Monday, April 14, 2014

Apple Pie Bars
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1/3C sugar
1-1/2C flour
¼ tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4C light brown sugar
6 Granny Smith apples (about 3 lb.), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2C water, as necessary

1/3C toasted walnuts
1-1/2C quick cooking oats
1C flour
3/4C light brown sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, chilled

vanilla ice cream (optional)

For the crust:  Preheat oven to 375F.  Cream butter and sugar in a food processor.  Pulse in the flour and salt to form a soft dough.  Press the dough into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.  Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.  Let cool on a rack.

For the filling:  Melt the butter and the brown sugar in a sauté pan, add the apples and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally,
until softened.  Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg and cook until the apples are caramelized and very tender and the liquid has evaporated.  Add the water and let cool.

For the topping:  Mix the oats, walnuts, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a food processor and pulse.  Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Spread the apple filling over the crust and scatter the crumbs on top, pressing them; lightly into an even layer.  Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the topping is golden, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Let cool and cut into 2-inch bars.

If desired, serve with ice cream.

MAKES:  2 dozen bars

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