Apple Pie Bars

We’d been purchasing a variety of pastries from Costco and Kroger for J to take to work in the mornings, since he doesn’t typically have time for breakfast at home (sleep deprivation thanks to two small kiddos is to blame for that!). I realized during one of our weekly treks around the bakery department that I could actually make a lot of what we were buying, and it would be a fun activity that the toddler and I could do each week while his little brother slept. After a variety of muffins began to get a bit boring (for the bakers– no complaints from the hubby!), I saw a photo on Pinterest that spiked my interest. It was a snicker-doodle apple pie bar that looked delish. But the recipe disappointed me; it was just store bought cookie dough and canned apple pie mix. I decided I’d make something up myself, and here’s where we ended up:
View from the top- Apple Pie Bars
Side view- Apple pie bars

The result was yummy, but not so easily cut into bars. It’s definitely a fork and plate meal, and not eaten as easily as a muffin on the go. It tasted more like a dessert to me than a breakfast.

Here’s the recipe:
Shortbread cookie dough for the base layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
Apple topping:
3 cups diced apples
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, depending on personal preference
Dash nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
Streusel-like dusting:
2 tablespoons of the shortbread cookie dough from the base
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
Dash nutmeg
1) Grease 8×8 or 9×9 pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Combine all cookie dough ingredients to make the cookie dough, reserving 2 tablespoons for the streusel-like topping. Spread remainder of cookie dough in greased pan, pressing to edges. It should be as level as you can make it with your hands.
3) Combine all apple filling ingredients (I leave my apple peels on the apples to save time while baking with a toddler and increase the healthiness factor). Spread atop cookie dough in the pan.
4) Combine streusel ingredients in small bowl and evenly dust over apple filling. (Or let your toddler help and it’ll be totally uneven but he’ll have a blast)
5) Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool on cooling rack. Once you won’t burn your hand and/or mouth, cut into squares and enjoy.

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