I have a very cool and fulfilling job, but if Better Homes & Gardens ever wants me to work in their test kitchen, I’ll be there in a heartbeat. I’d love to bake all day, coming up with new and interesting recipes. And for me, BH&G recipes are always reliable – I’ve never had them go awry, and that’s something I really value as a baker. Nobody likes kitchen disasters, right?
Adapted from the original BH&G recipe in their 2017 Fall Baking magazine, these blondies take full advantage of seasonal flavors, using pure maple syrup and apples. I chose to enhance the recipe by adding 1/2 teaspoon of apple pie spice to the batter, and as I expected, they turned out incredibly well.
For the blondies
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 2 Fuji apples, peeled and diced (or your favorite baking apple)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice*
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
For the icing
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
*No apple pie spice? Make your own! For 1 teaspoon, combine 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon allspice with a dash of cloves.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking tin with foil, extending over the sides, and spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, apple pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add apples and cook on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, until apples are tender but not mushy. Pour apples into a bowl and set aside.
In the same saucepan, melt remaining butter. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar, sugar, and maple syrup, until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture and stir until smooth, then stir in apples. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the tin on a wire rack before icing.
To make icing, stir together powdered sugar, maple syrup, and melted butter; add enough milk to make an easily spreadable icing (I added 1 tablespoon). Pour over bars and spread evenly; allow to set before cutting. Cut into 24 squares; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.