apple pie bars

October 23, 2011

in Bars & Bites

To create the ultimate dessert trifecta, begin with a brown butter-brown sugar shortbread crust and layer it with caramelized Fuji apples before sprinkling with oatmeal topping. Apple pie bars are the delicious result! These bars feature an ideal topping to filling ratio, and a nutty shortbread base acts as a counterpoint to the sweet Fuji apples from a local orchard.

A note about the original recipe: Food and Wine‘s version called for an additional 2 cups of butter and 1 cup of sugar. I used less butter and browned the butter in the crust to add flavor. I also reduced the recipe’s total sugar and opted to use sweet Fuji apples instead of the tart Granny Smith variety. As a timesaver, make the crust and the topping up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Apple Pie Bars
Adapted from Food & Wine
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
8 cups Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into diamonds
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup water, as needed

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Line a 12 x 17-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. For the crust, cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup to chill in the freezer until solidified.

Beat solidified brown butter, vanilla, and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth. Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating on low speed just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan and chill until firm, about 30 minutes (or wrap well with plastic and chill overnight).

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crust until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool crust in pan. For the filling, heat two large skillets over medium heat and melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons brown sugar in each. Add 4 cups apples to each skillet and cook over high heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon and an 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg into each skillet. Cook until the apples are caramelized and liquid has evaporated, about 5 more minutes. If needed, add up to 1/2 cup water to each skillet to prevent scorching. Let cool; spread filling evenly over cooled crust.

For the topping, whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add vanilla and melted butter; toss mixture with a fork until it comes together in small clumps. Scatter crumbs evenly over apple filling and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until topping is golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars with a serrated knife. Arrange bars in a single layer in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or wrap individually in waxed paper and freeze for up to a month. Bring to room temperature or warm before serving.

Yield – 48 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 145
Carbs – 21

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1 Patricia Scarpin October 27, 2011

These are fabulous! I love baking with apples and these bars are just what I would love to eat right now. Or any other moment. ;D


2 Gina & Martin Maxwell October 28, 2011

Another winner!


3 Sandra And Kathy's Corners November 1, 2011

yum!! Those look wonderful!


4 Amy November 11, 2011

making these right now. Can’t wait to eat them tomorrow!


5 Laura Kasavan November 11, 2011

Love it! Let me know if you enjoyed them!


6 Amy November 14, 2011

I did, I did. they were a huge hit at our brunch. the kids wouldn’t eat them, but that was fine…more for the grownups!

7 Valerie August 17, 2012

I just saw these bars on Foodgawker and I didn’t even realize they were yours until I clicked on the link! :D

Definitely bookmarking this for the fall.


8 ally August 19, 2012

me oh my, how gorgeous! amazing ingredients & preparation!




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