Apple Crisp Bars: This apple dessert is a layer of shortbread cookie topped with sweet apples and finished with a buttery crumble.
Ions ago when I taught middle school in Ohio, I always took my sweet 6th graders to an apple orchard. It was to learn about the apple growing process and to spark ideas for writing on how orchards impact our environment and culture.
Doesn’t that sound beautiful?! And while it is true, I really just wanted some fresh apple cider 🙂
But if you have ever visited an Apple Orchard, you know what an amazing experience it can be.
There are typically hundreds and hundreds of trees that line the horizon, each filled with a delicious variety of apples. There may be a large barn with an apple cider press and baked goods that highlight the perfection of an apple. Or there could even be hay rides, petting farm, and apple launching competitions. Orchards typically are on the to do list of every family in the fall months.
But what do you do when you grow tired of just sinking your teeth into a juicy apple that you have brought home from the orchard?
You make pie of course!
Well, not for me. I am not really a pie person.
Remember I shared that when I made my blueberry pie bars with you all? But a shortbread cookie crust topped with sliced apples and then a crumble made with nutmeg and cinnamon? Well, count me in and give me 6.
Apple crisp was our go-to apple dessert as a family.. In fact My day requests apple crisp every year for his birthday we never have a Thanksgiving without it being featured as one of the many desserts.
But I wanted to get crafty and change it up.
So I thought why not create a pie and crisp and put them together?
And then I saw these Caramel Apple Bars from Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts, and well that sealed the deal, I was definitely going to combine a crisp and a pie in a bar form.These bars looked amazing and I with a few of my own personal tweaks based on my preferences, and WOW!
These bars are a perfect way to celebrate the fall and to enjoy the apple harvest of your local orchard (or I guess, the grocery store–but seriously guys the orchard experience is truly awesome.)
Making Apple Crisp Bars
Step 1: The Cookie Crust
These bars are not hard, especially if you whip out your food processor.
Step 1: The Cookie Base Whole wheat flour, sugar, butter and Greek yogurt are given a few quick pulses in the food processor to form a crumbly dough a lot like a shortbread. Press the cookies into a 9 inch square pan that has been lined with foil.
Step 2: The Apple Filling:
So after whipping around the cookie dough in my food processor I shook it out and put in my slicing blade. I cut my washed apples into quarters and threw them in the food processor to do the work before tossing them with sugar and spices.
Should you peel the apples? Well, sure–but that takes extra time and removes all the fiber from the dish. So be lazy like me, and leave those peels on!
Step 3: The Crumble
After I emptied the apples out of my food processor, I simply placed the ingredients for the crumble into the food processor. And ZAP, WHIRL, it was done! Easy Peasy!
Check out all my Oats Recipes for many recipes using oats of all varieties.
Step 4: Baking
Try to control your excitement and anticipation for these bars as your house is filled with the scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and apples. I LOVE FALL!!!
Step 5: Devour!
Top these babies with ice cream and OH MY GOOD GRACIOUS!!
You will not regret making these bars at all!
Looking for another delicious treat to bake with your freshly-picked apples? Check out this Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Crisp from What the Fork Blog.
Apple Crisp Bars
- 1 cup whole wheat flour or all purpose
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup butter cubed and cold
- Apple Filling:
- 1 pound Granny Smith apples washed and sliced (see my easy way to slice apples above)
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter cold
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a 9 inch square pan with foil.
The Crust: Place ingredients in food processor and give a few get whirls to just bring ingredients together. Press down into lined pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
The Filling: Toss the apples together with sugar, flour and spices. Pour over the crust.
The Crumble: Combine the ingredients until just combined. Sprinkle over apples.
Bake for additional 30-35 minutes.
Serve warm. Ice cream optional.