty sure that 1/3 of them were gone before they had a chance to make it into the container.
When it comes time to prep for the big game or simply to incorporate a mouthwatering product into your home – whether cooking, baking, spread on bread or more – Musselman's Apple Butter can add an unexpected, flavorful kick to your favorite recipes, dips and sauces.
Be sure to visit Musselman's recipes to see all of their delicious game-day ideas that are sure to be crowd pleasers, no matter which team you're rooting for. You can find a yummy bottle of Apple Butter in the jam/jelly aisle of your favorite grocery store, while also connecting with Musselman's on Facebook so that you'll never miss information, recipes, products, coupons and more.
Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be prepared to give their mouth a tasty treat as well, because...
One lucky person will win a Musselman's Apple Butter Prize Pack*!
*Prize Pack includes (1) jar of Musselman's Apple Butter, (1) multi-purpose bowl and recipe cards.
A big thank you to Musselman's for providing a prize pack for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.