Applesauce and Currants Bars

Great bars with caramel glaze, recipes is from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook Baking: From my home to yours, but I adapted it from Good Eats Blog.

For the Bars:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. applejack, brandy, or dark rum (optional)
1/2 baking apple, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and finely diced or chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the Glaze:
2  tbsp. milk
1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan, dust the inside of the pan with flour.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 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 egg, mixing until well blended. Add the applesauce, vanilla and applejack, if you’re using it, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is once again smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear, then mix in the apple, currants 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.

For glaze: in a small saucepan, whisk together the milk, sugar and butter. Put the man 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.

Pour the hot glaze over the bars, using the spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Let them cool to room temperature.

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