Before the Fall
By Angela Denstad Stigeler
As we journey to the celestial end of summer this week, it’s time to gather in a new crop of apple recipes. This variation of apple bars doesn’t fall far from the tree, though it has a charm all its own. Derived from a couple of sources, this recipe combines basic brownie-making techniques with a simple base and the subtly sweet richness of white chocolate. Chock full of good crisp apple and walnut, these apple blondies make for an elegant ending to an autumn meal as the base for a dessert—top with ice cream and warm caramel. Or try serving some up as is, outdoors, accompanied by glasses of crisp cider to toast the last golden rays of summer. They’ll taste good all year, but never so good as before the last apple falls.
½ cup (1 stick) hot melted butter plus more for the dish
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
1 pound firm sweet apples (about 2 large), peeled, cored and cut into small dice to measure a scant 3 cups
Position an oven rack to the center and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 8-by-11-inch baking dish.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the melted butter, sugar and egg on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, apples and chopped chocolate, stirring by hand until well distributed. Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
Spread the batter in a pan and bake until golden brown and slightly firm, about 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then cut into squares.