This right here is fall in a pan.
You guys know how I feel about fall baking [and honestly, just fall in general] because I gushed about it in this post a few days ago. But really, it's almost the end of September so it's apple time, it's cinnamon time, it's pumpkin time, it's crumble/strudel/crumb/streusel time. It's the time of all times. And I'm ready to bake with all of that stuff. Okay, I've been ready for a little while now, but since Saturday was the first official day of fall, I think it's appropriate that I start breaking out all the fall recipes.
For the most part, my desserts contain copious amounts of cheesecake and/or cookie dough and/or peanut butter, are doused in chocolate and are decorated with sprinkles. But, I have decided to take a bit of a break from that kind of thing and get seasonal. Obviously, I had to ease myself into this massive change in my life, so I decided to start with something apple-y. Apples are easy and fun and I like them. Pumpkin, on the other hand, kind of scares me. I pretty much detest pumpkin pie and for some reason, I associate anything pumpkin-flavored with pumpkin pie. Up until now, I've avoided it.
But! Since this is a season of change [for me at least, apparently], I'm making it a personal goal to try at least a few pumpkin recipes. And of course I'll share them on here, so you can all see.
Let's get back to the apples though. I developed this recipe for Apple Pie Crumb Bars over the weekend and I'm pretty excited about it [because, you know, food really excites me]. If I'm honest, I'm not quite sure why I called these apple pie bars because I don't like apple pie much either [I think it's the crust ... it just gets me]. Apple pie just sounds like autumn though and I'm trying to be as seasonal as possible, so let's go with it.
These bars have three different elements, but they're super easy and actually come together quite quickly. First, there's a layer of oatmeal cookie dough. You can't wrong with cookie dough. Next is a layer of chopped apples tossed with cinnamon/sugar. And it's all topped of with a crumb topping. Can you just taste the texture? Ahhhhhhh, these were so chewy, crunchy and crumbly with the most perfect flavor and as an added bonus, your kitchen will smell absolutely amazing while these are in the oven.
I was *this close* to drizzling white chocolate over these. But I'll save that for something else I'm planning.
Apple Pie Crumb Bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 hour Yield: 12-16 bars
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
1-1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 11" x 8" pan; set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Stir in pudding mix, oats, flour, baking soda and salt and beat just until combined. Spread the dough into prepared pan and set aside while preparing filling and topping.
Core and roughly chop apples (peeling them is optional - I didn't) and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon then toss to coat completely. Pour the apple mixture on top of the cookie dough and spread out in an even layer.
In another small bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over top and whisk just until moistened. Crumble this mixture on top of the apples in an even layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.
I'm guessing these would be even more fabulous with a scoop of vanilla ice cream...