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April 13, 2012

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars


Crumb topping
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
4 large granny Smith apples (about 1 pound),
peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375F. coat a 9- by 13-inch pan with cooking spray.

2. To make the crumb topping, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Scatter butter pieces on top and, using your fingertips, combine ingredients to make uniform, coarse, sandy clumps. Stir in walnuts and refrigerate until ready to use (this step may be prepared up to 2 days in advance).

3. To make the crust, add the butter and granulated sugar to a large bowl and beat on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in about 1 cup of the flour and the salt, then add the remaining flour gradually and beat until the dough comes together into a soft ball. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and, using your hands, gently spread it out evenly over the bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake until the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Leave the oven on while you prepare the filling.

4. To make the filling, place butter and brown sugar in a large skillet over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir to melt sugar with butter to form a syrup. Add apples, toss to coat with the syrup, and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until apples have softened and begin to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes. If the pan begins to burn, sprinkle in a little water, scrape the pan bottom, and reduce the heat. When apples are very soft, stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Evenly spread the apple filling over the cooled, pre-baked crust. Sprinkle the topping over and press lightly into the filling. Bake until topping is golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 18 bars to serve.

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