Fall is right around the corner. When you walk into any shop or market, there are fall decorations scattered galore and a bounty of newly grown fall produce. While it’s hard to let go of the sunny, warm summertime months, the new season is quickly approaching whether we’re ready or not.
The one thing that gets me in the mood for all things autumn is the wide variety of new recipes available. I adore the cinnamon and nutmeg flavored desserts so much that I instantly forget all about my love for summertime fruits. This recipe from Food Network’s dessert queen, Ina Garten, is sure to make your taste buds sing with delight. Her apple pie bars are a fast staple at my house and it’s something that everyone should incorporate into their dessert routine. Check out the recipe below to see just how to make these flavorful bars.
1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ c. granulated sugar
½ c. light brown sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
½ c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced (⅛ in. thick)
1 ½ lbs. Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced (⅛ in. thick)
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
4 tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. For the crust, place the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Using an electric mixer and mix for two minutes until light and creamy. Sift the flour and salt together and slowly add into the creamy mixture. Scatter ⅔ of the dough in clumps into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Press lightly with the back of a measuring cup until it is completely flat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, put the mixing bowl with the remaining dough back into the mixer, add in the walnuts and cinnamon and mix on low speed until well-combined. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. For the filling, combine the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Mix well to combine. Melt the butter in a large pot and add in the apples and simmer, stirring often, for 12-15 minutes or until the apples are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Spread the apples over the baked crust.
Pinch medium pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and drop the evenly on top of the apples. Bake for 25 minutes or until the topping is browned. Cool completely and cut into bars.
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