I had a Thanksgiving Potluck at work this week and I wanted to bring something easy to serve. The apple pie bars from The Comfort of Cooking was the perfect recipe for a non-traditional apple pie. I used Lipton Apple Cider mix in the caramel sauce to give it some extra apple-y flavor. I also increased the temperature of the oven to make sure a Maillard Reaction occurs for caramelization. Everyone loved the bars and they were easy to whip up. They are the perfect fall potluck dessert!
Cook time: 1 hour Makes 3-4 dozen
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups cold butter
5 cups (4-5 medium) peeled, diced apples
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp Hot Spiced Apple Cider powder
1. Pre-heat oven to 365 F
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Then add 1 cup + 2 tbsp of butter and use your hands to create a coarse crumble. Set aside 2 cups of the mixture for the topping.
3. Press the leftover oatmeal crumble into a parchment-lined, 13×9 inch pan. Sprinkle the diced apples on top evenly.
4. In a small saucepan heat up 2 tbsp butter, salt, sugar, cornstarch, cold water, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, and Apple Cider powder. Whisk the mixture over low heat until it comes to a boil, then like magic it starts to thicken up within 2-3 minutes! Pour the sauce over the diced apples and spread evenly with a spatula.
5. Sprinkle the rest of the oatmeal crumble on top and press down slightly.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the bars are nice and golden brown. Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!