Made with a snickerdoodle shortbread crust, apple filling and THE MOST streusel topping, these apple bars are perfect for fall, and THE apple bar of choice for streusel lovers.
Why these apple bars?
- These apple bars don't skimp on the streusel, and they double down with a snickerdoodle pie crust bottom.
- It's a great way to use up apples that might be on their way out.
- It incorporates many of the flavors and textures we love for Fall and Winter baking time!
- This recipe isn't fussy-- from kids to adults, anyone can make these look like the decadent and indulgent dessert that they are.
How to make them
There's 3 easy layers to these bars: the crust, the filling, and the topping. Don't worry, they're all insanely easy!
Start with the bottom crust. Mix up the dough in a stand mixer (or bowl and spoon) and press it into the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan (photo 1). In a large bowl, add the apple filling ingredients (photo 2) including the melted butter. Mix well until combined (photo 3). Then, layer the mixed filling evenly over the crust (photo 4).
Make the streusel by cutting the butter with the sugar, flour and salt until it looks the consistency of large crumbs (photo 5). Sprinkle evenly all over the apples (photo 6) and bake for about a half hour.
Tips for this recipe
- Choose a sweet apple like a red delicious, yellow delicious or honey crisp, which is my favorite for making these apple bars with. Avoid very tart apples like granny smith.
2. When mixing up the streusel, don't over do it; you want coarse crumbs that make a streusel-- streusel-y.
3. This recipe can be be prepared in their pan, then frozen in the pan raw. Once frozen solid, they can be easily removed in one sheet and wrapped for long term freezing. That way, they can be pulled out of the freezer and baked for a hot and fresh treat.
4. Allow the bars to cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.
5. To warm them back up, place the entire pan in the oven, covered, at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.
6. These apple bars are insanely delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
7. They also make great lunch box snacks.
Streusel Lover's Apple bars.
For the Crust
- 1 cup flour all purpose
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the Filling
- 3-4 honey crisp apples or similar variety (peeled, cored and sliced into very thin wedges no thicker than ⅛th inch)
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ cup butter melted (½ stick)
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup butter room temperature (2 sticks)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight excess on two sides for easier removal. (If you are not lining the sheet pan, lightly grease.)
- Combine the crust ingredients, and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined half sheet.
- Combine apple pie ingredients, including melted butter, and layer evenly over crust layer.
- Cut butter into the crumb ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the apple filling.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until middle is set and edges are golden brown. Cool a minimum of 10 minutes before cutting into squares. If you lined the pan with parchment paper, simply lift it out of the pan, for faster cooling and easier slicing.
- Use sweet apples, with low tartness, like Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji.
- Melt butter before adding to apple filling ingredients.
- Streusel butter needs to be somewhat room temperature, but not melted.
- Wait a minimum of 10 minutes after baking to cool before slicing.
- Lining the pan with parchment paper makes for easy cleanup and slicing.