These Toffee Apple Bars with Caramel Frosting are so good they should not be saved solely for Fall; try them during the colder months for a great snack for football parties and more.
This post is being written as I sit struggling with the first ‘real’ week of fall. The season might have changed a few weeks ago, but this week? This is the first week of cooler temps, warm fuzzy socks and even this weekend…a dusting of snow in our town!When the world starts showing an excitement about fall, I have a hard time getting onboard.
As much as I welcome the cooler temps, I know that soon after I will be dealing with mountains of leaves I will have to gather and remove from the lawn and I can already anticipate the winter season that will soon follow.
As much as I love living in Colorado, the winters can carry some brutal reminders of Mother Nature in all her glory. I’ve never been a skier so there is no big excitement at the advent of snow; maybe less so since my kids are on their own and a snow day could carry with it the feeling of playing hookey with them; sledding, snowmen and soup were always on the agenda.
I know that eventually the change in season will mean a change in the foods we eat and that does start to excite me a bit more. I know I will miss fresh tomatoes, blueberries and strawberries almost too much to bear, but soon realize, again, how much I love sweet potatoes, soups and apples in all of their many varieties.
Especially apples with caramel; it really is one of those perfect combinations. A bit of tart, crisp apple, combined with smooth and buttery caramel and I might actually find myself in my version of fall Heaven!
Add some chopped nuts and my ‘stubborn about the change’ soul starts to give in to the inevitable. I’ve made caramel apples in years past and though I LOVE them, I wanted something with the flavor I love packed into a treat that included none of the trepidation or mess that was inherent with making caramel apples.
These Toffee Apple Bars with Caramel Frosting were a big hit and I can assure you that everyone in the family loves them. While I was busy writing, my sweet little dog Abbie has scarfed down the two you see in the photo. Yes, from a table I thought too high for her to reach…they are that kind of bar!
PIN ‘Toffee Apple Bars with Caramel Frosting’
For the bars
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup toffee bits
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup peeled, cored, chopped tart apple; about 1 1/2
For the Caramel Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
For the Topping
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarsely
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- Place a piece of parchment paper along the bottom of the pan, with some paper overhanging on the two short ends.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; scraping the dough as needed.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined; add the vanilla and beat into dough.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Fold in the chopped apples and toffee bits and spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake 25- 30 minutes, or until center is set and toothpick inserted into the center come out clean. Place on wire rack to cool completely before slicing or frosting.
- To make the frosting, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar, half and half and vanilla and bring the mixture to a boil; cook for one minutes then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
- Sift in the confectioners sugar until mixture is smooth; you can do this by hand but I was lazy and used my mixer.
- Spread evenly over bars; sprinkle with chopped nuts and let them set at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cutting into squares.