The preamble to this recipe for applesauce spice bars says you shouldn't pass these bars up, and I probably would've if it didn't say that! I'm not too into apple-y desserts or things with raisins, but these bars were good. In addition to raisins, they have chopped pecans and diced apple. I loved the bits of diced apple in the final bar. And the caramel-y glaze was so yummy. AND the cake is really moist. Overall it's a really delicious little cake with interesting additions. Instead of cutting them into small bars, you could bigger pieces and serve it as dessert. Or eat it for breakfast. Or a snack. Mmm.
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Mom's Banana Apple Bread
Applesauce Oat-Bran Muffins
Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake
Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake
Applesauce Spice Bars
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
For the bars:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 baking apple, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and finely diced or chopped
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the glaze:
2 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
To make the bars:
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
In a medium pot, melted the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir with a whisk until it is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Still working in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing until well blended. Add the applesauce and vanilla, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is once again smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir int he dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear, then mix in the apple, raisins and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the bars just start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and let the cake cool while you make the glaze.
To make the glaze:
In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Adjust the heat so that the glaze simmers, and cook, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Turn the bars out onto a rack, remove the paper and invert the bars onto another rack, so they are right side up. Slide the parchment paper under the rack to serve as a drip catcher; grab a long metal icing spatula and pour the hot glaze over the bars, using the spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Let them cool to room temperature before cutting into 32 rectangles.