Fresh Apple Cake

 Serves: 12-15    |     Prep: 25 min     |     Cook: 45 min     |     Ready: 2 hrs


1  1/2 c. pecans, chopped
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2  1/2 lb. Granny Smith Apples (3-4
     large) peeled & cut into 1/4 inch
     thick bites



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Stir together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract  in a large bowl until blended.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in apples and 1 c. pecans. (Batter will be very thick, similar to a cookie dough.) Spread batter into a lightly greased 13″ x 9″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 45 min.) Spread your choice of frosting over top of cake; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. pecans.

Browned Butter Frosting

Makes: 3 1/2 c. | Prep: 16 min. | Total time: 1 hr. 16 min
1 c. butter
1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 6-8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat immediately and pour butter into a small bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat mixture at low speed until well blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

This cake does keep well and tastes even better after a few days if tightly covered and kept in the refrigerator.