Apple Pie Bars

We love apple desserts in the fall and are always seeking out variations of the traditional apple pie. Pies are great for holidays and have more of a show stopping presentation, but if we are craving a little weekday treat we don’t need to put in all that time decorating and rolling dough. We found this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and modified a few things to make it our own. These Apple Pie Bars have everything we crave from an apple pie but require just a bit less work. A rich crust? Check. Lots of fresh cinnamon apples? Yep. A crumbly buttery streusel topping? Oh yeah. We go the extra mile by topping them with our Bourbon Salted Caramel for the ultimate fall treat. Our resident taste tester, Myles (15 months old), was screaming for more when he tried them – so we are confident these can please any audience.

Apple Pie Bars
Makes: 16 bars
Prep and Cooking Time: 1 hour Inactive Time: 6 hours to overnight

Ingredients For The Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Ingredients For The Apple Filling:

  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ingredients For The Streusel Topping:

  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • Homemade salted caramel sauce for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 x 11 Pyrex dish with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Make the crust. Stir the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. The crust batter will seem wet and that’s okay. Press the mixture into the Pyrex using your hands to create an even surface. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Make the apple filling. While the crust is baking, combine the apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Toss gently so that all of the ingredients are coated on the apples. Set aside.
  4. Make the streusel topping. Mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour together in a medium bowl.  Take the chopped butter and knead it into the mixture with your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture should be course and resemble crumbly wet sand.
  5. Assemble the bars. Lay the apples on top of the crust in as even of a layer as you can. Gently press the apples into the crust to help combine the layers. Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the apples in an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Remove the bars from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, before lightly covering them with foil and refrigerating them at least 6 hours, up to overnight. Remove the bars from the pan when you are ready to cut by pulling on the excess parchment paper. Cut the apple pie into 2 inch x 2.75 inch bars; there will be 16 bars. Drizzle with some salted caramel and serve warm or room temperature.