The holiday season has come and gone once again, and “Frosty the Snowman” has been replaced with Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers commercials on tv. Ugh, so depressing. Makes a person just want to eat more to overcome the sadness of the holidays being over.
In an effort to get back on the wagon, lots of fruits and vegetables have appeared at our house. Granted my mom came to stay and she loves fresh fruit, but I like to think that she was a good influence. So, we have a lot of fresh apples around. Now, I like apples. Actually, I like granny smith apples, and apples that have been baked in the oven with cinnamon and sugar and butter. I know, not exactly a combination of healthy alternatives.
In my crazy efficiency, I was putting cinnamon apple oatmeal muffins together for breakfast this week when I got a little chop-happy. Which led me to having about a cup of leftover chopped apples. I knew I had to get them baked into something quickly before they got all brown and yuck. So, thanks to Google, I discovered the following recipe.
Original recipe is here: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/peanut-butter-apple-bars/
(I really need to spend more time on that website)
What You Need
For the bars:
½ cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup diced and peeled apples (I used Honeycrisp)
For the peanut butter glaze:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
And Here’s What You Do
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter until creamy and combined. Set mixture aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
4. Add the eggs to the peanut butter mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir until batter is smooth. Carefully fold in the apples.
5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Remove bars from oven and place them on a wire rack to cool.
6. While the bars are cooling, make the peanut butter glaze. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars.
What I Did
I think I turned the heat up a little too much on the brown sugar and butter because it had started to stick to the bottom of the pan and it was slightly grainy. After mixing in the peanut butter, the wet ingredients never really got smooth until after the eggs were added
I was a little concerned that the batter was so dry. It was a little harder to press smoothly into the pan, but I was hoping that the fresh apples would add a lot of moisture to the bars. Luckily, I was right!
I added a little more milk to the glaze since I like it a little thinner. My experience with glaze tends to run on the thick and gloppy side, and I can never make it pretty when it is that thick.
Scott really likes these little babies. He has a sweet tooth, but he likes that these bars aren’t terribly sweet.
I like them because I can fool myself into thinking that they are halfway healthy because of the apples.
Until next time,
Peace, love, and cupcakes