Apple Blondies with Apple Cider Glaze

by Jillian
Soft and buttery blondies loaded with cinnamon-spiced apples, white chocolate chips and walnuts, and drizzled in the most glorious apple cider glaze!

Soft and buttery blondies loaded with cinnamon-spiced apples, white chocolate chips and walnuts, and drizzled in the most glorious apple cider glaze!

This week I’m turning 16…times 2. Kind of crazy to think of my age in those terms because it felt like it took so long to turn 16 the first time around, yet these last 16 years seem to have flown by! I don’t think I’ll ever be a “grown-up” though. Heck, you should’ve seen how ridiculously excited I got when I discovered that “Adventures of the Gummi Bears” was available on Disney+.

I think I’ll always be a kid at heart. That’s probably why I continue to make such sugar-laden desserts to this day. The nice thing about being “an adult” is that there’s no one to tell you that you can’t make a ginormous chocolate cake all for yourself. Or, that you can’t eat a platter of Triple Chocolate French Toast for breakfast because it’s “too much sugar” in the morning. Now THESE are the things I live for as an adult.

And as an adult, I’m proud to say that one of the things I’ve excelled at is turning something that was once healthy into something not so healthy. Like for example, the apple. At its core (no pun intended), it’s probably one of the healthiest snacks one could eat. However in my world, healthy is boring. Why not make that apple bigger and BETTER than ever by transforming it into something like this!

These Apple Blondies with Apple Cider Glaze have got to be the best way to get that serving of fruit into your diet. Sure, the apples are cooked in sugar, and they’re surrounded by buttery dough and white chocolate chips…but hey, I said it was the BEST way, not the healthiest way.

When it comes to apples in desserts, I’m not usually the biggest fan. The major turn-off for me is that hard, undercooked texture they tend to have when baked into things like cakes or bars. That’s the main reason why I avoid most apple recipes. This week, however, I decided to try and solve that undercooked issue by caramalizing the apples before folding them into the batter.

And it worked!! Not only did cooking the apples in a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon infuse them with extra sweetness, but it gave them the head start they needed to finish cooking while baking in the batter. The apples had that perfect apple pie filling texture–not too hard, yet not too mushy.

Along with the cinnamon-spiced apples, white chocolate chips are added. Because it’s not truly a blondie unless if you have some kind of chocolate incorporated into the batter. I also added some chopped walnuts for a little crunch.

The glaze is something I thought long and hard about. I wasn’t sure if it should be a caramel glaze, a maple glaze, or some other flavor that traditionally pairs well with apples. Then it hit me…

APPLE CIDER!

Sure it might seem like overkill to top an apple treat with more apple, but the apple cider glaze definitely brought out the flavor of the apples in the blondies. And with just two ingredients, the glaze is extremely easy to make. Just pour some powdered sugar into a bowl, add a little apple cider, and stir until smooth!

My apple cider of choice has always been Alpine Spiced Apple Cider. For this recipe, I just dissolved one of the instant packets in 1/2 cup of hot water, and added a few tablespoons to the glaze.

Drizzling the glaze on top of the blondies is the last and totally necessary step to taking this treat from good to absolutely stunning. Each bite is exploding with flavor thanks to the juicy cinnamon-spiced apples, crunchy walnuts, melty white chocolate chips, and heavenly apple cider glaze.

I’m pretty sure this is what they mean by “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Soft and buttery blondies loaded with cinnamon-spiced apples, white chocolate chips and walnuts, and drizzled in the most glorious apple cider glaze!

Apple Blondies with Apple Cider Glaze

Soft and buttery blondies loaded with cinnamon-spiced apples, white chocolate chips and walnuts, and drizzled in the most glorious apple cider glaze!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 24 Blondies

Ingredients
  

Caramelized Apples:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cup peeled and diced apples

Blondies:

  • 1 cup salted butter melted
  • 1 ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

Apple Cider Glaze:

  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2-5 Tablespoons apple cider*

Instructions
 

Caramelize the Apples:

  • In a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until bubbly, about 1 minute.
  • Add the diced apples. Stir and cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until softened, but still firm. Once cooked, transfer apples to a bowl to cool slightly.

Make the Blondies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Switch to a wooden spoon, add the flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the walnuts, white chocolate chips, and caramelized apples.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until edges are firm and golden and the top is set; do not overbake. Blondies firm up as they cool.

Make the Glaze:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of apple cider together until smooth. Add more apple cider to reach desired thinness/consistency.
  • Drizzle glaze over the cooled blondies. Slice into squares and enjoy!

Notes

*I dissolved one packet of Alpine Spice original instant apple cider in 1/2 cup of hot water. I used half the amount of water called for to achieve a stronger flavor.
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