Sunday, November 10, 2013

Apple-Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Bars with Browned Butter Frosting

Last Fall, my pal Michaela over at An Affair From The Heart made the most fabulous Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars on the planet.  They taste like a really yummy homemade version of those frosted sugar cookies we are all tempted by in the Wal-Mart bakery.  It's a terrific go-to recipe and one that has lots of room for variation.  We've both made them on many occasions.  Halloween sprinkles, Christmas sprinkles.  Oklahoma Sooners sprinkles.  Michaela even made an Easter version and changed up the frosting to include a White Chocolate  Cream Cheese Frosting, decorated with M&Ms.  If you haven't visited Michaela's blog by now, you should because I've told you to a million times.  And also because her recipes are always awesome, her pictures are gorgeous and her stories are inspiring.  This Halloween was the first time EVER, that Little Devil was not a trick or treater, and Mr. DD and I stayed home and handed out candy.  We made a big pot of his Award Winning Chili, and took turns answering the door for the neighborhood kiddoes.  Inspired by Michaela, I decided to make a Fall version of the Sugar Cookie Bars to celebrate Halloween and the season.  I'm in love with everything browned butter right now, and wanted to try a browned butter frosting on the bars.  You will not be disappointed with this variation!  The frosting is to die for.  Give these bars a try.  And the standard version.  And the white chocolate cream cheese version.  Heck, try your own variation and let Michaela and I know about it.  We would love to hear from you!
A great variation on an old favorite!
The frosting=TO DIE FOR!

Apple-Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Bars with Browned Butter Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups diced, peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples

Browned Butter Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Bars:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 13x18-inch pan and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.  Gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well.  Fold in diced apples.  Spread into prepared pan and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly for 10 minutes, or until butter starts to turn golden brown in color, and has a nutty smell.  Watch carefully.  You want the butter a nice golden brown, not burned!  Remove butter from heat and place in a shallow bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until butter has turned solid again.

With mixer, beat butter until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, alternating with the milk.  Begin and end with powdered sugar.  (You may not need all of the milk, you just want the frosting to be a nice, spreadable consistency.)  Add vanilla.  Spread frosting over cooled bars. 

Prep Time:  Approximately 30 minutes (Plus time for butter to chill)
Cook Time:  Approximately 20 minutes

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