Autumn or Fall, whatever you call it, is my very favorite of seasons.
It’s when the air turns crisp, mornings become cool, days become mild, the light begins to change, and the verdant landscape bursts into a spectrum of golds and reds. It’s the perfect season for long walks, hot beverages, sweaters and hoodies, tights and boots, cozy socks and new slippers, and warm meals full of comfort.
This is my first fall in Michigan and already I can feel how different it is here. Anyone familiar with northern Nevada will tell you that there are only 2 real seasons–Summer and Winter. The changing leaves never stick around, gusty winds carry them away with a quickness. If you’re lucky maybe a few spring and fall days will be scattered in between, but the weather there is fickle and tends toward extremes.
Fall here is the real deal.
Sean and I took the dogs for a walk this yesterday on the river trail and I couldn’t help but snap photo after photo. There was still a lot of green, but even this morning the lanscape has changed. Fallen leaves litter our yard and our trees are a mottled landscape of green and yellows, oranges and reds.
All of this change in a single day.
This is the season when baking is at it’s best–days when the oven on for hours doesn’t feel oppressive, but welcome.
I baked something with apples, that quintessentially autumn ingredient, to celebrate this favorite season.
Never a big fan of apple pie, I opted to go with these apple crumble bars. They were a suggestion from my blogger friend Megan, who has become a real deal friend since my move here to Michigan. We share a lot of likes (and dislikes!), fall included. We’ve both been dreaming of cozy, fall baking for a better part of the summer and now it’s finally here!
For fall, for friends, and for baking!
Apple-Pecan Crumble Bars
Adapted from Take A Megabite
I added more spice, some candied ginger, and pecans to make these bars my own. I just like things extra spicey and a little nutty.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh, grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
3 tablespoons chopped, candied ginger
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 apples–cored, peeled, and diced
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with foil or parchment and grease well. Set aside.
In a large bowl toss together flour, salt, spices, sugars, nuts, and candied ginger. Using your fingers rub butter into dry mixture until the crumb mixture clumps together when pressed. Divide the crumb mixture in half. Mix half of the mixture with the apples. Divide the remaining crumbs and press half into the bottom of the pan. Bake the base for 10 minutes.
Allow base to cool slightly and top with apple/crumb mixture. Top apples with remaining crumbs and press down. Bake for another 45 minutes. When it is done the tope will be golden brown and crumbly. Cool pan on a wire rack and cut into squares.