Applesauce Spice Bars

IMG_5813

The applesauce spice bars are a nice, cinnamon-y snack to have around.  I’m not sure why all the apple bits migrated to the center of the pan while baking, but regardless the bars taste fine.

 

Applesauce Spice Bars
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 32 bars

For bars:

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar OR 1 cup white sugar+dollop molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon applejack OR brandy OR dark rum (optional)
  • 1 baking apple (such as Rome or Cortland, but I used a Fuji and it worked)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
For glaze (optional):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream OR 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar OR 1/3 cup white sugar+dollop molasses
  • 2-2 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar OR light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with aluminum foil and butter or spray with cooking spray.  Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Peel, core, and finely dice or chop apple.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
  5. Add brown sugar OR white sugar+molasses and stir with a whisk until it is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
  6. Remove pan from heat.
  7. Still working in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing until they are well blended.
  8. Add applesauce, vanilla, and applejack/brandy/rum (if using), and whisk until ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in dry ingredients.  If you’re using all-purpose flour, mix only until they disappear.  If you’re using gluten-free flour, don’t worry about over-mixing.
  10. Mix in apple, raisins, and nuts (if using).
  11. Scrape batter into baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
  12. Bake 25-28 minutes if gluten free, 23-25 minutes otherwise.  The cake should just start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted in the center should come out clean.  For the gluten-free version, the central area of the top of the cake might still look moist, but that’s okay.
  13. Transfer baking pan to a rack and let cake cool.
  14. If desired, make the glaze: In a saucepan, combine cream OR milk, sugar, butter, and agave nectar OR corn syrup.  Put pan over medium heat and bring mixture to a boil, stirring or whisking frequently.  Reduce the heat so glaze simmers for 5 minutes, stirring and whisking frequently.  Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla, if using.
  15. If desired, glaze bars: Pour hot glaze over the bars in the pan, spreading it evenly over the top with a long metal icing spatula.  The glaze cools and begins to solidify relatively fast, so work quickly while it is still runny.  Let bars cool to room temperature before you cut them.
  16. Remove cake in aluminum foil from pan and careful peel foil down from edges.  Cut cake into 32 rectangles, each about 2 1/4″ x 1 1/2″.  Carefully lift off foil.
  17. The bars can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Advertisements

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

Since it’s the fall, here is one more pumpkin recipe, this time with apples.  The pumpkin and the apples help to hold the batter together, so these muffins work well gluten free.

Original recipe

 

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins
Adapted from All Recipes

Yield: 18-20 muffins

For the muffins:

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

For the streusel topping:

  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons butter

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin, and oil.
  3. Mix in 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix in 2 1/2 cups flour, stirring just to moisten. (If you’re using gluten-free flour, you don’t need to worry about over-mixing.)
  5. Fold in apples.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  (Depending on how full you fill the cups, you might end up with 20 muffins.)
  7. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and cinnamon.
  8. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  9. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes if gluten-free, 35-40 minutes if not.  A toothpick inserted into a muffin should come out clean.

Apple Spice Cake

IMG_3216

This cake turns out deliciously soft and moist, especially when you use gluten-free flour.  Unfortunately, the gluten-free version does fall apart more easily than the one with regular flour, but you can either patch the cake back together (pictured above), or slice it up and bring only the nicest pieces to a party.  Your friends won’t mind.

Baking Notes:

  • You can substitute a pear for an apple if necessary.
  • If you don’t have nutmeg, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice instead.
  • You can omit the raisins or cranberries if you don’t have or want to use them.

Original recipe

Apple Spice Cake
Adapted from All Recipes

  • 2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups white sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cranberries OR raisins

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a bundt pan.
  2. If using raisins, cover them with warm water, let soak for 10 minutes, and then drain.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Mix in spices, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Mix in flour.
  7. Stir in apples and cranberries OR strained raisins until well blended.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan.
  10. Once cool, shake pan to loosen cake. Turn onto serving plate.