I don’t know about you, but I am completely confused by how the whole world seems to go gaga over pumpkin when leaves start to turn. Fall always makes me think of apples: apple picking, apple crisp, apple cider and, my personal favorite, apple butter. There’s just something so delectable about this savory spread that pairs well with so many different foods, but baked goods are where it reigns supreme. Put in a little time and these simple apple butter bars, adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe, will hit the spot on any crisp fall day.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: About 2 hours
Servings: 16 bars
1 box Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cold butter, plus 2 tablespoons, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup oats
1 cup apple butter
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cake mix and vanilla.
3. Cut the cold butter into small squares and add to the cake mix.
4. Cut the butter into the cake mixture, either with a pastry blender or by cutting with two knives in opposite directions.
(This…kind of takes a while. Put on some good music and get into it!) Keep cutting in the butter until the mix is crumbly, like this.
5. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.
6. Press the larger portion of cake mixture into an undressed 8 inch square pan and bake for 15 minutes.
7. While the crust bakes, stir the walnuts, oats and melted butter into the remaining cup of cake mixture.
8. Give the crust a minute to cool, then spread the apple butter on in a thin, even layer.
9. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the apple butter, pressing gently.
10. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until set.
11. Set on a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.
12. Cut into 4×4 rows and enjoy!