Cinnamon-Scented Apple Bars are a twist on an old butter cake recipe. While baking, the apples exude their juices giving the bars a nice moist texture. You can give this recipe a cranberry twist by eliminating one apple and adding dried craisins. The result is a rich, sweet-tart bar. While these are best served warm, I like to chill all bars overnight to let them firm up a bit. You can gently warm in the oven or give them a few seconds in the microwave just before serving. If you prefer peeled apples, then by all means peel them before adding to the batter.
Cinnamon-Scented Apple Bars
Yield: 12-16 bars
Butter for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon apple brandy
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 large apples, cored and chopped (peeling is optional)
Freshly whipped cream or butter pecan ice cream for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with butter. Line the coated pan with parchment paper letting a little bit hang over the edges of two opposite sides. This helps lift them out of the pan.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt with an electric mixer. Blend in the melted butter, eggs, apple brandy, and buttermilk. Fold in the chopped apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden and pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool, lift the parchment paper to remove to a cutting board and cut into bars.
3. Serve warm with whipped cream or butter pecan ice cream.