; Supermarket Serenade: Moist Butterscotch Apple Pecan Bars

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Moist Butterscotch Apple Pecan Bars

Hold on shoppers, don’t wheel your cart out of the produce aisle yet-I’ve got another apple recipe…a tasty snack cake.

In an effort to eat more fruit (and because they are just so good right now) I am trying to eat an apple a day for (at least) the next month. It’s what the doctor says we should be doing, right? Don’t worry; I’m not counting apples baked into a snack cake or biscuits as my apple for the day-that can just be a bonus. I am going to eat a sliced apple every day.

Are your kids picky about how you slice an apple? My kids never have been, but recently my daughter had a friend over who would not eat the apple the way I sliced it. For the better part of the last six years I have had one or more of my children in braces and I have been slicing my apples not into the (apparently) more popular wedges but rather into almost paper thin slices and although we are (temporarily) braces-free we all now prefer paper thin slices…of course I sliced some wedges for the friend, but geesh it’s not like she’s a toddler-she’s twelve!

Super tips for selecting and storing apples:

Choose firm apples free of bruises or brown spots

Not all tasty apples are red-just look for clear smooth coloring

Store apples in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator away from other strong smelling produce (like leeks or other onions) apples will pick up thier odors

While apples look lovely in a bowl on your table, just remember that they will not last as long-so eat or use them quickly

1 medium sized apple will equal about 1 cup diced

1 pound of apples yields about 3 cups of diced fruit

The Cook's Thesaurus had a great breakdown of the best apples for whatever you are making:

Best for eating out of hand: Gala, Fuji, Mutsu, Jonathan, Cameo, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Empire, Red Delicious, McIntosh, Braeburn, Winesap, Pink Lady, Sundowner
Best for pies: Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Rhode Island Greening, Pippin, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gravenstein
Best for applesauce: Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, McIntosh, Elstar, Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Gravenstein
Best for baking: Rome, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pippin, Gala, Braeburn, Northern Spy, Gravenstein, Rhode Island Greening, York Imperial, Cortland, Winesap
Best for making salads: Cortland, Golden Delicious, Empire, Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Winesap, Criterion, Pink Lady

Moist Butterscotch Apple Pecan Bars

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup fat free milk
1 large egg
2 cups diced, peeled apple
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Butterscotch drizzle:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 13x9 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, beating just until combined. Mix in the vanilla, milk and egg. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Scatter the apple and pecans over the mixture, pressing down gently.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the butterscotch drizzle, melt the butter and the brown sugar in a skillet over medium high heat until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and cook for 30 seconds; drizzle over the warm cake; allow the cake to cool slightly before cutting into bars to serve.

You know you want a scoop of ice cream with it…go ahead wheel your cart over to the frozen food section for a pint of vanilla.


RecipeGirl said...

Mmmmmm... another great recipe with apples!

I had one of those picky kids over the other day. Wouldn't eat the apples I cut because they had peel on them. Why do parents allow their kids to be so darn picky? With my kid, it's like... you get what you get!

Maria said...

Yes, I do want ice cream on top and lots of it! Your bars look superb!

jwright said...

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Anonymous said...

As the mother of the pickiest apple eater in the world, I can relate to finding the perfect apple. Jack wants only Granny Smiths, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch chunks. Not too small nor too large. Do you think I created a monster? He is really, really lucky he's the baby. (At 16!)
Your cake looks delicious to me!

Kirsten said...

Those look fabulous! The fall is such a great time for baking!

Anonymous said...

Man, these look SO moist. I love pecans, too. Yes, the ice cream is a good idea. Yum.

I never know which apple is best for what method of cooking, so I'm glad you posted the chart.

Robin Sue said...

I love this time of year and all these harvesty type treats. This one sounds so great. Love the Butterscotch flavor!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love these. I adore these. I'm dying for these.

Emily said...

Whoa mama! What a great recipe! I could definitely go a for a piece of this . . breakfast, lunch or dinner!

I love the braces story! I remember those days! (I rebelled once and ate some caramel . . . a bracket fell off and my Madre was not all too happy . . .) good times!

Oh2122 said...

Your title cracks me up. I've caught myself singing in the grocery store - and that was before the Monkey!

Now I can be found singing parts of Elmo's song while he supplies one or two words.

Thanks for visiting MA with me on my BATW day!

susan said...

ahhhh, looks soooo moist and delicious! nice pictures :)

That Girl said...

I always got made fun of because my favorite eating apples are Rome apples - which are supposed to be used for baking.

Patsyk said...

Those apple bars look amazing! And, definitely, add that scoop of ice cream to top them off... perfection!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Your bars look so yummy, scrumptous and I am drooling. I need to eat breakfast before I visit here. I'm glad your apple search ened happily.

Mary said...

These look really wonderful. Thanks for the tips re apple picking.

Andrea said...

These sound so delicious! Perfect for this time of the year, maybe with some hot apple cider, yum! Thanks for the information on which apples are best suited for what, I always forget. I think I need to print out the list and keep it in the kitchen for when I'm writing out the shopping list for the week. Too funny about the picky apple friend :)

Bridgett said...

I love the butterscotch and apple together. I have been indulging in an apple a day and I find I look forward to it! I think I may make these when we travel down south to my parents for Thanksgiving. They look delicious.

Kevin said...

These sound so good! What a great combo of flavours. Thanks for the apple info/tips.

Grace said...

moist doesn't even begin to describe these--wowza! what you have here appears to be the perfect way to get fruit and nuts into the diet AND satisfy the sweet tooth. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, those look awesome! I made an apple cake the other day and my husband is asking me to make another one! I love apples!

rachelle said...

mmm sounds like a yummy combo! (and now i'm getting big ideas of butterscotch drizzle over apple crisp too. o great, like it wasn't bad enough, with the butter and sugar and ice cream too!)
i must try these!