Rhubarb…..Apple Crumb….Tollhouse Cookie Pie Oh My!!

What do all these have in common…..desserts at the Teliska house over the last week or so.  As we all know, with the kids back to school, the fall schedule in full swing and the cooler weather coming it’s time to do some baking again.  I have a variety of items I can pull from that are both simple and more complex but equally delicious.  I often get asked by my friends what I like to cook the most and my typical answer is I like to bake. I have been baking since I was about 8 years old.  The first homemade cake I made when I about 10 and was for a friend’s father for his birthday.  It was a 2 layer vanilla box cake that I prepared per the box directions, I added some chocolate chips to the batter, drizzled some brandy on the layers hot out of the oven, let it cool and frosted it with a fresh vanilla whipped cream!  Viola!  I was a baking fool from then on.

Circling back to the title reference….rhubarb is a bit more of a complex ingredient to bake with.  It has a very particular taste, woody to cut, bitter if not sweetened enough, watery if a thickening agent is not used, and crunchy if not cooked enough.   I LOVE IT!!!  My all time favorite is Strawberry Rhubard anything.  A pie, a crisp, a muffin, icecream, a bar, a topping…….the list is endless.

Apple CRUMB – again I love anything with a crumb topping on it.  The thicker the better.  So I did some research on how to make a good crumb topping and tried and tested a few of them.  Who would have  thought I have been making it wrong for 25 years!!!!!!  Insert eye roll emoji.  Melted butter is all I can say.  I never melted the darn butter.  I always used a pastry cutter and cut in to pea size balls.  Of course this way is still acceptable but the melted butter…yup that is my new way to go.

The Thursday night kickoff of the NFL Season is just about to start and the fam yells whats for dessert.  What’s for dessert I scream!!! Dry captain crunch cereal, klondike bars from over a year ago, a cutie, some grapes…..nope apparently that was not going to suffice.  Ran to the baking cabinet and much to my surprise was a bag of chocolate chip cookie mix!!! YES…I am admiting the Gourmeli cookie lady has a bagged cookie mix in the cabinet.  I am not ashamed to have it…… it was on sale at Target for .95 cents.  You know those red little sale tags there that you can’t pass up!  Dumped said bag in a bowl, added a stick of softened butter, one egg and spread in a pie tin.  Baked at 350 for half hour.  Cut it up while it was warm, added a scoop of Stewarts vanilla ice-cream, some hershey syrup and a squirt of whipped.  Easy as can be. I think I may have gotten the mother of the year award.  The fam was in amazement and I didn’t even miss the National Anthem before the game.   If it were up to me I would have added some rhubard and a crumb topping for the grand slam!!  Insert eye wink emoji!!!

So there you have it…..a little background on some different desserts that have inspired me over the past couple weeks.  Below is the recipe for strawberry rhubarb crumble with my new foolproof crumb topping on it!

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

2 pints fresh strawberries (washed and stems removed)
2 large stalks rhubard
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Crumb Topping
1 stick salted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon

1.Wash, remove stems and slice fresh strawberries and put in a glass bowl.
2. Rinse and trim ends of rhubard.  Dice in to small pieces much like you would slice a stalk of celery.
3. Add, sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13  glass baking dish with non stick spray.
5. Spread strawberry mixture in botton of pan.
6.  Crumb Topping: Melt one stick of butter in a small glass microwave save dish.  Remove and add the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.  With a fork combine together until moist and crumble apart with your fingers.
7. Drop crumble pieces on top of  the strawberry mixtrure until all of it is covered.
8. Bake for about a half hour to 45 minutes or until strawberries begin to bubble and topping is nice and brown.
9.  Remove from oven and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Happy Cooking!!