Along with simply heading outside to enjoy the sunshine, it's also time to give our culinary skills an outdoor workout by pulling out the grill and incorporating the sweet fruity flavor of summer into recipes whenever possible.
Which is why now is the perfect time to create all sorts of tasty recipes for your cookout menu with the rich flavor of Musselman's Apple Butter.
A gluten-free, dairy-free, highly concentrated form of applesauce, apple butter can be used individually as a yummy spread or in any number of dishes to give a rich apple zing. This unique, versatile ingredient is just the thing to reach for to celebrate summer!
While Musselman's offers so many great recipes to get you started (or to inspire you to create your own), once I looked over the three options that they had sent to me, I knew immediately which one I wanted to try first.
How in the world could I pass up the Caramel Apple Crumble Bars when they sounded so yummy?
After all, these bars looked extremely easy to make, very delicious to eat, and something that the whole family would enjoy munching on whether eating indoors or out. Let's get baking!
Caramel Apple Crumble Bars
1 box (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
½ c butter, softened
¾ c Musselman's Apple Butter
1 pkg (14 oz) vanilla caramels, unwrapped (I couldn't find vanilla caramels so I used traditional caramels instead)
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp Musselman's Apple Butter
⅔ c walnuts, chopped
⅔ c flaked coconut
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9" baking pan. Beat cake mix and ½ cup butter with electric mixer on low speed until mixture is crumbly. Spoon out 1 cup of the mixture into medium bowl; set aside. To remaining mixture, add ¾ cup apple butter and egg. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly into pan. Bake 20 minutes or until starting to brown and top is set.
Meanwhile, unwrap (great task for kids!) and place caramels, 2 Tbsp butter, and 3 Tbsp of apple butter in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on High for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth and melted.
Combine walnuts, coconut, and 2 Tbsp melted butter with reserved cake mix mixture. Mix until crumbly.
Pour caramel mixture evenly over partially baked crust. (If caramel has cooled and set, microwave 1 minute until it is very soft and pourable.) Break up and sprinkle topping evenly over caramel. Some of caramel will show through.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until topping is starting to brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
I have to admit that I was slightly skeptical when these bars came out of the oven and looked a bit like all of the ingredients were just mashed together.
But once I let them cool and cut them up, it only took one bite before I was hooked.
I'm telling you, I'm addicted!
I love the way that the rich apple flavor of Musselman's Apple Butter is throughout the entire bar and the way that the softer, more cake-like bottom complements the crunchier, chewy top.
Plus, with the layer of caramel in the middle, it just holds it all together perfectly! Simply add a tall glass of milk and just try to stop yourself from going back for seconds or thirds or...
When it comes time to prep for an outdoor cookout or simply to incorporate a mouthwatering product into your summer meals – whether cooking, baking, spread on bread or more – Musselman's Apple Butter can add an unexpected, flavorful kick to your favorite recipes, dips and sauces.
Be sure to visit Musselman's recipes to see all of their delicious summertime ideas that are sure to be crowd pleasers for the whole family and all of your guests. You can find a yummy bottle of Apple Butter in the jam/jelly aisle of your favorite grocery store, while also connecting with Musselman's on Facebook so that you'll never miss information, recipes, products, coupons and more.
Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be prepared to give their BBQ a tasty treat as well, because...
One lucky person will win a Musselman's Apple Butter Prize Pack*!
*Prize Pack includes (1) jar of Musselman's Apple Butter, (1) sauce mop for BBQing and a recipe card.
A big thank you to Musselman's for providing a prize pack for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.