Thursday, October 1, 2015

Autumn Apple Bars

We Midwesterners love our apples. Apple cider, apple fritters, apple pie, caramel apples – anything apple will do. With apple season in full swing in our region, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of the harvest and early fall weather with apple picking, apple festivals, apple baking, and just plain old apple eating.

Apple pie may be the most quintessential apple dessert out there, but why not use that just-picked bushel for apple tarts, apple bars, apple bread or apple anything.   

Like fine wine, these apple bars get better with age - becoming moister each day.  Don’t leave off the frosting - its sweetness balances the flavors in the cake beautifully. 
Servings: 25
3 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups chopped, unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apples
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, combine eggs and salt. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until frothy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and oil; beat until blended. 

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture; beat just until blended. Fold in apples, nuts, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan; spread evenly.
Bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

In a medium bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, and enough milk to achieve a spreadable consistency. Spread over cake. When frosting has set, cut cake into bars. (Adapted from fall 2010 issue of Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate) 

Happy Apple Weekend!

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