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Apple Toffee Blondies

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

Servings/Yield: 9x13-inch pan
  • For the blondies
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 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
    • cups powdered sugar
Method 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. Source: Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen    

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