Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, beautiful leaves, crisp apples and football! Both of my boys played football through high school. My youngest son has continued to play in college. He happens to attend a university near our home so I am fortunate to be able to attend his games. Frankly, I don’t miss a game – home or away – even when it means traveling. I am his #1 fan. He claims he can even hear me cheering from the stands. All of his home games start with a tailgating event for family and friends. We grill burgers and hot dogs, and everyone brings a dish to share. Typically there are over 200 of us gathered enjoying each other’s company and preparing for the big game. Let me just say, there is some good eating at these events. Not only is the food plentiful, it’s delicious.
Each week I try to come up with something unique to bring. When I tasted Frosted Apple Cinnamon Bars here in the Land O’Lakes Kitchens I knew what I was going to bring this Saturday. These dense, rich chewy bars are made with apples. I am lucky enough to live very close to a small family-owned apple orchard so, during the fall months I always have a variety of apples on hand. The only special purchases I have to make for this recipe are the cinnamon-flavored baking chips (you’ll find these next to the chocolate chips) and the cream cheese. A quick trip to the grocery store and I’m ready to go.
Turn your oven on to 350°F to preheat. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, salt and baking soda. Then, stir in the oats and set the mixture aside.
In a large bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar and sugar until creamy.
Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well mixed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour/oat mixture you set aside.
Beat until well mixed.
By hand, stir in the cinnamon chips and chopped apple. There is no need to peel your apple for this recipe.
Spread the batter into a greased 13x9-inch pan.
And it’s ready to go into the oven to bake for about 35 minutes. To check if it’s done a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean. Just be careful you don’t stick the toothpick into a cinnamon chip because it will have melted cinnamon chip all over it and you might think the bars aren’t done. I used a couple of toothpicks to make sure. The toothpick on the left is “clean” indicating the bars were done. The one on the right shows what it looks like if they aren’t quite done.
It’s important to let the bars cool completely before you frost them. It took mine about one hour to cool.
Once the bars are cool; mix up the yummy cream cheese frosting. Just combine all the frosting ingredients (powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla) and beat on low speed until smooth and creamy. Be careful or the powdered sugar will fly everywhere! You may want to cream the butter and cream cheese together first and slowly add the powdered sugar. If the frosting seems a little stiff, add just a little milk until it becomes a spreading consistency.
Now spread the frosting over the cooled bars.
A sprinkle of cinnamon on top is the perfect finishing touch!
These are pretty sweet so feel free to cut them into fairly small bars – besides then there are more to share!
Go Royals! (I just couldn’t resist the shameless plug for my son’s football team.:)) I’d love to hear about your favorite recipe to bring to tailgating events. And, don’t forget to rate and review this recipe. Frosted Apple Cinnamon Bars.
Come back on Monday when Liz shares her favorite recipe for lasagna.