Mel’s Favorite Fare


This is dessert week.

Caramel apple squares

1/2 C unsalted butter (melted)

1/4 C granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C all-purpose flour


2 large apples (thinly sliced)

2 TBS flour

2 TBS sugar

1 TBS ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg


1/2 C old-fashioned oats

1/3 C brown sugar

4 TBS all-purpose flour

5 TBS chilled butter cubed

caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 9×9 pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

For crust, mix butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in bowl until combined. Add flour and mix again. Using your hands, press crust mixture into 9×9 pan until all mixture is evenly distributed. Bake for 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, prepare apple filling. Put sliced apples in large bowl. Pour in flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until apples are coated. Set aside.

To make crumb topping, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in small bowl. Use your hands or a pastry blender to mix in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Remove crust from oven and then preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour apple mixture on top of warm crust and use back of a spoon to press down apples to lie across smoothly. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of apples until covered. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Then place in fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Cut apple pie bars and serve warm or cold. Drizzle caramel sauce on top just before serving. Enjoy!


Best poke cake


cooking spray

1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients called for on box

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

4 TBS melted butter

1/2 C packed brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch kosher salt


1/2 C heavy cream

1 8-oz. block cream cheese

4 TBS butter, softened

1 C powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-x-13 baking pan with cooking spray. Prepare cake according to package directions. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 20 minutes. Let cool.

Make filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Make frosting: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until no lumps remain. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth, then add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Fold in whipped cream until just combined.

Using bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over cake. Pour filling over and use a rubber spatula to push into holes. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.


Banana crumb cake


2 C flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3 bananas

1/2 C butter, softened

1-1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 C milk


1 C butter, cold, cubed

2 C brown sugar, light

2 C flour

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash bananas until they become liquefied. Mix in butter until combined and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture and milk.

In a separate bowl, combine cold butter, light brown sugar, and flour. Cut them together using two forks or a pastry blender until coarse crumbles form. Pour half of cake batter into greased pan followed by one half of crumb topping. Pour remaining batter on top of crumb topping, ended with remaining topping. Place pan in oven and bake for 55 minutes, or until center is set.


She said after traveling, “Did you ever wake up, kiss the person beside you and think how happy you were to be alive? I just did and apparently will not be allowed on that airline again.”

If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.

(Melanie Behrens –

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