Monday, December 11, 2006

Easier than pie

Cinnamony Apple Streusel Bars
Favorite Brand Name Gifts From The Christmas Kitchen Copyright 1998

1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar, divided
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups chopped apples (2 medium apples, cored and peeled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13x9-inch baking pan. Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, ½ cup brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon in large bowl. Stir in melted butter until well-blended; reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan.

Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside. Toss apples with remaining ¼ cup brown sugar in medium bowl until brown sugar is dissolved; arrange apples over baked crust. Sprinkle reserved 1 cup crumb mixture over filling. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove pan to wire rack; cool completely. Drizzle with Glaze. Cut into bars.

Combine ½ cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk in small bowl until well blended.

Makes 3 dozen bars.

It's been a while since I baked on the weekends. I had some time to kill on Sunday so I started flipping through my cookbooks, focusing on bar recipes. This one caught my eye first. I had everything on hand and they were so simple to put together. The most difficult step was peeling and chopping the apples but it only called for two apples so that took no time at all.

I enjoyed these quite a bit. My only complaint is that they were slightly flat-tasting. I like a bit of saltiness in my baked goods. I used salted butter for the crust but I think these could have used a pinch of salt too, maybe with the apples. I used Golden Delicious apples, maybe with a tart Granny Smith, I wouldn't have missed the salt. Otherwise, I'd rate these pretty high when you consider the little bit of effort these took to put together. You can serve the bars plain, cut into small squares, as you would a cookie or cut the bars larger and add some ice cream and serve this as you would apple pie. Even though there's a good bit of butter in these, the bars are very thin so you don't feel as if you've eaten something too extravagant.

I'd definitely make these again, maybe with a bit of caramel drizzled over top, instead of the glaze. Then they would remind me a little bit of one of my all-time favorite treats, Caramel Apple Granny Bars, that I would sometimes buy from the supermarket bakery section as a huge treat (because two large triangles came in the package and I would eat them both). These bars don't really compare but they're much less guilt-inducing.

Just two weeks until Christmas! You know, I'm still dealing with that allergic reaction and I think maybe the stress of the season isn't helping. I'm not going crazy with the Christmas baking this year but I'll probably have a few things to blog about. I have to replace the peanut butter and nut treats with something else. It was while baking the salted peanut cookies last year that I realized that my son was allergic to peanuts.

Blast From the Past: Check out last year's holiday treats for some inspiration.

Question of the Day: What's your favorite 'bought' dessert?


Anonymous said...

I would definitely enjoy these drizzled with caramel... and vanilla ice cream...

I don't think I have a favourtie store bought dessert, unless you include bakeries, and in that case, I like everything... maybe pain au chocolat from a good bakery?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing...put some caramel on these and you'd have a little salt. They look great! Hmmm...favorite bought dessert, I like the vanilla oreos! :-)

Jennifer said...

My daugter LOVES the Lofthouse pink iced cookies.

Anonymous said...

YUM! These look great, I will definitely try them.

I can't think of a favourite store-bought dessert, but that's mostly beacuse I love making desserts best (and eating desserts best too!)

Heather said...

This looks like the perfect recipe to use up the rest of my apples on. I really need to make room in the fridge for something else.

Anonymous said...

Looks absolutely gorgeous, thanks for the recipe, I am overwhelmed with apples this weekend!