traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Crunch & Crumble Bars

It’s definitely Fall here in New England. The leaves are turning a beautiful range of autumnal colors, we’ve continued our family tradition of going apple picking at a local orchard and we’ve been baking appropriate treats like these Crunch & Crumble Bars.

A rich, buttery shortbread base, topped with your choice of jam and then sprinkled with a nutty, crunchy, crumble topping.

I used jam for my fruity layer but you could just as easily stew some apples or other seasonal fruit and use that instead. Apple Crumble Bars would be delicious, especially with all the freshly picked apples that are available at this time of year.

These got a big thumbs up when I brought them into the office but Little Miss Traybakes wasn’t as convinced this time, but that’s mostly to do with her dislike of any nuts that aren’t peanuts, so don’t rely on her opinion for this one!

Ingredients

Base

4oz/110g butter

2oz/55g sugar

1 egg yolk

5oz/150g plain flour (all-purpose flour)

5-6 tbsp jam

Topping

5oz/150g plain flour (all-purpose flour)

½ tsp baking powder

4oz/110g butter

2½oz/70g brown sugar

1½oz/40g chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a 8″/20cm square tin.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then gradually add the egg yolk with the flour to make a soft dough.

3. Press into the tin and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and (very carefully!) spread with the jam while the base is still warm.

5. (You can do this stage while the shortbread base is baking). Rub the butter into the flour and baking powder. Then stir in the sugar and nuts and sprinkle the mixture over the jam.

6. Return to the oven and bake for a further 35 minutes or until golden.

7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Cut into slices and enjoy!

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Cherry Cookies

Interestingly, I have several variations on this Cherry Cookies recipe in the pages of my retro recipe books, so I thought I’d give it a go as it has two classic traybake ingredients – cherries and cornflakes.

Then, when I got my Cornflakes box out to weigh and crush the flakes, there was a very similar recipe on the back of the box! A little research later and it turns out the original recipe was a winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1950. This recipe isn’t exactly the same, as the original contained pecans and dates but it’s certainly close.

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No-Bake Peanut Crunch

The Traybakes Family has returned from vacation and while recovering from jet lag, we’re still getting over the fact that the weather at home was (almost!) as warm as the weather we get in the summer here in Massachusetts! So, for sunny, summery days like these, when it’s too hot to turn on your oven, this No-Bake Peanut Crunch is the perfect solution.

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Chocolate & Apricot Wedges

This is about as simple as it gets. Chocolate & Apricot Wedges.

OK, so the wedges are purely an aesthetic thing, you can cut these into any shape you want. And the apricot is purely a suggestion, you can use any dried fruit that you want. But it’s as simple as melting some chocolate and butter, crushing some biscuits and mixing it all together. Then waiting long enough for it to set so you can eat it.

It’s definitely a useful recipe to have for those times you need a quick and easy no-bake traybake.

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Chocolate Almond Tartlets

There seems to be quite a theme running through my retro recipe books of pastry, with a layer of jam (preferably raspberry) and then some variety of topping. And these Chocolate Almond Tartlets fit this pattern perfectly. Crisp pastry case, thin layer of raspberry jam and a chocolate and almond topping. The topping is a little crisp and a little chewy and combined with the pastry and jam, it’s really rather delicious!

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Mint Chocolate Melting Moments

Chocolate and mint. A classic pairing found in two of the most popular recipes on the blog (No-bake Chocolate Mint Slice and Mint Aero Traybake). And now also featuring in these Mint Chocolate Melting Moments.

I decided to make a mint buttercream to sandwich my Melting Moments together, but there are numerous flavors that would work equally well here – vanilla, chocolate, raspberry. Choose your favorite and go with that! I use 2oz/55g/½ stick of butter mixed with 4oz/110g/1 cup icing sugar to make my buttercream, which I flavored with a couple of drops of mint extract and some green food coloring.

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Traditional Soda Farls

It’s been a while since I’ve had a savory recipe on the blog, so I thought it was about time to venture back into the ‘& more’ section of traybakes & more. It’s also been an even longer while since I made these Traditional Soda Farls (which my autocorrect keeps trying to change to farms!) but once I had made them, I was left wondering why I don’t make these more often. Wheaten bread is my usual go-to bake when I need bread in a hurry – and I’ll aim to have my recipe for that on the blog soon – then I made Soda Farls for the first time in ages and realized they are even easier and quicker to make.

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Ginger Slice Traybake

Ginger has been a popular flavor running through my bakes since I started the blog. And as it’s always proved a winner with Little Miss Traybakes, when I saw this Ginger Slice Traybake recipe, I had to give it a go. For other gingery bakes try Date and Ginger CrunchiesGinger Shortcake or even Ginger Cake. See, I told you ginger is popular in traybakes (and cake, and cookies…!)

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No-Bake Honey Crunch Traybake

Another new traybake for me this week. I can’t remember which retro recipe book this No-Bake Honey Crunch Traybake came from as I just made a copy the last time I was back at Mummy Traybakes’ house, but it intrigued me enough to make a note of it and I recently decided to try it out.

And it was a success all round! I offered some to my book club (my other official taste testers) and it proved to be a hit companion to our latest book discussion, as well as getting a thumbs up from Little Miss Traybakes.

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No-Bake Polish Cake

It’s another no-bake chocolatey biscuit traybake this week – No-Bake Polish Cake. Nope, I have no idea why this is called Polish Cake either. Perhaps it’s because you can ‘polish’ off a whole tray in one sitting? Bad puns aside, it’s another straightforward recipe. (One of these days, I’m going to have to make something more complicated! But I guess that’s the joy of traybakes, they are generally easy to make.)

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