Toffee Apple Brownie Bars are a tasty fall blond brownie recipe filled with sweet cinnamon apples and topped with pecans and toffee bits.
Gooey, warm fresh baked Dessert Bars like Apple Crumb Bars and Chocolate Brownies are the perfect cozy treats for chilly nights. These sweet toffee and pecan apple blondie brownies will warm you up and taste like fall goodness in every bite!
Whether it’s actual apple season, or you’re just craving those warm aromatic flavors of an Apple Pie, look no further! Toffee Apple Brownie Bars are the perfect sweet treat to satisfy your taste buds and are sure to become a popular recipe no matter what time of year.
Not only do these fall treats make the best dessert to bring along to a party or grab on the go, the depth of flavor is incredible. Think – warm blonde brownie infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, and tender baked apple pieces, topped with salty pecans and bits of toffee, creating the most delicious pop of caramel flavor. It’s all your favorite autumn flavors rolled into one gooey delicious bite.
Toffee Apple Brownie Bars are perfect for the holidays when you need a dessert to feed your guests but you don’t want to bake a whole apple pie. For an additional oomph, make an Apple Pie Sundae with Vanilla Ice Cream and a scoop of warm Apple Pie Filling. Skip holiday pies all together this year and instead do assorted pie-inspired treats like Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Pecan Pie Bark and of course, these Toffee Apple Brownie Bars.
What is the difference between Toffee, Butterscotch, and Caramel?
Toffee, butterscotch, and caramel are all sweet confections made primarily with sugar and butter, but they differ in their cooking processes and additional ingredients.
- Toffee is made by cooking sugar with butter until it reaches the hard crack stage and often contains added ingredients like nuts or chocolate. The result is a hard, brittle sweet that can be broken into pieces.
- Butterscotch is similar to toffee, but it is cooked to a lower temperature , and typically uses brown sugar instead of white sugar, giving it a deep, rich, and buttery flavor.
- Caramel, on the other hand, is made by heating sugar until it caramelizes, then adding butter and cream to create a smooth, soft, and sticky sweet. It has a rich, sweet, and slightly burnt flavor that’s often used in candies, sauces, and dessert toppings.
How to Make Toffee Apple Brownie Bars
- Prep Time: Preheat your oven and spray a baking dish with baking spray. You can also fully line the bottom of the dish with parchment paper.
- Mixing: In a large bowl whisk eggs, sugars, vanilla, melted butter, and chopped apples. In a separate bowl, mix your flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Topping: Gently pour the batter into the prepared dish and top by sprinkling chopped pecans and toffee bits evenly.
- Baking: Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean with moist crumbs. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before cutting and serving.
FAQs for Toffee Apple Brownie Bars
Blondies and brownies are both delicious dessert bars, but the primary difference between them lies in their flavor profiles. Brownies are chocolate-based, typically made with cocoa powder or melted chocolate, which gives them their signature deep, rich, chocolatey flavor. On the other hand, blondies are vanilla or butterscotch-based, often made with brown sugar and without any chocolate, resulting in a sweet, caramel-like flavor.
Fuji apples are a great choice because they’re sweet, juicy, and maintain their structure well during baking. However, you can also use other baking apples such as Granny Smith for a more tart flavor, or Honeycrisp and Braeburn for a balance of sweet and tart.
These bars are actually a type of blondie, not a brownie. The key difference lies in the use of chocolate: traditional brownies are made with chocolate or cocoa powder, while blondies, like these Toffee Apple Brownie Bars, do not contain chocolate and typically have a vanilla or brown sugar base. The term “brownie” is used here more to describe the bar-like form of the dessert, not the actual flavor.
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- Eggs: Eggs help to bind the ingredients together and give these bars an ultra rich, moist texture. You don’t want to over-mix your batter so make sure your eggs are room temperature so they whip up easier.
- Sugar: These bars use a blend of white sugar and brown sugar for flavor, moisture, and the perfect amount of sweetness. The molasses in the brown sugar adds extra moisture and brings out more of the caramel-like flavor in toffee bits.
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and gives these blondies a pleasant, aromatic warmth.
- Butter: Butter gives these Toffee Apple Brownies richness and moisture for a tender crumb and delicious buttery flavor. Melting the butter allows it to mix fully with the sugars and eggs.
- Apples: Fuji apples have a natural sweetness and tartness that balances the richness of the butter and sugar, while their moisture content contributes to the soft texture of the brownies.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon and nutmeg add warm, sweet, and spiced flavors to these blond brownies. They pair well with apples and enhance the fall-themed flavor of the bars.
- Pecans: Pecans add a crunchy texture to these soft, rich, and buttery brownies. For extra nutty flavor, toast the pecans beforehand!
- Toffee Bits: Toffee bits are crunchy pieces of toffee that have a sweet, buttery caramel flavor. You can use store bought toffee bits, or you can easily make Homemade Toffee Bits with butter, brown sugar, and salt.
Can Toffee Apple Brownie Bars be made ahead of time?
Yes, Toffee Apple Brownie Bars can be made ahead of time. Once baked, cooled, and cut, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you want to prepare them further in advance, they can be frozen for up to three months. Just thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
- Chocolate: Chocolate makes just about anything better, right? Add some chocolate chips on top of the bars before baking, or melt some semi sweet chocolate and drizzle on top after the bars have come out of the oven and slightly cooled.
- Caramel: Easily substitute the toffee bits for a caramel sauce drizzle. Simply create the recipe as follows, prepare the caramel sauce, and once the bars have slightly cooled, drizzle in a zig zag motion over the bars. Use a prepackaged ice cream caramel sauce or this easy Salted Caramel Sauce recipe.
- Apple: While the sweet-tart ratio of Fuji apples is delicious, there are many different kinds of apples you can substitute. To create a more tart bar, use Granny Smith or try a sweeter Honey Crisp Apple. You could also use a combination to create a variety of apple flavor.
- Fruit: Instead of the classic apple pie flavor, let other fruit pies be your inspiration! Make these bars with fresh peaches, blueberries, cherries or other tasty sweet fruit pieces. Just make sure you use fresh fruit, chop them into small pieces, and pat the fruit pieces dry so they don’t make your blondie batter too wet.
How to Store
- Serve: Cool bars for at least ten minutes before slicing into squares. Toffee Apple Brownie Bars can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to four days.
- Store: Once bars have cooled completely, cover with aluminum foil or store in an airtight container. Toffee Apple Brownie Bars will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: Place bars in an airtight freezer bag or sealed container and freeze for up to six months. Use a square of parchment paper in-between each bar so they don’t freeze together. Allow to thaw at room temperature before enjoying.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 2 fuji apples , peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup pecans , chopped
- 1 cup toffee bits
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with baking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and apples.
- In a second bowl sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ones until just combined.
- Pour into baking dish and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans and toffee bits.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.