Mini Italian Lesson #3 (Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars)

I haven’t done a mini Italian lesson in awhile.  Class is going well! However, I am a bad student and haven’t been studying as much as I should be.  Things always seem to get pushed ahead of studying.  Like the dogs and socializing and blogging and working out.  Basically, I need to set aside a couple nights a week to just do it.

But in our third class we learned our second irregular verb:  essere which means “to be”.

Io sono Kristen.  = I am Kristen.

“Sono” is the first person singular form of essere.  It looks nothing like the infinitive form because it is an irregular verb.

We learned that in order to create a negative form of the word, you put the word “non” before the verb.

Io non sono Kathryn. = I am not Kathryn.

Easy right?

Come ti chiami?  = What is your name?

We also learned about indefinite articles.  Italians have a lot more articles than the English language does.  Phew!  I think I’ll pick them up easy enough once I start studying!

Un is masculine singular and is used with words starting with regular consonants or words starting with vowels. Example: un libro = a book.

Uno is masculine singular and is used with words starting with special consonants. Example: uno studente = a student.

Un’  is feminine singular and is used if the word begins with a vowel. Example: un’ amica = a friend.

Una is also feminine singular and is used if the word begins with a consonant. Example: una matita = a pencil.

We also learned singular and plural forms of the definite articles, but I won’t continue to bore you with those.

Then at the end of class we had fun with some phrases we wanted to learn:

– Del vino, perfavore? = More wine, please.

– Vorrei un gelato. = I would like an ice-cream.

– Al pistacchio grande in coppetta. = A large pistachio in a cup.

– Cosa consiglia? = What do you recommend?

It’s been a very fun class so far!  There is only one girl in the class who is kind of a KIA (know-it-all).  Other than that, everyone is fun!

Running Tip: Runners who exceed government recommendations for aerobic exercise (75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, equivalent to running about 4.5 to 7.5 miles per week) have a 40% lower risk of heart disease and a 40% reduced risk of developing high blood pressure.

Food for Thought: A recent study found that eating reheated pasta leads to a much lower spike in blood sugar than eating just-cooked noodles. After reheating, the pasta becomes a resistant starch, meaning it releases less sugar and keeps you full longer.

Quote of the Day:

“The older I get, the less I care about what people think of me. Therefore the older I get, the more I enjoy life.” -Anonymous

So I have absolutely no idea when I made these bars.  I think it was before Christmas at some point.  But Shawn told me that this was by far the best dessert I had made that she had tried.  These bars are pretty much amazing. And even though spring is just around the corner, you need to make them.  This weekend.

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Ingredients

SNICKERDOODLE LAYER:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
PUMPKIN PIE LAYER:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
TOPPING:
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
DRIZZLE:
cream cheese icing

Directions

– Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan and lay a piece of parchment paper across the pan, so that it extends the pan slightly. The parchment paper is an optional step, but it will make it easier to get the bars out later

To make snickerdoodle layer:

– Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

– Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be thick and cookiebatter-ish.)

To make pumpkin pie filling:

– In a mixer bowl (you can use the same one you used to make the snickerdoodle batter) with a paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar. A dd the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. This layer will be less thick and more pourable. Pour over the snickerdoodle layer, smoothing out the top.

– Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.

– Bake for 33-40 minutes (maybe more depending on your oven) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Let the bars cool completely (about an hour). They will deflate a bit and remain a bit pie-like on the top layer. The bars that are closer to the edges of the pan will be more firm.

– After the bars are completely cool, place the chopped white chocolate into a bowl or zip-lock bag and melt on low power. When it’s completely melted, add the pumpkin pie spice and mix (or knead if using a zip lock bag). Use a spoon or cut a small corner off the bag and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the bars and let it cool and harden.

– Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into bars. Store in a covered container.

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