I wish there were a fancier name for these bars–perhaps Pommes Patisseries au Delicieuse would work–because they are so chewy, buttery, and crispy-edged, with little spangles of tart apple, that you may want to make them for guests, and calling them “Saucepan Apple Squares” might seem a little pedestrian!
This recipe comes from yet another yellowed clipping from my recipe file, from a September 1977 issue of Family Circle. (I have been asked, “You were alive in 1977?” and I have to say, yes, but a lot of people were. Millions, even.) The article was called “New Idea! Saucepan Cookies,”and because I have apples on hand, I immediately zeroed in on the Apple Squares recipe. They are so simple, easy, and good, for any time of the year, that I will turn to this recipe again.
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Cinnamon Sugar (recipe follows)
Grease an 8 x 8″ square metal pan, and line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make Cinnamon Sugar by combining 1/4 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Chop the apple (one small).
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Remove from heat, and add in sugars. Beat the egg with the vanilla, and add. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and add along with the chopped apple and walnuts. The batter will be stiff and lumpy. Spread into the prepared pan, and sprinkle evenly with one tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar. Bake for about thirty minutes, or until golden. (Makes 16 squares.)
Baking notes: I used one small apple, of a variety called Piñata, from Trader Joe’s. Even using a small apple, I had some slices left over. So you need a really small apple. You can pare it or not. You will have some Cinnamon Sugar left over, but perhaps it can be used for a nostalgic slice of cinnamon toast.
The weather continues to be cold, and I noticed this little chickadee posing with feathers fluffed. The square patterns are the shadow of the lace curtain at our back door. It’s a bit difficult to see the eye of the chickadee–the eye, the eye ring, and his feathers are all black, making him a photographic challenge! But his fluffy feathers are so cute. Peace to you. Fran