Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Apple Spice Bars for the Freezer

spice bars5

Since I make a big feast for Thanksgiving, I like to get some things done ahead of time.

I make my cranberry relish a week before and I try and make 2 desserts that will freeze well, so I get that out of the way.

I find that apple cakes freeze beautifully, if wrapped and stored properly.

I don't frost anything or put the glaze on, I leave that for the day I am serving the cake. I wrap the cake tightly in wax paper, then another layer of aluminum foil, then in a large plastic freezer bag, taped up, so I am sure no air is getting inside.

Last year I froze the apple pecan tart for Thanksgiving, and just heated it before serving, so the pastry crust was nice and flaky.

These apple spice bars are like crack. Addictive and scary.

The recipe is from Cathy at Noble Pig. I made them with pecans instead of walnuts, otherwise stuck to the original recipe.

They are fantastic!!!!!!

Apple Spice Bars
(courtesy of Noble Pig):

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 eggs
2 cups golden brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, diced (about 2-3 depending on size)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Whisk together flour, baking powder, apple pie spice, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

With an electric mixer blend butter and brown sugar; about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and blend until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture and blend only until incorporated. Stir in apples, raisins and walnuts.

Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by either liberally coating it with cooking spray or lining it with parchment paper (as I always do). Spread apple mixture into prepared pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

If you lined your pan with parchment, let the bars cool for ten minutes and then lift out of the pan, otherwise wait until bars are completely cool before cutting them into squares before removing.

Sprinkle squares with powdered sugar.

*If you do not have apple pie spice you can make it by combining 1/4 cup ground cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon ground allspice, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional). Store in an air tight container.


Steve said...

Another winner, as usual. These will be on hand for the Thanksgiving days at our house. Steve

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I remember seeing these on Cathy's blog and thinking how good they looked. Your version looks great too and is definitely calling me.

VeggieGirl said...

Great thinking, planning ahead for the holidays!

Love those bars.

Michele said...

I love this idea! Great for busy holiday entertaining.

kat said...

Its so important top get the baking done ahead of time! I do the same thing with my Christmas Cookies

Pam said...

We do cook alike don't we.

The bars look simply delicious! I saw these bars on Cathy's site and bookmarked them. Yours look fantastic.

Randi Lynne said...

These are in the oven right now. The batter tasted pretty amazing. I can't wait for them to come out. I am going to visit a friend and surprise her with them! :)

Dana said...

I'm starting to panic a bit about Thanksgiving. But I can't even think about it until I get this catering gig out of the way on Friday. I'm thinking of making an apple dessert too.

Jen_from_NJ said...

Great idea to make ahead and freeze. I'm not sure that any apple dessert can beat the brown butter bliss - amazing!, but these look great!

LaDue & Crew said...

I'm gonna make these! I'm already stressing about Thanksgiving... relatives coming in from Florida, Hawaii, and now Boston- and NONE of them know how to cook- lucky me!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Now you got me thinking about making these, but I don't have any apple pie spice, I don't think I've seen any recently. Where did you get yours?

Lisa from DE said...

Stacey, these look delicious. I'm going to make these for my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving! Lisa

The Japanese Redneck said...

Looks good. Good idea to save time on Thanksgiving day.

Linda said...

I would crash thanksgiving just for these bars!! Are they the same ones that you bought to our new favorite haunt!!! Le Arbor Glen!

noble pig said...

They turned out beautiful, can't wait to hear how they froze!

Randi Lynne said...

I am making these for dessert tonight. I am using pears today instead of apples. I just realized I am doing an "all Stacey" meal tonite. I am doing your herb-mustard pork loin and the smashed red potatoes. :)

Anonymous said...

Great recipe!

I ended up playing around a bit with the ratio on the spices (no allspice at the time) and the recipe still was fantastic. I also used regular brown raisins the first go-round.

This recipe is definitely a keeper. It's become one of my favorites for apple-picking season.