Saturday, October 10, 2015

Caramel Apple Bars

The world of pumpkin spice has gone insane!    

I was in Target this week just counting all the different things that have been spiced...whether they need to be or not.   Coffee,  creamers, baking mixes,  M&M's,  candy corn, Oreo's, nuts, you name it, it's been PS'd.

My sister is so annoyed by the PS'ing of everything that her Facebook wall has been taken over by her friends posting every random PS thing they find.

They find a lot.

Apples are different.     They take the stage with pumpkin in the fall, but in reality, apple treats are delicious year round and don't need to be defined by a season.  And with PS being a pushy diva, poor apples aren't center stage, but are reduced to singing in the chorus.

I'm not having that.   Not.  At.  All.

So here, we give the apple it's time in the sun.   Shine, apple, shine.

What You Need

For the bars: 
1 stick salted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ cup chopped pecans, plus ¼ cup whole pecans (for the top)
2 large apples, I used Braeburn, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes ( strict measuring was going on here

For the caramel topping:
½ cup of Kraft caramel baking bits
1 teaspoon heavy cream

What You Do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I used a little cooking spray on my 9x9 silicone baking pan.   If you're using a metal or glass pan, I would recommend lining with foil and then greasing it.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl beat together butter, sugar and egg with a hand mixer until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add chopped pecans and apples, and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined.

Spread batter in pan.  In a small microwave safe bowl, combine caramel baking bits and heavy cream.  Microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir.   Heat for another 30 seconds if necessary.

Drizzle the caramel over the batter and then strategically place your pecans wherever you want them to go.    

Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then cut into bars.   These are also great right out of the oven while still warm, they will just be a little messier when you cut into them.   Nothing wrong with that, right?

Recipe Source:   Foodie Crush

Meanwhile in Travel

When I went to Colorado on vacation last month, I finally hiked the Hanging Lake Trail.

If you want to know more about this hike, read more here.   

Whether you are in the apple or pumpkin camp, I hope you're getting as much as your heart desires this fall!

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