With the lovely baby chicks still by the oven door of my wood stove baking seems to be out of the question. Who's idea was this anyway? Chickens in the house, chirping all day and half the night long, and don't get me started on the smell. Doesn't matter how clean the pen is when you can't use pine shavings because the little gaffers eat it and are stuck using straw, there is a smell. I live in a chicken coop.... How did our ancestors do it? I recall reading and hearing many a story about chickens and all manner of animals in the house but it has been a long time since I have done this myself and then they weren't in the house. OK, I have to admit they are cute and truth be told they make me laugh countless times a day so I guess I really can't complain too much, but I sure am looking forward to getting them out of the house and into the coop where they belong. I'm going to make an effort to post some pictures of how big they are getting on our Facebook page today so you can head there if you like and check it out.
OK, back on track! Not being able to bake very easily I have started to do major experiments with cooking in cast-iron on top of the stove. I mean if I have to have a wood fire going I might as well put it to good use right? Since Mountain Man loves sweets I thought I would try my hand as making one of his favorite treats. The fact that I had a whole jar of raspberry jam in the refrigerator needing to be used up didn't enter my mind... right.... Surprisingly they turned out really well and were gobbled up very fast. Not sure if its just because he loves sweets so much or did he really like them that much? Doesn't matter. I will definitely be making these again.
Skillet Raspberry Bars
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour (you can use all white if you like but I am always trying to make things more healthy)
1 cup rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup butter, very soft
1 cup or a bit more raspberry jam
The most important part of cooking on top the stove is to have two cast iron pans which nestle in one another and a good lid for the top one. Because there is a space of air in-between the hot stove and the bottom of the food it won't burn. Be careful the bottom pan is dry though, if there is a lot of oil in it the smoke it creates will drive you outside and smell up the house!
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.
Now mix up the egg and the soft butter and add to the mixture. It takes a bit to mix everything together well and I ended up getting my hands in there to finish up the job.
Now press two cups of the mixture into the bottom of the top pan. Make sure it is pressed down well.
Carefully spread the raspberry jam on top of this layer being careful not to get too close to the edge.
Now add the rest of the mixture to the top.
Cover with the lid and place over a medium hot stove. Walk away for about 40 minutes. Milk the goats, feed the chickens, collect the eggs or just romp through the fields for a bit....
When you get back from your romp take the mixture off the stove and let it cool completely before cutting into bars. If you don't let it cool it will crumble to bits so just set it aside and go have some more fun smelling the flowers til it cools.
Now cut into squares or wedges and enjoy!