The reason I am late in making this post today is because I was trying to get tickets for the 16-minute free Avatar showing for Friday, August 21st (tickets at http://www.avatarmovie.com/ticketing), but the geniuses over at Fox didn’t realize that giving out free tickets to a sneak preview of one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year would attract a great deal of internet traffic. The tickets went on “sale” at noon PST today, but the site completely crashed and wasn’t loading for over an hour. I had to go to an appointment and still didn’t have my tickets (this was at 1:00 pm), but thankfully my buddy Morgan helped me out and got Kramer and I a pair of tickets. I was pretty worried for a few hours! Friday is going to be fantastic. First, Avatar. Then, Inglorious Basterds. What more could you ask for?
I wanted to make something tasty for dessert when we had some friends over a few nights ago, but I had no idea what to make and I didn’t have many ingredients (no chocolate chips, no peanut butter, no interesting fruit), but I did have apples and some walnuts. I looked around on my bookmarked recipes and found these apple spice bars, but I wanted to incorporate something crunchy so I threw in the walnuts. I loved all of the fragrant spices because it made my house smell wonderful, and the bars turned out something like a blondie, but inspired by fall. I know it’s a little early for apple season, but I would highly recommend these. They are very soft, though, and don’t hold up for more than two or three days before falling apart, so plan on serving these the same day or giving them away to some grateful friends or neighbors. They’ll sure to fall in love with these simple, yet satisfying treats!
Your ingredients. I only ended up using 2 apples and I decided last minute to throw some walnuts in.
Melt your butter in a microwave safe bowl.
Add the melted butter to the sugars and beat together.
Add in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Add it gradually to the sugar mixture.
I like to use fresh nutmeg when I can because it’s got a more subtle flavor than jarred ground nutmeg, but either is fine.
Fold in your chopped apples.
I decided last minute to throw some chopped walnuts in, too.
Spread the mixture into a greased and/or lined pan (I like to line mine with tinfoil and spray it with Pam so it’s easy to lift out and cut) and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar. I ended up using my hands to press the dough into the pan because it’s so thick. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, until the middle is set and the top is crisp and golden.
Allow to cool COMPLETELY before slicing (these bars are already very soft and if you cut them before they are completely cool, they’ll fall apart. I stuck mine in the fridge for an hour or two).
Slice and enjoy!
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- small pinch ground cloves
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 apples, cored and diced (a little less than 2 cups)
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, for sprinkling over the top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 9x13 pan with foil and spray with baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whisk to combine well and set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer, combine sugars and butter and beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to combine. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- Turn mixer on slow and fold in flour mixture a little at a time until just combined. Fold in the apples and walnuts by hand. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan (I used my hands because the dough was so thick) and sprinkle top generously with cinnamon sugar.
- Place in oven and bake until cooked through, when top slightly bounces back to the touch and the bars are golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan, cutting and serving. Bars will be very soft! Keep in an air-tight container.