10.3.14 Apple Butter Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
It’s that time of year again. It’s not summer, it’s not winter, and it’s not spring. It’s fall, which means right about now, I’m going a little insane in the apple department. Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I’ve eaten a semi-ridiculous amount of apples, washed down by an even slightly more ridiculous amount of apple cider. I’ve also made apple chutney, apple sauce, apple cider doughnuts, apple cranberry cake, apple cider caramel, and more apple butter than I know what to do with. (And there are still apples left over, sigh.)
You are probably also aware that we are not only smack-dab in the middle of apple season, but pumpkin season as well. Which means that right around now, I get a craving for those super awesome pumpkin bars. You know, the ones that are actually a cake masquerading as a snack? Those moist, spicy, pumpkin cake squares topped with cream cheese frosting? Yeah those. But, as fate would have it, as I geared up for some pumpkin bar cookery, I found that somehow I had neglected to pick up pumpkin last time I was at the store. Not wanting to make yet another store run, it seemed that my pumpkin bars plan had been foiled. Until I realized that while my pantry was definitely lacking in the pumpkin department, I did have an obscene amount of freshly made apple butter lying around. You see where this is going.
Before I knew it, I had whipped up a batch of apple butter bars. Extra moist, spiced with cardamom and nutmeg, and, if that wasn’t enough, maple cream cheese frosting to boot. Solving two problems to create an amazing treat? Pretty fantastic in my book.
Apple Butter Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
makes about 16 bars
- 1 cup apple butter
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 square baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the apple butter, eggs, vegetable oil, and both sugars until well blended.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, salt and nutmeg. Once combined, add to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees until top begins to brown, and a toothpick inserted into the bars comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Let bars cool completely before frosting.
5. To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar bit by bit until a smooth frosting consistency is achieved. Spread frosting atop bars, cut into squares and devour immediately.