Saturday, January 16, 2010

Apple Streusel Pie Bars

Apple Streusel Pie Bars

     I am one lucky mom.  My children all enjoy creating in the kitchen.  My son is more of a cook than a baker .  While he has had success baking he doesn't chose to do it often (only when he needs a chocolate chip cookie). Both of my daughters  have developed into very accomplished bakers. They are well on their way to being able to adapt recipes  to suite their own style and taste. 
   Mini Me, my second daughter, made these fruity apple pie bars. Moist and cinnamony they are loaded with apples and have a crisp streusel topping. Served on a plate they would be delicious with ice cream, but the beauty of these bars is that they can be eaten out of hand.  Apple pie with out a fork! The original recipe comes from  Brandy at  Nutmeg Nanny,  Mini  Me  made a few changes of her own to make this tasty treat for party we were having.   I think they were a hit, people were eating them by the handful ( stacking one or two on the left hand while eating one with the right).

Apple Streusel  Pie Bars
adapted from Nutmeg Nanny

2 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2C. packed brown sugar – divided
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 t. cinnamon - divided
1 C. butter – melted
6 cups chopped apples (cored and peeled)
Zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spay a half sheet pan baking spray (PAM) or lightly grease.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, 1 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and melted butter in large bowl until well blended. Reserve two cups of this mixtures and set aside. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

After preparing apples put in glass bowl , cover with waxed paper and micro wave  on high a few minutes (depending on your micro wave) to soften. This gives the apples a head start in baking, you can omit this step if you want. 
Add remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar to apples along with the lemon zest, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a grind of fresh nutmeg, stir  gently to dissolve sugar. Arrange apples over the baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the filling. Bake 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender and the crust is golden brown.  Remove pan to wire rack to cool completely. Glaze and serve.
1 tablespoon Butter
1 cup. powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk (+/-)
Small splash vanilla
Smidgen of cinnamon

Combine butter, powdered sugar and cinnamon  in a small bowl  mix with a fork for spoon until  crumbly. Add vanilla and milk and stir until a smooth paste is formed.  Add more milk a drop at a time until glaze is thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over top of apple bars. Cut and serve.
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