Caramel Apple Cookie Bars

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Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. It means sweater-weather, chilly days, colorful trees, an abundance of soups, and all of my favorite flavors – including pumpkin and caramel apple. Fortunately, it seems to be a favorite with the rest of the family too, judging by the amount of fall-inspired treats we consume and the copious amounts of fall decorations that fill our house. Eric is my perfect partner in crime for making sure our fall coma lasts well into the early days of winter since his love of the season definitely rivals mine.

If you’ve been a regular reader for any length of time, I’m sure none of this comes as a surprise to you. My archives are definitely filled with recipes that feature fall flavors in all their glory. But since I never tire of them, I’m always excited to find new recipes and food items that I can incorporate into our fall meals. That’s why I was instantly smitten with the new fall-inspired flavors from Pillsbury® - Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Cookies, Caramel Apple Cake, Caramel Apple Cookies, Caramel Apple Frosting. Does it get any better than that? Endless yumminess!

I had so much fun thinking up different recipes that could be created with these fun products. My brainstorming list was over 2 1/2 pages! I finally settled on these Caramel Apple Cookie Bars and was not disappointed. I opted to create a buttery, shortbread style crust that would hold up well to lots of toppings while not overpowering any of the caramel-y, apple-y goodness.

Caramel Apple Cookie Bars

  • 1 box Pillsbury Caramel Apple Cookie Mix
  • 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tub Pillsbury Caramel Apple Frosting
  • 1 – 2 apples, depending on size
  • 1/2 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but pecans or peanuts would be equally delicious.)

1. Pour cake mix into a large bowl and cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and set in the middle. Cool for at least 20 minutes.

3. Spread 3/4 of the frosting on top of the cooled cookie base.

4. Cut the apple(s) into very thin slices and arrange in overlapping rows on top of the frosting.

5. Scoop remaining frosting into a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Carefully pour frosting evenly over the apple slices and then sprinkle on chopped nuts.

6. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Enjoy!

One thing to note about these bars is that they are very sweet, which is a good thing because a little goes a long way. So, this would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving dessert buffet or any other fall parties you throw or attend.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pillsbury. The recipe and opinions are my own. I received free product and monetary compensation for my role as a Pillsbury Celebration Starter Ambassador.

©/® The J.M. Smucker Company. Pillsbury is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license.

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Traditional New Orleans Cuisine

I have always been a huge fan of different cuisines from around the world. I love to explore all the different tastes and little nuances from different regions. One cuisine that’s always been at the top of my favorites list is Cajun food. Since the first time I tasted Jambalaya, and all those awesome layers of flavors of spices, I’ve been in love! And although I’ve yet to make it to New Orleans to indulge in some of those traditional  dishes on their home turf, I’ve try my hand at several re-creations in my own kitchen.

Some day we’ll make it there! But until then, I’ll continue to live vicariously through others, like with this infographic from the folks at Marriott. If I had a high-quality printer, I think I’d print it out and frame it to hang in my kitchen! (The colors would be a perfect complement with our newly painted walls too!)

Infographic courtesy of Marriott’s New Orleans Hotels

Are you a fan of Cajun food? If so, what is your favorite dish?

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From Garbage To Gourmet

Have you ever stopped to think about how much food goes to waste in your kitchen? Personally, I like to think we’re very good at using everything we can – whether it’s repurposing leftovers and adding vegetables scraps to a homemade stock. Yet there are still plenty of weeks (actually, probably most weeks, if I’m being honest) when we throw away way more than we should.

If you’re in the same boat, you should check out the new ebook from Carrie Isaac, From Garbage to Gourmet. It features over 80 recipes and creative ideas for using things like broccoli stalks, potato peels, carrot ends, herb stems, corn cobs, and more. Carrie definitely knows her stuff when it comes to saving money and living frugally!

The ebook is on sale for just $4.99 through tomorrow (Thursday 3/7) night. After that, the price goes up to $9.99. But regardless when you buy it, I bet you’ll save at least that much within the first few days of trying out Carrie’s ideas and recipes. You can find out more here.

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