|4.9028573 (6)||rate this recipe »|
This recipe comes to us from John Blair and Lucy Jane Webster of Toledo, Ohio, who swear by these rich, chewy bars. We prepared them first with apple butter and then, in order to be completely thorough, with pumpkin butter; honestly, it wasn't difficult to try them again! Finally, we went one step further and added a drizzle of cinnamon glaze. Terminal pleasure...
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
3/4 cup (5 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
1/2 cup (4 5/8 ounces) apple or pumpkin butter*
1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) cinnamon chips
1/2 cup (2 ounces) toasted chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
Cinnamon Glaze (optional)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) glazing sugar or confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water
*If you don't have apple butter, cook 4 to 5 large apples until soft, run them through a food mill (or press them through a strainer), then cook them over low heat until reduced to a thick, medium-brown paste. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. You may also use prepared applesauce reduced in the same way: begin with 2 cups of applesauce, add the spices, and cook it down until it's thick and dark brown.
*To make pumpkin butter, place one 15-ounce can of pumpkin in a small saucepan or microwave-safe dish. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice. Cook over low heat until the mixture is thick and dark brown. Or cook in the microwave on high heat for about 12 minutes -- turn the microwave on in 4-minute increments, stirring after each 4 minutes.
Bars: Beat together the butter and sugar until soft. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Add the apple or pumpkin butter, beating until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon chips and nuts. Stir these dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
Grease (or spray with non-stick pan spray) a 9-inch square pan. Spread the batter in the pan. Bake the bars in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: Due in part to varying amounts of liquid and sugar in each type of apple or pumpkin butter we tried, the baking time varied considerably. Also, using a dark-colored pan will decrease the baking time, while a light-colored pan will take longer.
Glaze: Stir together the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon, then add the water. Stir until smooth, adding a bit more water, if needed, to achieve a glaze that's about the consistency of heavy cream. Drizzle the glaze over the bars; let them rest for several hours for the glaze to firm up before cutting into squares. Yield: 16 bars.
Nutrition information per serving (1 bar, 55g): 227 cal, 11g fat, 2g protein, 10g complex carbohydrates, 22g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 31mg cholesterol, 93mg sodium, 105mg potassium, 67RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 27mg calcium, 40mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 1, Holiday 2000 issue.