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Applesauce Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

September 28, 2010

Posted by: Jenny

Friends, let us gather here to sing the praises of fall, that bountiful season which invites us to trade in our sweat for gentle breezes and our shorts for cozy sweaters, our glaring hues of lurid yellow and aquarazmatazz blue for rustic reds and burnt oranges, our shield-like sunglasses for the mauve twilight of an autumn afternoon.

Okay, so none of that semi-mythical beauty ever happens here in Mobile, Alabama, the land of two seasons: a nine-month-long summer and that reviled three month period where the temperature has the audacity to dip below 70 degrees.   A girl can dream and wax poetic, though.  She can also make applesauce bars brimming with the best baking spices of the season and pretend to live in a magical forest where autumn reigns eternal.  Also, there are hobbits and unicorns playing in wildflower fields, and to the west lies a secret grove where ninja dragons train.

Yeah, the rules in my magical forest are pretty fast and loose, but enchanting desserts always accompany goblets of butterbeer on the harvest table:

Applesauce Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

Bars:

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (Healthier alternative: ½ cup all-purpose flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour.       This is how I made mine. )
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

*If you must, you can substitute one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for all the spices above, but the flavor will be stronger with separate spices.

Frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese (I use Philadelphia Whipped cream cheese)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Bars:

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8X8 inch baking pan (brownie pan).

2) Combine the melted butter, brown sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in applesauce.

3)Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a separate bowl.  Stir the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture until well blended.  Spread evenly into greased pan.

4) Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Frosting:
1) Soften the cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl for 20-30 seconds.
2) Whisk together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add vanilla to taste.

I put the frosting on my bars (which were uncut and resembled a cake at this point) while it was still hot, which made it more of a glaze, almost like cinnamon bun frosting.  If you let everything cool before frosting, it will be more firm.  Refrigerate any leftovers due to the cream cheese frosting.

Recipe modified from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Applesauce-Bars

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