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apple cake/brownies

Been searching the internet for an apple-based cake or brownie recipe that fulfills these requirements:
1. portable- for a picnic
2. liked by teens- 25, 11th graders

Got a favourite you'd like to share? Ideally, i could be cut ahead of time and not contain any booze (that's for me, post-fieldtrip)
thanks

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  1. My two favorite brownies are either the Supernatural brownies (chewier) or mancatcher brownies (super chocolate fudge-y).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/din...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

    I add a tsp of espresso powder to either, To make them easily portable, bake them in cupcake papers. You also get mostly chewy crust that way. You also don't have to worry about cutting them ahead of time.

    For the apple cake, are you looking for a light cake, or heavier more like muffin/quick breads? Do you want chunks of apples or just the flavor with applesauce or slivers of apples?

    1. The Supernatural Brownies chowser linked are fantastic, and I'm all for a brownie (mancatchers, what a name) that uses cocoa powder. I also like these Outrageous Brownies, from Ina Garten, makes 20 large, very portable brownies:

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

      I have a really great apple cake recipe but I'll wait for a response to see what you're looking for. I dare say that teens would go for brownies over apple cake, though.

      1. Here is my favorite Apple Cake recipe that is my 14 year-old son's favorite. Many of his friends love this too, but recently I made both brownies and apple cake for a party he had, and the brownies disappeared before the Apple Cake. The cake is one of those cakes that is better the second or third day.

        APPLE CAKE

        Pare and slice thinly 6 small Macintosh apples and mix with ¼ cup cinnamon sugar (do not use any other apple types). Set aside. Butter and flour a bundt pan extremely thoroughly, or use a tube (angel food) pan. (I find the Wilton easy release mixture works very, very well. Heat oven to 350 degrees
        (I make this batter in a single bowl using a whisk. Easy clean up!)
        -Beat 4 large eggs and add 1 ¾ cups of sugar
        Add in:
        -1 cup vegetable oil
        -¼ cup of orange juice
        -1 teaspoon of vanilla
        Then mix in:
        -3 cups of flour
        -3 teaspoons baking powder
        -½ teaspoon of salt.

        Use a little less that one third of the batter and drop by spoonfuls on the bottom of the prepared pan. It should just cover the bottom of the pan. Distribute ½ of the apples over that, and use just enough of the batter to cover the apples. Repeat with the remaining batter/apples, ending with a layer of batter. This batter is very sticky and is best dropped by small spoonfuls over the apples since it doesn’t flow.
        Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
        Let cool completely in the pan before removing, otherwise it is liable to fall apart. Dust well with confectioner’s sugar. This cake improves with age and is best the next day – or even the day after!

        (I have a neighbor who requested this recipe and then made it with melted and cooled butter, which she said was also quite tasty.)

        38 Replies
        1. re: roxlet

          Ooh, now I have your apple cake recipe! This weekend, I swear, and I'll try the melted butter variation.

          Do you know of the raw apple cake recipe from "An American Table," by Ronald Johnson?

          I like the apple bars and the apple coffee cake recipes posted here also; perfect timing for apple season.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            No, I don't know that recipe nor do I have that book. Is it good? Want to share?

            1. re: roxlet

              Oh oh, no Ronald Johnson? One of the very best. He was a poet and the books are a delight to read as well as cook from. The American Table, Simple Fare, and Company Fare. Must be available for a song from ABEbooks or similar.

              1. re: buttertart

                The American Table just arrived from abebooks yesterday. Duh, I forgot I ordered it and I have yet to take a good look. I think I got it for $1 + shipping!

                1. re: roxlet

                  Excellent, I was just getting ready to send you the recipe. I use macs for that cake and let it rest overnight before eating, if it's at all possible to wait.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Impossible to wait longer than overnight. Ronald mentions waiting a second week, but there's no way I can wait that long...it really is great for breakfast.

                    2. re: bushwickgirl

                      Would other apples work? I have a bunch of Macouns and Romas I'd like to use up. And I would just hide it for a week since we already have an an apple pie and a gingerbread that I made. The downside of losing my house guests -- not enough people to eat my baking!

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Any nice tart but not too firm baking apple would be fine. When you mentioned Romas, did you mean Romes? I use those for pie in season, as part of a combo of apples. The Rome might be a better choice than a Macoun, a little more tart and firmer.

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            Me makee this today! I have 2 little Bundt-y tube pans (Kaiser, from TJMaxx a while ago) and will make it in those so I have an intact cake to serve next Saturday as part of dessert for friends. roxlet, got the cake release stuff - from Amazon - it came in a box big and long enough to ship a half-dozen full-sized umbrellas. !!!

                            1. re: buttertart

                              What kind of cake release stuff? Aerosol can, flour/shortening blend? Or something else?

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                It comes in a squeeze bottle. It's an oil/starch blend basically - you need about a tb to do a pan. Can order it from Amazon, it's also apparently available in Michael's and other stores catering to the cake decorating set (I can't stand the candle scent in those stores so don't patronize them. Really works.
                                http://www1.epinions.com/review/Wilto...

