As a long distance runner, I am not one to shy away from carbs. Ever. And I don't discriminate - pasta, bread, pizza, rice. They're all my favorites. But my favorite type of carbs? DESSERT!
Yesterday morning, I ran my seventh half marathon - the Columbus Half Marathon
. After a long season of training, it felt great to get out there and challenge myself over the 13.1 mile course. After sufficiently exhausting myself during the race, I knew the perfect reward would be to bake something sweet. And then eat entirely way too much of it, of course.
Apples are abundantly in season right now, so I knew these Apple Toffee Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting
would be wonderful. A chewy, buttery bar cookie loaded with fresh apples and toffee bits. The rich brown sugar frosting complements the gooey bars just right. I picked up some apples at Rays from Bauman Orchards (in Ohio!) and got to work.
Start with the blondies. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl, and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar. I used my stand mixer, but a hand mixer will certainly work. (Or some good ole' arm power!) Add the eggs, vanilla, and flour mixture.
Fold in the chopped apples and toffee bits. (Note
: Make sure you get plain
toffee bits. The chocolate ones might be a lil' strange. Unless chocolate-toffee-apple sounds good to you, then by all means, go for it!)
Bake at 350*F for about 25-35 minutes.
While the blondies are cooling, make the frosting. Melt a stick of butter, then add a cup of packed brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla. Bring to a boil, then set aside to cool. Once the mixture has reached room temperature, whisk in the powdered sugar.
Top the blondies with the brown sugar frosting, and you've got one heck-of-a dessert! These bars are the epitome of fall - gooey, rich, and full of cinnamon-spice. Make them while apples are in season!
Apple Toffee Blondies
- For the blondies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅔ cup butter, softened
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup peeled, cored, & chopped aple, (1 large or 2 small)
- ½ cup toffee bits
- For the brown sugar frosting
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- pinch salt
- dash vanilla extract
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan and/or line with foil or parchment paper.
For the blondies, in a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter together with brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Fold in chopped apple and toffee bits.
Spread into prepared pan and bake in 350*F oven 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set on a rack to cool before frosting.
For the frosting, melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil; then set aside to cool. Once mixture has reached room temperature, whisk in powdered sugar. Spread frosting over cooled blondies.
Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen