Nonetheless, fall is a little different down here. The color of the leaves on the trees don't ever change (at least seasonally). I still wear shorts whenever I am not at work, and our weather change means we may not quite hit 100 degrees everyday (for a couple months anyway). While I really don't mind the heat, I am ready for the change. October weather here is beautiful, and I am looking forward to doing a little fall baking once my darn test is over!
I actually made these bars with my mother back in March when I was visiting. I've been saving the recipe/pictures since then because apple baking always reminds me of fall. The recipe comes from Shelly at Cookies & Cups. I haven't done any "official" fall baking yet this year, and in re-looking at these pictures, I am thinking I may have to make these again.
When we made these, Mom and I added 2 apples to use up the ones she had in the fridge. I wouldn't recommend this as there were just too many pieces of apple in the bars. The other thing that we did that I wouldn't recommend is that we prepared the frosting ahead of time. The brown sugar frosting sets quickly, and it is much easier to spread (and looks much nicer) if the bars are cool and ready to frost when you make it.
Despite the scrappy looking frosting, the bars were really good. If you hadn't guessed from the toffee and the frosting, these bars are definitely really rich! Nonetheless, they are a fun and delicious introduction to fall as we change seasons in just a few days. Enjoy!
Apple Toffee Blondes
From Cookies & Cups
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple (1 medium)
1/2 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick spray.
Cream 2/3 cup butter and 2 cups brown sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stirring until just combined. Fold in the apple pieces and toffee bits until well distributed. Spread in the baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the center appears set. Cool completely before frosting.
Once the bars are cool, melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan. Add the brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar with a whisk. Frost the bars immediately. Let the frosting set completely before cutting into bars.