We are well into apple season here and it’s time to post an apple dessert! Want something different to put out on the dessert tray this Thanksgiving? Love apple crisp and want one you can pick up with your fingers and eat? Well then, I have the dessert for you! This recipe for apple crisp bars combines the portability of bar cookies with the flavor of apple crisp and then finishes it all off with my yummy and easy Butterscotch Sauce.
I’ve been making all sorts of fall salads and soups and comfort food recipes here lately, and now it’s time for an apple dessert! The leaves are yellow and orange, the apples are bursting out of their bins, and there is a distinct chill in the air.
So, why wouldn’t I want an apple dessert? It’s definitely time. 🙂
Last year I made my Twice the Apples Deep Dish Apple Pie (completely awesome, cuts like a dream!) for the blog, so I wanted to mix it up a little this year. Something different from apple pie, or apple crisp, or Apple Cake (also yummy!). A little thought brought me to my Raspberry Orange Bars and the idea of making apple crisp oatmeal bars. More thinking brought me to my Butterscotch Sauce, because apples and butterscotch are best friends and they belong together. Just like apples and caramel! Only butterscotch sauce is easier to make.
Really, it is. Give it a try!
It did take a few batches of apple bars to get the balance of apples versus crust just right and to decide on the flavors I wanted, but honestly no one was complaining even about the versions which I didn’t consider blog-worthy. Even a decent apple crisp bar is pretty darn good!
However, I wanted an awesome apple bar and kept at it until I got it!
One thing which was very important was to make sure I had plenty of apples in the filling without having so many that they were too much for the crust to hold. On one hand, the apple crisp bars need to taste like apples (important, yes?? 🙂 ), but you also need to be able to cut them or what’s the point? Four cups of juicy, sweet, tart apples was perfect for the recipe.
The other thing was I realized that I could streamline my Raspberry Orange Bars by using the same mix for the crust and the filling. One bowl. One mix. Just divide it. I’ve updated the raspberry bars to point here for the streamlined version, because it is so much easier.
- Use plenty of crisp apples
- Streamline the recipe by using one mix for the crust and topping
- Make butterscotch sauce and there you are!
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Apple Crisp Bars with Salted Butterscotch Sauce
Crust and Topping
- 8 oz (16 tbsp, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cups diced apples, 3-4 peeled and cored apples
- 2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/3 cup Butterscotch Sauce
- Butterscotch Sauce
- You will need to make the butterscotch sauce before beginning the apple crisp bars.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-13 baking dish with butter and then cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom and overhang the edges.
- For the crust and topping: Add all the crust ingredients to a large bowl. With your fingers, mix and work the butter into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Take out 2 1/2 cups of the mixture and reserve for the topping. Then take the remaining mixture and pour it into the prepared baking dish. Press down the crust to make an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
- For the apple filling: While the crust is baking, peel and chop the apples. Then, in a large bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients. Once the crust comes out of the oven, spread the apple filling over it in an even layer and then sprinkle the reserved topping over it. Bake the crisp bars for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the apples are soft.
- Allow the crisp bars to cool completely in the baking dish. Once they are fully cooled, remove them by pulling them out with the parchment paper and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut them into bars and drizzle the bars with butterscotch sauce.
- For the butterscotch sauce use my recipe for butterscotch.
- You can substitute a store bought butterscotch or caramel sauce which you enjoy for the homemade.
- If you are having difficulty getting clean cuts when cutting the bars, refrigerate the uncut bars until fully chilled and then cut them. I don't have any problems cutting them at room temperature so long as they are fully cooled.
- To get the best cuts when making bar cookies, I find that using a long knife which I can just press down to make the cut works the best. I cut down the length from side to side into strips and then cut the strips into bars.
- I have used quick oats in place of the old fashioned oats, and the texture is different, but the bars are still excellent.
- I used a mixture of Jonagold and Honeycrisp for the apples.