Ah, fall. It makes me want to bake. Something about the cooler days, and the changing leaves, and the amazing apples and pumpkins everywhere – and possibly the 30 billion photos of amazing baked goods on Pinterest – but it makes me want to bake. Clearly.
Hasn’t been much else here on the blog lately. I obviously need to do some cooking as well. We’ll try to change it up next week. Maybe.
Apples are probably my favourite fruit. We go through them like crazy. Adhering to the apple a day policy is just fine by me. Especially in the fall. And definitely in these molasses apple bars. With brown butter glaze. Don’t skip the glaze, and don’t skip the browning the butter part. In either the bars or the glaze. It is so much better then regular old melted butter. It just is. Plus, once you start browning your butter, you won’t be able to stop. It’s that good. You’re welcome.
These molasses apple bars taste a little gingerbread-y, with the molasses and spices in them. They’re a variation on my caramel apple blondies, but with molasses and some ginger and cloves, and a glaze instead of the caramel. I think they’re even better then those blondies, and they were pretty fantastic!
It’s fall, and these bars are the perfect treat. Grab a cup of coffee and dig in. They’re amazing.
For the apple filling:
- 3 cups finely chopped apples (about 3 medium apples)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
For the bars:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups powdered (icing) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish (I use glass) and set aside.
- Prepare the apple filling. In a saucepan stir together the apples, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and corn starch. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples have softened and the filling has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In another small saucepan, brown the butter for the bars by heating the butter over medium heat, whisking constantly once it’s melted. It will melt, then get frothy, then clear up and get brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once you see the brown bits, remove it from the heat, continuing to whisk it for another minute or so. Pour the brown butter, making sure to get all the browned bits on the bottom, into a large bowl.
- Add the sugar and the molasses to the brown butter and whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and stir until just combined. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it around evenly. The batter will be very sticky.
- Spread the prepared apple filling over top of the batter in the pan, trying to get it right to the edges. Spread the remaining bar batter over top of the apples. Again, it’s very sticky so is a little tough to spread. When adding the batter on top of the apples, try to drizzle it all over rather than dumping it all in the middle so it’s easier to spread evenly.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the bars are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only damp crumbs on it, but no wet batter. Don’t over bake them. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool slightly.
- While the bars cool a bit, make the glaze. Brown the 1/4 cup of butter, the same way you did with the bar batter. Once it’s browned, remove it from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin the glaze and whisk until smooth. Spread the glaze over the warm bars and allow them to cool completely.
- Slice the bars into squares and serve. They keep well for up to 5 days in an airtight container, or can be frozen for 3 months.