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Description

Buttery shortbread crust, warm spiced apples, and crunchy brown sugar streusel. These apple pie bars are simply to die for.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. To make the crust, place the softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the flour and cinnamon, and continue whisking until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to the baking pan.
  4. Using a tamper, clean hands, or the bottom of a heavy glass, press the dough into an even layer.
  5. Transfer the baking pan to the middle rack of the oven.
  6. Bake the crust for 15-18 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. While the crust bakes, prepare the streusel.
  7. Place the flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir with a fork until large crumbs form. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill while making the filling.
  8. Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into 1/4” thick slices, and cut the slices in half crosswise.
  9. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour, sugar, and spices over the apples. Toss until the apples are evenly coated.
  10. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Spoon the apples on top of the crust and arrange them into an even layer, gently pressing down. Sprinkle the apple layer evenly with the chilled streusel.
  11. Transfer the baking pan to the oven.
  12. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown and the apple juices bubble slightly at the edges.
  13. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Allow the bars to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then transfer them to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
  14. Lift the bars out from the pan by pulling up on the edges of the parchment paper. Slice into squares, and serve.
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