Y'all know how I feel about whole grains. They're the building blocks to better bowels, blood sugar, and body chemistry. However, you also know that whole grains are only one part of the body/bulge-blood sugar battle. These tasty bars are indeed a great source of whole grains, but I'd be lying to you if I tried to tell you that they're low fat. But you know what? When push comes to shove, and when you're craving something rich and decadent, these bars will satisfy that itch, without carrying you over to the bad-nutrition territory. Instead of caving into a processed candy bar or a boxed mix off the grocer's shelf, try these.
(geeze... how preachy did that sound?)
Anyway.. when I found this recipe in the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book, I knew it was right up my alley. However, it wasn't until I Googled "Cinnamon Apple Bars with Peanut Butter Glaze" that I came up with the final recipe. Joe, over at Culinary in the Country, had already adapted the recipe in the way that I'd wanted it to be. I actually ended up following his recipe exactly, except for omitting the ground ginger (I had none.)
Cinnamon Apple Bars with Peanut Butter Glaze (my version)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 large egg
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup old fashioned oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor
1 cup cinnamon chips (I noticed some people substitute chocolate chips for these)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat in the applesauce, vanilla, baking powder, salt and spices. The mixture will looked curdled... that's OK.
Add the egg, beating until smooth and scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Stir in the flour, oats and chips, mixing thoroughly. Spoon the batter in the prepared pan.
Bake the bars until the center is moist but not liquid, 35-40 mins. Remove from oven and let cool completely before spreading with glaze.
The Glaze (again)
Place the peanut butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave until the peanut butter softens. Stir the mixture until smooth, and spread it on the cooked bars.
you'll love these. we did.
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