FYI this is a sponsored entry for the #BakeInTheFun MARS Harvest Contest. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. It’s actually my first sponsored post, so I’m a bit excited! As always, all opinions are mine. #CollectiveBias
So now that the summer is coming to a close, even though the heat is still bearing down on us (more than ever), I am getting SO ready for a change in seasons. As much as I LOVE summer, it’s still so so HOT here in south Alabama…
This is like the time I’m begging fall to come around! Rocky has just started school, so it really feels like our summer is over too! Its been a fun, relaxing summer filled with a lot of trips to the beach and about the same amount to the golf course.. on sunny days! We have plenty of crazy summer storms, so that’s when I get my kitchen time in. :)
Fall is right around the corner, so we’ve gotta put our traveling shoes on! We’re season ticket holders for Auburn football games, so we try to go to as many as we can. We had our first fantasy football draft last night too… I’m so ready for it to be here it’s not even funny!
When we aren’t traveling back and forth during football weekends, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking. We tend to stay home to watch the games.. and even better — have some good food to munch on while watching! We love cooking several appetizers to snack on throughout the day – and it’s always nice to end on a yummy dessert.
I found this #BakeIntheFun contest and felt it might let me get a little taste of fall EARLY (counting down until actual football season — which is what I consider FALL.) I found the M&M’s® Pecan Pie from Wal-Mart (see below) and brainstormed a dessert to make.
Who doesn’t love some good M&M’s® ?? This is a brand spankin’ new flavor: Pecan Pie! — Hello Southern fall flavors!
Fall.. Dessert… Pecans.. Caramel… Mmmm… Caramel and what??
Caramel and Sea Salt?
Caramel and Apples?
How about BOTH?
APPLES are always a good thing — I’m not a huge pumpkin fanatic like everyone on the internet. [Sorry.]
I DO love some yummy apple desserts though — see my Crumbly Apple Happiness recipe! MMMmmm…. This recipe follows along those lines, a pretty simple, flavorful dessert. Only these are apple crumbly CAKE bars..
Bottom layer: graham cracker crust, easy enough..
And for the filling, I wanted to make a flavorful apple-y inside. I combined Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® yellow cake mix with Mott’s® Applesauce. Applesauce is a viable substitute for either (in this case BOTH) egg and oil. The ratio I used was straight up 1 to 1 — one cup applesauce, one box cake mix. Easy right?? I mixed it all up, but ended up using about half of it for an 8×8-inch baking dish.
After it’s all whisked up and smooth, add the sliced apples in the mix. I sliced them pretty thin for this recipe. Coat them with the cake mix/applesauce mixture, and its ready to pour into the graham cracker crust. I topped with some more graham crackers, cinnamon, and some freshly grated nutmeg (yummmm), then baked it all in the oven. It took about 45 minutes to fully cook through.
After removing from the oven, I sprinkled on some crushed M&M’s® Pecan Pie. Once somewhat cooled, cut into squares. I served two bars (one on top of the other), and drizzled a HEALTHY amount of caramel, then sprinkled on some coarse sea salt to balance out the sweetness. The white drizzle is a Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® cream cheese icing I added that’s not completely necessary, but I wanted to make it pretty.. right?! (and who doesn’t love cream cheese icing??) (To drizzle icing, transfer the icing to a bowl, microwave until thin — about 20 seconds — then add to a small ziplock with a snipped corner).
And if that wasn’t enough, serve it with a nice scoop of ice cream or whipped cream! Because doesn’t that just make everything better?! Here’s a nice tutorial for y’all, let me know if you have any questions.
Please share this post if you like what you see! I’m trying to win a contest where your engagement is what counts! I’d appreciate it much :)
Now.. let’s hurry up football season — I’m more ready than ever before!!
I hunted for these M&M’s® in Wal-Mart and ended up finding them down the candy/seasonal aisle — one the opposite end of the traditional M&M’s®. (click here for M&M’s® coupon) Yippee!!
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pulse 10 crackers in a food processor until crumbled; add vanilla, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 2 T. brown sugar. Pulse until crumbly.
- Press crust into the bottom of a 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes in oven until crust has hardened.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together apple sauce, almond extract and cake mix. Add apples, and mix well. Pour over cooked graham crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Pulse remaining 6 crackers, add 2-3 tablespoons melted butter until crumbly. Pour over topping and grate fresh nutmeg over the top.
- Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes.
- Top with crushed M&M's® Pecan Pie, caramel, and sea salt.
- I also drizzled some Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® Cream Cheese Icing over the top, and added a scoop of ice cream. Serve warm.
UPDATE: I MADE IT TO THE TOP 5, Now I REALLY need your votes!! You can vote twice a day at THIS WEBSITE –> http://myconfectioncorner.com/ scroll down and Enter to win the KitchenAID mixer (who knows you just may!) Then you can tweet to vote, and SELECT the IMAGE to vote! Easy enough, right?! I appreciate it!! VOTE HERE!!
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