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Ok, I've seen it. Yes, I don't like the fakey candle scent either.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    Horrid. This stuff would almost be worth it - I ordered it from Amazon and the box it came in was humongous, very silly really.

                      2. re: roxlet

                        Make the Kansas mashed potato soufflé from it (American Table) - you can make it ahead, no last-minute scramble to mash the spuds and get them to the table hot, which is something that really drives me nuts. I once left it in the oven too long and it browned all over - THAT was good...

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I was almost going to make that tonight, but I'm making stew, so maybe tomorrow!

                        1. re: alkapal

                          You'd love his books too, alkadear.

                    3. re: bushwickgirl

                      I've got a co-worker's birthday Friday, she's not a chocolate fan, so I'm going to try this, with a few variations. Thought of doing the melted butter, but browning it a bit first to amp up the butterscotchiness. Also thought I'd saute the diced apples first, add a bit of brown sugar and let cool. I was thinking that would ensure sweet and caramelized apples in the cake.

                      Finally, I plan on glazing with maple syrup glaze.

                      Anyone forsee any issues with any of these variations?

                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Well, I made the apple cake from An American Table, and the consensus was that everyone liked the other apple cake that I make better. This one was declared to be too damp, and in general, the texture was not that much of a hit. I loved the pecans in it, so now I am thinking of adding some chopped pecans to the apple layers in my cake...

                        1. re: roxlet

                          I'll definitely try yours. I really like the RJ one however, it's better when it sits for a few days. The pecans are great in it, hadn't thought of putting the two together.

                          1. re: roxlet

                            The American Table apple cake is a very moist cake, more apples than anything, with just a hint of batter to bind. It really needs to age. I put golden raisins in it once time, with the pecans and cut back on the apples by a cup, IIRC. I want to try that with your recipe, roxlet. I'm big on raisins and apples together.

                            Btw, the apple cake recipe, Carol's Jewish apple cake, posted bottom of thread by Divamac, is remarkably similar to roxlet's cake.

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              I thought of throwing some dried currants in too, made an apple pie with them in it and it was wonderful. Next time.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                Yes, I noticed that too. The one I make has two layers of apples, and Carol's has only one. Plus mine has more sugar and fewer eggs, but with the addition of orange juice, the flavor profile must be similar.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  I like your two layers; the more apples, the merrier.

                                  And now here's yet another version, which is also similar, but has the addition of maple syrup, raisins and walnuts, from Elinor Klivans and somehow ended up in my inbox:

                                  http://cookingclub.com/recipes/articl...

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    That Elinor Klivans has some nice books out, Fearless Baking is a favorite - speaking of brownies, there's a brownie/caramel/choc chip cookie dough on top I used to make for Christmas for a friend in it. Ouch!

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      I have heard good things about Fearless Baking, may have to...mm, invest.

                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                        Should be able to get it cheap cheap, I think mine was from the Strand when they were at the Seaport (which was nice for lower Manh shopping excursions) and was $3.98 or something. Used sellers would defiinitely have it.

                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                            Was thinking of getting Wolfert's World of Food and RLB's Christmas cookies - $11.00 for both on ABE incl shipping.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              I bought the RLB Christmas Cookies for a rabid Christmas cookie baking friend a few years ago; I recommend it. I just bought Wolfert's Mediterrean Cooking a few weeks ago, haven't cooked from it yet but lot's of great recipes.

                                              Go for it.

                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                I have both RLB's Xmas cookies and Wolfert's Med Cooking. Both great books and collection-worthy, IMO.

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  Do either of you have World of Food? I have had Med Cooking since it came out.

                                  2. re: roxlet

                                    "Jewish Apple Cake" is a fairly standard recipe. Many of the recipes for it are very similar. According to Smitten Kitchen, there was a recipe in one of the women's magazines in the 60's or 70's which is where her mother originally got the recipe. Most of the recipes on the internet are most likely derived from that, most of them vary only in small ways, like using 2 tsp cinnamon instead of a T, or 5 eggs instead of 4, or adding or substituting some nutmeg for some of the cinnamon.

                                    The oil is to keep it kosher. Instead of butter.

                          2. I think you're asking for apple bars, is that right? If so, here is a favorite--uses 2 cups of chopped UNpeeled apple, so it's quick and easy. Very very good too. Don't worry that there's no liquid--the apples bake up in the thick batter and keep the bars moist.
                            http://southernfood.about.com/od/brow...
                            I don't roll the bars in powdered sugar--I just leave them in the pan as I do brownies.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: blue room

                              I also recommend this recipe. I shredded the apples in the food processor, and the texture and flavor were great. No walnuts, because I don't like them, and agree that there's no need for powdered sugar.

                            2. If you want an apple cake, this Apple Coffee Cake With Crumble Topping is really good and cuts into nice, firm squares.
                              http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-coff...