Finally making for the eighth day of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. Today we've got Apple Pie Crumble Bars and they were worth the wait. Where an Apple Pie meets a Crumble and becomes irresistible.
As much as I love technology, when it fails I'm not a fan. Yesterday we had another epic computer fail. Why? Not to get into all that geekery but I thought that all the photos I'd taken for the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies had disappeared! I know, panic. Well, luckily they hadn't but they were just inaccessible for an entire day. I'm very good at backing up everything, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. I had visions of having to cut the cookie exchange short. Thankfully, it's not the case.
Today, a day late, I'm here with something pretty delicious.
These Apple Pie Crumble Bars are a must make for this holiday season. This is an updated version that's been on the blog since 2015. I've tweaked a few things and made them a whole lot better. When I made these a few weeks back, they didn't last long at all. Silly, I thought I'd have some to stash in the freezer. The cookie monsters went to work once again. Looks like I'll have to make more because I think I only got one or two for myself. Never fails!
Bar cookies can quite often feel overwhelming to make as there's usually two or three layers. In this case three. But when you look at the ingredients below it's not as much you would think. This is much like making a cross breed between and apple pie and an apple crumble. But without the fussiness of making the pastry.
So, let's get started. And like always, read the recipe to the end and get all our ingredients out in front of you. Get that coffee, tea or whatever, turn up the tunes and let's start baking!
Okay, now that you've read the recipe, right? Time to get started. And like all bar cookies, we work from the bottom up.
Have ready your 8 x 8 baking tin. Grease and line it with parchment paper. And don't forget to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Now, let's make the base.
You'll mix together flour, sugar and spices (as seen in recipe below), until you have a crumbly mixture like you see here. Then press it into your prepared pan. Make sure you press it firmly and evenly. If you don't press it in firm, it will likely fall apart when baked.
It doesn't have to be perfect, just kind of like what I've got done here is just fine. But firm is key with this base, so make sure you press it in firm.
Bake it for about 10 - 12 minutes or until it's slightly golden and puffed up a bit. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
To save time, get going on the filling when the base is in the oven. I used 6 medium sized apples for this recipe. Peel the apples, cut them in slices and then dice them up like shown here.
Next up, time to cook the apples to make the delicious filling. Which you can easily eat all by itself! Place the apples, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium skillet over medium heat. Give a good stir and let cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until the apples are completely soft and golden. Stir them occasionally through the cooking process so they don't stick. You may need to reduce the heat a little and add a tiny splash of water if they start to stick.
Here's what you'll have when you're done. Soft, golden and delicious apples.
Evenly pour them over the cooled base and press them in evenly with the back of a spoon.
Finally onto the last step for these bar cookies. Make the crumble topping. Much like the base but with the addition of oats as well. Mix together the flour, sugar, oats, spices a butter in a medium mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix it together until it becomes crumbly. You don't want to form it into a full on dough, just a crumbly mixture.
These are almost ready to bake, thankfully right? Spread the crumble mixture all over the apples making sure the entire top is covered. And again, press it down with your hand or the back of a spoon. It doesn't need to be firm like the base, but give it a gentle press all over the top.
Bake these in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for about 20 - 25 minutes. The top will be golden and the edges looking a little crisp.
Remove from oven and place the tray on a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares. Yes, that's tricky. I let them cool for two hours before attempting to cut them. If you cut them too soon, they will likely start to fall apart. The key is in waiting!
The best way to cut them it to lift the entire parchment paper out of the tray with the bars. Place it on a large cutting board and use a big knife to do long even cuts. It really doesn't matter. But this is the best way to get them around the same size. I cut mine in rows of 5 which gave me 25 bar cookies. They are quite filling and this size seems to be quite good. You could always eat two or three or.....
These will keep on the counter for 2 - 3 days. In the fridge for about a week and in the freezer for about a month. Make them this December!
Baking aside, for those that celebrate Christmas, do you have your tree up yet? Well, we don't and I'm starting to feel like I'm way behind this year with the whole Christmas thing. I don't know why because it's only the 11th of December. Years ago, we wouldn't have dreamt of putting the tree up until a week before Christmas. Now, it seems if it's not shining it's merry lights by the 1st of the month you're a scrooge.
Last year I had my tree up early, too early I think, because it was basically dead by Christmas Day. I think we put it up on the 6th of December. Earliest in my life I have ever put a tree up. I was so excited and just couldn't wait. A bit like a kid on Christmas Day.
We run a wood burner in the living room and it gets pretty hot and dry in there so the tree doesn't have a change to last a month. So, I think this coming weekend, I'll get all festive and put up a tree.
Again, for all your Christmas loving folks out there, what do you eat on Christmas Day? Well, we grew up with turkey and all the trimmings and it wasn't even considered that you didn't eat turkey on the big day. No turkey on Christmas Day, what? So, I've kept the tradition alive with my own family years later in a foreign land. It's been going pretty well and we always seem to look forward to it. But this year, we've made and unanimous decision to ditch the turkey! What we'll eat, I have no idea. But we all decided we'd like to be rebellious!
Who knows, come Christmas Day I might be having a pity party being turkey-less. And I might even change my mind and be picking up a turkey in the midnight hour on Christmas Eve. We'll see.
But before I can even begin to think about Christmas Day, I've got the husband's birthday tomorrow. He's requested Indian food and a Chocolate Pecan Cake. Now that we can get pecans locally, he's decided he loves them. A few years back he requested a Chocolate Walnut Cake that turned into a disaster. Pretty to look at but a bit like cardboard on the pallet. Let's hope this year, I do better. The pressure's on.
In the meantime, I hope you're all enjoying the treats and can find some baking inspiration. If you like these bars you will probably like my Classic Apple Pie or the Apple Crumble. The pie is a bit of work but delicious. The apple crumble is fantastic and easy!
Well, friends that sums up Day Eight of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. I hope you enjoyed today's treat and are looking forward the next one. Tomorrow I'm bringing you a super easy non bake treat that takes just minutes to put together. Balancing out the time consuming Apple Crumble Pie Bars from today!
And the song of choice for today is Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea. Another 80s classic Christmas Tune that I listen to all the time. If only they would build a bridge over the Atlantic, I'd could drive home for Christmas. Easy, right?
Have a great day everyone. I'll be back tomorrow if technology is on my side!
Apple Pie Crumble Bars
Makes 25 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 55 minutes
For the base:
1/2 Cup/110 grams butter
1/4 Cup/50 grams sugar
1 Cup/125 grams flour
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
For the apple filling:
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Cup/50 grams brown sugar
4-6 apples, peeled and diced (size depending, if using large apples you will only need 4)
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
For the crumb topping:
3/4 Cup oats/70 grams
1/2 Cup flour/60 grams
1/3 Cup/65 grams brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of baking soda
1/3 Cup/75 grams butter
First make your base. Grease and line a 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Mix together the butter and sugar. Add in the dry ingredients until it comes together into a pastry like consistency. Press it into your prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 12 minutes. It should be just slightly brown at the edges. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Make your apple filling by melting the butter and sugar in a skillet until slightly foamy. Add the apples and spices and leave to cook for about 10 - 15 minutes over a medium heat. The apples should be soft and no excess liquid in the pan. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then spread out over your base.
Finally, make your topping by cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. Use your fingertips to incorporate the butter into the dry mixture until it becomes crumbly. Evenly sprinkle the crumb mixture over the apples. Bake in your preheated 350 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes. The crumble should be lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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