One of my favorite kids classes that I've taught this semester was my "not your average wonton" class. It was great and especially successful because we didn't use recipes. Instead, the kids came up with ideas of what they wanted the wontons to taste like, and then planned out how to make it happen. The kids worked with partners to make the all the decisions about the wonton flavors they wanted to make and how to plate them. Then they had to figure out what ingredients they would need to make those flavors possible. The directions were to make one savory wonton and one dessert wonton. They had to make enough for everyone in the class to taste a few and also make one of each type to put on a separate plate for the "judging."
The kids worked in two groups (which ended up being boys vs. girls) to complete these tasks. They all seemed to love their independence making all the decisions. I did a quick demo of a few simple dessert wontons using banana and chocolate so they could see how to put them together. I also cooked the ones I made before they started so the kids could have some inspiration.
I was in charge of cooking the wontons throughout the class and I used one pot of oil a few inches deep for the sweet ones and a different pot for the savory ones. Since the wontons cook quickly I just fried 5-6 at a time as the kids were putting them together.
Making wontons is a really fun project to experiment with! You don't need a lot of ingredients to make wonton fillings. Of course, you need the wonton wrappers which can generally be found in the refrigerated section near the produce department. Then you can get wild and crazy with flavors. Below are a few flavors that I suggested for the class.
Filling ideas.... s'mores- chocolate, mini marshmallows, graham crumbles, banana & chocolate, apple pie (we microwaved apple pieces for 2 minutes in microwave to soften them), peperoni pizza, avocado, buffalo chicken (I had cooked chicken breast in class to use), siracha cream cheese, southwestern, jalapeño popper, & barbecue chicken.
Filling the wontons- put about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wonton wrapper. Brush the edges with water before folding it in half to make to a triangle shape. Press the edges well to make sure they're sealed tight so that the filling doesn't leak while you're cooking them. Cook them in a medium pot or wok filled with 2-3 inches of canola oil heated to 350. Cook wontons in small batches until golden color on both sides.
Apples, caramel, molasses cookies, and oatmeal crumble, baked to a golden bubbly perfection. What's NOT to like? I'm proud to say that my recipe won first place at the local Medford Farmer's Market apple cook off. So, I can really call it an award winning recipe and it's very tasty if I don't say so myself. I've entered the apple cook off for the last 5 years but this year it seemed like a real challenge to come up with something different from things I've made in the past. So this year I decided to go ahead and put a few of my favorite things into one delicious recipe. What really made it yummy was the addition of the molasses cookie pieces into the crumble mix. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Now my mind is racing to think of all the different versions that I could make using other favorite cookies in the crumble as well... oatmeal, ginger snaps, snicker doodles, etc. etc.
Apple crisp bars with oatmeal and molasses cookie crumble
Coat a 9x14 baking pan with spray oil. Make shortbread crust and bake it for 15 minutes while you prepare the apple filling and the crumble.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and the oatmeal crumble.
8 Empire, Granny Smith, or apples of your choice peeled, cored, and thinly sliced.
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Combine apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice, and apple cider in a sauce pan. Mix together. Simmer on low heat until the apples are just softened and most of the liquid is reduced. Let cool before spreading on top of the cooled shortbread crust.
Oatmeal molasses cookie crumble
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup oatmeal
12 tablespoons unsalted butter diced
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 molasses cookies or favorite cookie of choice
Combine flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and vanilla in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Break up the molasses cookies into small pieces and mix into the oatmeal crumble by hand until just combined.
Spread apple mixture on top of the short bread crust. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly on top of apple mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes on 350 degrees until bubbly and the crumble is golden.
Let cool and then drizzle brown sugar caramel over the top of the bars. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
Brown sugar caramel sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter (4 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch Of Salt
Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium to low heat. Cook while whisking for 5 to 7 minutes, until thick. Turn off the heat. Let cool for about 10 minutes before drizzling on bars.