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Apple Crisp Bars Recipe & Video

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Apple Crisp Bars are a three layer bar that combines a buttery crisp shortbread base with lightly sweetened apple slices topped with a crisp and crunchy streusel. Unlike an Apple Crisp that you typically serve in a bowl, these bars can be eaten as a plated dessert or simply eaten out of hand. Perfect for taking to potlucks, meetings, or even to pack in a lunch box.

The streusel-like topping is made from a mixture of flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and butter, along with rolled oats and nuts. A 'Crisp' differs slightly from a 'Crumble' in that a Crumble typically doesn't contain rolled oats or nuts. The name 'Crisp' comes from the fact that when baked you will notice how wonderfully crisp the topping has become. For the apples you can use any firm textured apple that will keep its shape when baked. Some popular choices are Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Braeburn, to name a few. Of course, if you can, use locally grown apples as their flavor and texture are superior to those found in grocery stores. And you may want to try combining two varieties of apples which makes the Apple Crisp Bars even more flavorful.

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Apple Crisp Bars: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Then butter the foil, or spray with a non stick cooking spray.

Streusel Topping: Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then coarsely chop.

In an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, rolled oats, and chopped nuts and beat until combined. Add the chunks of butter and mix until the mixture starts to form clumps. Set aside.

Shortbread Crust: In an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, place the butter and brown sugar and beat until combined and smooth. Add the flour and salt and beat until the flour is moistened and you have coarse crumbs (not a solid ball of dough).

Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 13-15 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack while you make the filling.

Apple Filling: In a bowl, combine the apple slices, sugar, and cornstarch. Evenly spread the sliced apples over the baked shortbread crust. Then evenly spread the Streusel Topping over the apples. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are soft and tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. To cut into bars, remove the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut into 16 bars. Can be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Makes about 16 Apple Crisp Bars.

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Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup (35 grams) pecans or walnuts

1/4 cup (32 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup (30 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

4 tablespoons (55 grams) cold butter, diced

Shortbread Crust:

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons (40 grams) light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) fine kosher salt

Apple Filling:

4 cups apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8 inch slices) (about 3 medium Apples) Use a firm textured apple that will keep its shape when baked - Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Jonagold are some good choices.

1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste

1/2 tablespoon (4 grams) cornstarch

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