Tuesdays with Dorie: Applesauce Spice Bars
It was finally my turn to pick a recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie after joining way back in April of 2008. I had a hard time narrowing down what my choice would be in the months leading up and had about three I kept going back and forth between. However, when the time came, I decided on these Applesauce Spice Bars with no hesitation. I know they’ve always made me look twice whenever browsing through the book.
Fall Season might officially be about a month away according to the calendar, but these bars will definitely get you in the Fall mood.
They are so very easy to make. You only need a mixing bowl, a sauce pan and basic kitchen utensils. I love recipes like this… perfect for the times when you still want to bake something delicious but don’t have time for something complex and then cleaning up tons of dishes afterwards.
Buttery Brown Sugary glaze…!
They smelled wonderful while baking, the smell reminded me so much of my Grandmother’s house. The bars turned out moist and nicely spiced, chock full of apples, nuts and raisins and covered in a thin layer of buttery brown sugar glaze. Yes! I’m sure if left overnight, the flavors in the bars would have had more time to meld and the spices would become more pronounced – at least, that’s been my experiences with most of Dorie’s spiced recipes. However, these never made it to the second day taste test… the boyfriend and I ate the whole 13×9 pan in one night. Don’t tell anyone.
I liked these bars both plain and with the glaze. I really liked them with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream though.
I’m very happy with my choice, it was a total success around here. Thanks to everyone who baked along with me this week. I hope all of you that tried the Applesauce Spice Bars them were pleased. Big shout out to Laurie for creating the Tuesdays with Dorie group and being such a wonderful leader for all of the TWD bakers. And, of course, thanks to Dorie Greenspan for writing the masterpiece that is Baking: From my home to yours.
Next week, I hope to get back in the swing of things and get back to regular baking. Especially since Linda of Tender Crumb has selected Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie on pages 337-339. I had never missed a TWD since April 2008 but since getting our new puppy last month it’s like every previous routine I had flew right out the window! Things are calming down a bit now though and I’m not on a 24/7 puppy watch anymore – more like a 23.5/7 puppy watch now.
Dorie Greenspan’s Applesauce Spice Bars
Pages 117-118, Baking: From my home to yours
For the Bars
1-1/4 cups 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
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon applejack, brandy or dark rum (optional)
1 baking apple, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and finely diced or chopped
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Glaze
2-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13 inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour. Tap out the excess flour and put the pan on a baking sheet.
THE BARS: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir with a whisk until it is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Still working in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing until they are well blended. Add the applesauce, vanilla and applejack, if you’re using it, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is once again smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear, then mix in the apple, raisins and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the cake just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and let the cake cool while you make the glaze.
THE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, whisking frequently. Adjust the heat so that the glaze simmers, and cook, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Turn the bars out onto a rack, remove the paper and invert the bars onto another rack, so they are right side up. Slide the parchment paper under the rack to serve as a drip catcher, grab a long metal icing spatula and pour the hot glaze over the bars, using the spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.
Cut into 32 rectangles, each about 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.
Storing: In a covered container, the bars will keep for about 3 days at room temperature. Because of the glaze, they cannot be frozen.