NOW (November 5, 2010) – Life around our house has changed dramatically over the past few years, but no more than it has in the past year. I’ll be catching you up little by little in the coming weeks so as not to take away from the true purpose of this blog – the recipes! For now, the first bit of big news is that we moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan just over a month ago. We’re now living in a tiny of town of just over 3,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan. The closest stoplight is over 50 miles away. Our new home is 110 years old and we are beyond in love with ALL of it!
I’m excited to get back to working on new recipes after an entirely too long break. In the meantime, I’ll be reposting some of our very favorite recipes with some new updates thrown in. And since this time of year is my favorite time to be in the kitchen, there are lots of recipes due for some updating!
THEN (October 20, 2010) – Jill’s arrival threw off our fall schedule and our annual trip to the apple orchard had to get pushed back by a few weeks. Unfortunately, that meant that by the time we were ready to head out and tackle some apple picking as a family, the trees were bare. We made do with a trip to the orchard’s cider mill for a gallon of cider and 2 dozen donuts. We were also able to pick up a bag of already picked apples. Not bad for a consolation prize I suppose!
As I unloaded some of those apples to display on our counter, I thought of these bars. I decided I needed to make them ASAP. I’m so glad I did just that because these are one of our favorite fall snacks. The bars are just bursting with juicy bites of apples and all the flavors of fall. They are moist and light with just the right amount of sweetness and spice.
Apple Spice Bars
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 2 cup peeled apple cubes (green apples work best, but any kind is fine)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Powdered sugar for garnish, optional
- Beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except the apples and walnuts. Stir well and add to the mixing bowl. Beat just until combined.
- Combine the apples and walnuts and toss with the lemon juice.
- Fold the apple-walnut mixture into the mixing bowl. Spread into a greased 13×9 casserole dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into bars. Dust bars with powdered sugar, if desired.