Friday, 27 March 2015

Applesauce Spice Bars

I have admittedly not been posting a lot of recipes lately.  I just haven't had the desire to try new things after having several recipes not pan out and be bloggable.  So, instead I've been enjoying reconnecting with some of my older recipes.  

The other day I looked into the fridge and found a large jar of unsweetened applesauce and suddenly had a hankering for a spice cake.  With raisins.  Yum!  This cake has a wonderful spiciness to it from cinnamon, nutmeg and a wee bit of cloves.  Add in some plump and juicy raisins and loads of applesauce to cut the fat and I think that this is a great, quick treat.  I also realize that the low-fat of the applesauce is negated by the homemade icing but, for the sake of argument, I'm going to ignore that fact and just enjoy this easy to whip up cake.  Enjoy!

3/4 cup raisins
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup apple, peeled and finely chopped (optional)

Icing Drizzle:
1 tsp butter or margarine, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking pan and set aside.

Place raising into a bowl or large measuring cup and pour boiling water over them.  Set aside.  Don't skip this step.  It really plumps up the raisins a lot.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and egg until smooth.  Stir in applesauce.  

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices; stir into the applesauce mixture and mix just until blended.  Drain raisins well.  Add raisins and apple (if using) to mixture and gently fold in.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

When the bars have cooled prepare the icing drizzle
Push icing sugar through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl to ensure that there are no lumps.  Even small ones won't look good.  Combine all of the icing ingredients and mix.  It should be a little on the thick side.  Scoop icing into a small Ziploc bag (or an icing bag), cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners and pipe the icing over the cooled bars.  Store leftover bars in an airtight container.

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