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One of the strangest things about being on the quarter system is that although the rest of the world has signed this tacit contract that says yes, the end of August is the perfect time for everyone to be back at school and we should all probably cooperate to coordinate this educational effort, over here we just do jazz hands or something until one day we look at the calendar again and summer is officially over and we’re all like, OK, yeah, now we can go back to school.
So now it’s three days into autumn, yesterday was the first day of school, the sun is still shining because #SoCal, and I spent all of Wednesday baking these awesome and easy-as-pecan-pie Pecan Pie M&M’s®-Loaded Applesauce Cake Bars in what can only be described as a desperate attempt to make it feel like autumn.
Because baking feels like autumn (even in 90 degree F weather). And apples feel like autumn. And you can bet your stretchy autumn holiday pants that gently spiced cinnamon & ginger scents wafting through your kitchen feels–and smells–like autumn!
Speaking of baking…
Sweepstakes like these just make me happy, and sharing them with all of you in order to enable your fall baking (yaaaaas enabling!) makes me extra happy. In case you haven’t heard, the #bakeinthefunsweepstakes are your chance to be awesome and win yourself a KitchenAid® stand mixer. I know, say WHAT.
Homemade dessert bars not included. Sorry 🙁
As usual, however, I’m ready to be the bearer of good news and say…these bars took me 25 minutes to make from start to finish. 25 minutes, guys. And that included 23 minutes of baking time sooo…you do the math!
Apart from straight-up baking twenty apple pies right now, you really can’t get more fall-inspired than with these bars. Let me break this down for you:
- Start with Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Cake Mix 15.25 oz. Add your 3 eggs per usual, but then add 1/2 a cup of Mott’s® Apple Sauce Original, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup water (with a dash of Snapple® Apple, if you’re feeling adventurous) and a heaping teaspoon lovely warm cinnamon.
- Jam that in the oven.
- With 3 minutes to spare, toss on some M&M’s® Pecan Pie (because it’s autumn), pop the cake back into the oven, and then remove pan to the freezer 180 seconds later and call it a day.
- You’re done!
- You’re also welcome 🙂
By the time these were done baking up, my 90-degree F kitchen was smelling more like autumn than ever, which meant that a) I could finally whip out my long unused leaf-shaped cookie cutter (yay), and b) I’m hopeful that our weather patterns will catch up with the rest of the western hemisphere’s soon enough. Of course, this means that I’m still spending a lot of my time out of the house and in public places with A/C doing things like–are you really surprised?–scouring grocery store aisles for all the baked goodies I’ll need to keep my kitchen toasty all holiday season long. Case in point, my latest Walmart aisle raid to make these bars:
Until the weather decides to cooperate, I’ll be making batches more of these (oh, and chomping down on those seasonal M&M’s®, because whaaaaat I love pecan pie!).
What’s your favorite part about fall? (Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes!)