Looking for the ultimate portable autumn dessert? Look no further! These delectable apple pie bars are crafted with an indulgently buttery shortbread dough, serving as both the base crust and the crumbly streusel topping. Brace yourself, because you might just find yourself enjoying these bars even more than a classic slice of apple pie. (And if you’re smitten with these, don’t forget to explore our array of other must-try fall dessert recipes!)
Wondering which apples are best suited for these apple pie bars? Well, it’s no secret that the same apple varieties that shine in a traditional apple pie also work wonders here. The key factor when choosing apples for pie bars is their ability to withstand the oven’s heat without turning into mush. In this recipe, we rely on the dynamic duo of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples. These two varieties not only hold their shape beautifully during baking but also create a harmonious blend of tartness and sweetness. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can consider substitutes like Gala, Pink Lady, Jonagold, or Braeburn apples.
Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter – what exactly goes into apple pie spice? You might be surprised to learn that you probably have all the individual spices required for this iconic blend right in your pantry. It’s a delightful mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom, working in perfect harmony to infuse your apple pie bars with that quintessential fall flavor.
But what about storage? Do these apple pie bars need to be refrigerated? Just like a classic apple pie, if your bars are unfrosted, they can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, if you’ve adorned them with a luscious cream cheese-based glaze, it’s best to refrigerate them right from the get-go.
Now, let’s get baking!
YIELDS: 12 – 16 servings
PREP TIME: Approximately 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: Around 2 hours and 40 minutes
For the Crust and Topping:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 sticks unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 large Honey Crisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- Pinch of salt
For the Glaze:
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350˚F. Next, give a 9 x 13-inch baking pan a gentle spritz of nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. This parchment paper trick will make it a breeze to lift the pie bars out of the pan once they’re baked to perfection.
- Now, let’s dive into crafting that sumptuous crust and topping. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer. Keep at it for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is perfectly combined and has a light, airy texture. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is well incorporated.
- With the mixer on low speed, introduce the flour and salt into the mix. Continue mixing until everything is harmoniously combined.
Stay tuned for the next steps, as we bring this delicious dessert to life!
image source : thepioneerwoman.com