Apple Pie Bars

This is a great recipe that I was lucky enough to get from a friend when we lived in Omaha.  No idea where it came from originally but it’s a keeper.

Everyone loves apple pie, don’t they?  But one apple pie for a house full of guests doesn’t go very far.

Since this is baked in a rectangular baking pan or cookie sheet, you can cut it into as many pieces as you like…12 gigantic, 18 large or 24 smaller portions.  Top with a scoop of ice cream or cinnamon-spiked whipped cream.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

What you need:

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening (such as Crisco)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 egg, separated

8 cups peeled & sliced apples
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Dash of vanilla or almond extract (or lemon extract would be good, I think)

What you do:

  1. Combine the flour, 2 Tbsp sugar and salt.  Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry blender (or use a food processor).  Put the egg yolk in a measuring cup and add milk to equal 2/3 cup.  Add to flour mixture and blend together.  The dough will be sticky so turn it onto a floured surface and form into two flattened rectangles.  Chill for 15 or 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the apples, 1 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.
  3. When pastry is chilled, roll out one portion on a floured surface.  Fit onto a large baking sheet.  I used an 11″ by 15″ baking dish.*
  4. Roll out the second portion of dough.
  5. Sprinkle the pastry on the baking dish with two or three handfuls of cornflakes and place the apple mixture over that.
  6. Top with the remaining pie crust.  If you’ve used a baking sheet, you can crimp the edges like you would for a pie.  If you’ve used a baking dish, just tuck the edges in around the filling.
  7. Beat the egg white until stiff and brush over the top crust.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for one hour until the filling is bubbly and the crust has browned nicely.
  8. Blend the powdered sugar with the vanilla or almond extract and enough water to make a drizzling consistency.  Let the bars cool for a few minutes and then drizzle with the glaze.

*NOTE:  It’s tricky getting the pastry onto the pan without tearing but not to worry…you can just press it together wherever it pulls apart.  Also, after I roll out the second crust, I cut it in half and put half at a time on the filling.  After you brush the crust with the egg white, you’ll never know.

Improvise this recipe any way you like…add chopped pecans to the filling, perhaps?  Or dried cranberries…that would be good, I think.  It’s delicious just the way it is, of course.

Bon Appetit!

Granola Bars – No Baking Required

These bars don’t have granola in them per se but they do have granola ingredients so that’s what they’re called.  It’s a recipe that I’ve adapted from dash magazine which comes with our newspaper, periodically.  I guess you could say it’s a periodic periodical – ha!

They’re very good.  I made them last week and have had half a dozen people try them and give me feedback.  Everybody has asked for the recipe so here it is.

What you need:

2 cups flaked cereal (I used Special K with red berries)
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips    (I used dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed nuts
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup corn syrup  (I used light)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

What you do:
1) Coat a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
2) Mix the cereal, oats, raisins, chocolate chips, and nuts.
3) Mix the dark brown sugar and the corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat until it comes to a boil.
4) Stir in the peanut butter, canola oil and vanilla.
5) Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and stir until well combined.  Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly and evenly.
6) Cool and cut into bars.

Makes 12 bars.

The original recipe called for chocolate covered raisins and peanuts but, as often happens in my house, I didn’t have either one.  So I used the golden raisins, chocolate chips and mixed nuts.  This is just another illustration of how you can adapt a recipe to suit yourself.  For example, if you like coconut (and I do) you could add coconut.  I love a recipe like that!

 Dash says you can freeze them for up to three months if you wrap them well.  Personally, I don’t think they’d last that long.