Apple pickin’ season means sweet autumn treats

by Jennifer Ruple

It’s mid-September and that means it’s apple pickin’ time! Wooden crates are being filled with the region’s most delicious apples waiting to be taken home and eaten whole or transformed into something even more fabulous – apple sauce, apple fritters, apple pie, caramel apples. Yes, please!
Autumn Apple Bars are yet another way to enjoy the season’s bounty. Mix up a batch a day ahead of when you plan to serve them, and then wait. I know, it will be painfully difficult. The thing is, these apple bars get even more moist the next day and the day after that… Oh, who am I kidding?

Autumn Apple Bars
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups chopped, unpeeled apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick baking spray and then flour.
In a large bowl, combine eggs and salt. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until frothy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and oil; beat until blended.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture; beat just until blended.
Fold in apples, nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan; spread evenly.
Bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned and set.
In a medium bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, and enough milk to achieve a spreadable consistency. Drizzle over cake. When frosting has set, cut cake into bars.
(Recipe adapted from Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate)

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