Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall is in the Air...So are Apple and Caramel Walnut Bars

autumn wreath door
Today is the first day since fall started that it actually feels like fall.  The first two days of autumn were some of the hottest days of the year.  It was a little hard to think of moving into fall when it felt like we should be heading out to the lake instead, but today made it easier to move into full Autumn mode.

I love the weekends.  It's a time to catch up on projects that we've been meaning to get to and for our family to hang out together.  Today I took our fall and Halloween boxes out of storage.  I have FOUR boxes of crap..er, I mean, fall and Halloween decorations.

So what do I do after I take those boxes out?

I go to the craft store and buy more stuff! Sheesh. The wreath I had for the last few years broke apart last fall season, so I decided to make a new one this year and needed a couple things for that.  Then I saw a festive looking candelabra on sale for $11.99 that I HAD to have...

Sayyy, I'm starting to figure out how I have four boxes of fall and Halloween stuff.

I was inspired to make a fall wreath after seeing a recent post about DIY fall wreaths on a fabulous blog that I follow, Addicted2Decorating. There are 30 fall wreath ideas and pictures on this post, and maybe they'll inspire you to make one of your own too.

I made a simple wreath today using a grapevine wreath, some ribbon, a fall garland that I added on top of that and tucked in amongst the grapevine, and 3 silk chrysanthemum flowers that I hot glued onto the wreath.  I already had the garland, but right now Michael's has tons of fall decor and garland, and much of it at 40-50% off.  I also had the monogram "B" already which I grabbed from inside the house and tied on to the wreath with more of that ribbon.  This little DIY project cost me about $9 total.  Not bad!
autumn fall wreath

I also made Apple and Caramel Walnut Bars for my guys today.  I try to make these at least a couple times a year in the fall and around Christmas time.  They are so apple-y good.  And they smell so great!  It's starting to feel like fall now.

Now if only someone could unpack the rest of these boxes for me, or better yet, get rid of half of them, I'd be good to go.
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Apple and Caramel Walnut Bars
Printable version

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
4 medium granny smith apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 - 14 oz. bag of caramels, unwrapped
1/2 of a 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix brown sugar and butter together.  Stir in 1 3/4 cup flour, the oats, baking soda, and salt.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture and press the remainder in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan to form the bottom crust.  Bake 15 minutes.  Add walnuts to the reserved crumb mixture.  In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt caramels and sweetened condensed milk, stirring regularly until smooth.  Toss apples with 3 T. flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Spread evenly over cooked crust, then pour melted caramel mixture evenly over apples.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb/walnut mixture.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set.

Cut while still warm and serve.  It's really yummy with whip cream or ice cream on top.  Makes 16-24 bars depending on how big you like to cut your servings.

Want to see what I wrote last year about the fall season?  Click to read Summer Winding Down from September 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! That wreath could be Bloomquist wreath too! ill be over later to pick it up ;)

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