Toffee Apple Bars ~ Guest Post by Barb of Creative Culinary


Today we have a guest post from Barb of Creative Culinary. I’ve talked about Barb in previous posts here since becoming friends with her through Twitter, #baketogether, #goaterie and our mutual love of food. Barb is a web developer as well as a food blogger who lives in Colorado. Oh, did I also mention she runs an online boutique as well?? She is one busy busy lady! Barb has an amazing writing voice that just exudes her love of good food, sharing that passion with other people and is just the type of person that makes you want to be a part of whatever project she’s involved with. You can follow her on Twitter @CreativCulinary and you’ll also find her on Facebook. Today she gives us a recipe for Toffee Apple Bars that just beckons us to fall into Autumn. Enjoy!

~K

 

I was touched when Kate asked if I would do a guest post for her blog. Especially knowing she would be tending to a newborn; my maternal genes kicked in with a, ‘Sure, would love to.’ If I’m not mistaken, Kate and I met through #baketogether, an initiative by the lovely Abby Dodge that allows a group of us (and yes, you can join!) who, in lieu of actually being able to bake together, take a recipe of Abby’s, put our own spin on it and write a post to share. It’s a fun way to do something together ‘of sorts’ and really does help to build a sense of community in this world of web and Twitter.

When Kate let me know the when, I thought it best to get something done right away; we all know how time literally does seem to fly and I wanted to be prepared and not disappoint my sweet friend. So this post is being written as I sit struggling with the first ‘real’ week of fall. The season might have changed a few weeks ago, but this week? This is the first week of cooler temps, warm fuzzy socks and even this weekend…a dusting of snow in our town!

When the world starts showing an excitement about fall, I have a hard time getting onboard. As much as I welcome the cooler temps, I know that soon after I will be dealing with mountains of leaves I will have to gather and remove from the lawn and I can already anticipate the winter season that will soon follow. As much as I love living in Colorado, the winters can carry some brutal reminders of Mother Nature in all her glory. I’ve never been a skier so there is no big excitement at the advent of snow; maybe less so since my kids are on their own and a snow day could carry with it the feeling of playing hookey with them; sledding, snowmen and soup were always on the agenda.

I know that eventually the change in season will mean a change in the foods we eat and that does start to excite me a bit more. I know I will miss fresh tomatoes, blueberries and strawberries almost too much to bear, but soon realize, again, how much I love sweet potatoes, soups and apples in all of their many varieties. Especially apples with caramel; it really is one of those perfect combinations. A bit of tart, crisp apple, combined with smooth and buttery caramel and I might actually find myself in my version of fall Heaven! Add some chopped nuts and my stubborn about the change soul starts to give in to the inevitable. I’ve made caramel apples in years past and though I LOVE them, I wanted something with the flavor I love packed into a treat that included none of the trepidation or mess that was inherent with making caramel apples. Especially if the new mom wanted to try something with a baby in one hand and a toddler on the floor beneath her!

These were a big hit and I can assure you that everyone in the family loves them. While I was busy writing, my sweet little dog Abbie has scarfed down the two you see in the photo. Yes, from a table I thought too high for her to reach…they are that kind of bar!

Toffee Apple Bars

For the bars:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup peeled, cored, chopped tart apple; about 1 1/2

For the Caramel Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Topping

  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarsely

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper along the bottom of the pan, with some paper overhanging on the two short ends.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; scraping the dough as needed.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined; add the vanilla and beat into dough.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  8. Fold in the chopped apples and toffee bits and spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake 25- 30 minutes, or until center is set and toothpick inserted into the center come out clean. Place on wire rack to cool completely before slicing or frosting.
  10. To make the frosting, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar, half and half and vanilla and bring the mixture to a boil; cook for one minutes then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
  11. Sift in the confectioners sugar until mixture is smooth; you can do this by hand but I was lazy and used my mixer.
  12. Spread evenly over bars; sprinkle with chopped nuts and let them set at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

Yield: 16 large or 24 small bars

Advertisements

About FoodBabbles

I'm just a girl with a passion for good food. Especially the sweet side of life. I love to eat it, make it, read about it... if it has to do with food, it's for me. I'd like to share my food, writing and photos with you. Sometimes they come out great. Other times, well... there are some mishaps but I'll share those with you too. I'm only human! Either way, I enjoy it and hope you will too! So here are sugary, sweet culinary delights from my talented yet dangerously klutzy hands so obviously not bred to work with sharp knives and hot ovens.
This entry was posted in Desserts, Guest Post and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Toffee Apple Bars ~ Guest Post by Barb of Creative Culinary

  1. Pingback: Toffee Apple Bars with Caramel Frosting — A Denver Colorado Food Blog - Sharing food through recipes and photography.

  2. Paula says:

    First of all, congratulations Kate on the arrival of your new baby!

    Barb ~ another beautifully written post with stunning pictures. Your caramel apple photograph requires one to approach the screen with caution as they most likely will want to reach out and scoop up that dripping caramel in the forefront! I love your recipe for creating the delicious flavours in these treats in a nice and easy to eat bar. They look amazing.

  3. Thanks for letting me share these with you Kate; now if only I had some with my coffee this morning. Hope you and the family are all cozy, warm and enjoying the new addition.

  4. Kim says:

    Kate and Barb; first – congratulations on the new addition! Second, these bars are lovely. Just last night I was talking to some friends about getting my toffee on this season. Toffe + apples? Divine. 🙂

    [K]

  5. Delishhh says:

    These looks so good!

  6. Hi Kate!

    Congratulations on the new baby!!! These bars sound perfect for this time of year.. caramel, apple?? Sign me up!!

  7. Natalie says:

    I think I need to make these for our art sale next weekend. The three of us artists each bring a baked good for public consumption. 🙂 These look irresistible!

    Beautiful photography.

  8. I’m new to your blog…came over from Barb’s 🙂 So, congratulations on your baby, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll be cooking up once you’ve settled in with your little bundle! These bars look totally amazing for the meantime, can’t wait to try them!

  9. Yum! The bars look so good and I love the combo of apples and toffee!! Perfect little treat!

  10. Ally says:

    What an incredible recipe!
    Beautiful blog. So happy to have found it!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com

  11. Pingback: The Weekend Whisk ~ 6/15/2012 | FoodBabbles

Talk To Me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s