I found this recipe on Lovin In The Oven blog. It is fantastic (the blog and the recipe)! You really can't go wrong with any dessert made with apples. I picked up some fresh Pippin apples from the Portland Farmers Market (SO excited it's open!) and used them in the filling. They weren't too sweet or juicy so they were perfect for these bars. I took Kim's advice and used a smaller pan (8x8) so the bars came out thick, I also followed her suggestion to make less of the icing. She recommends leaving off the icing all together, as the bars are quite sweet. But when it comes to dessert sweet is a-ok with me so I left it on. The flavors are reminiscent of apple pie, but the shortbread gives the bars a sweet crunch that really takes these bars to the next level of decadent dessert! You should absolutely make these, now, you will NOT be disappointed!
Apple Shortbread Bars
From Lovin In the Oven
Shortbread Crust Ingredients
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. real butter, softened (no substitutions!)
1 egg, beaten
Apple Filling Ingredients
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. apple pie spice, or cinnamon
4 c. (about 3 medium) sliced, peeled baking apples (I used 3 pippin apples)
1 c. powdered sugar
About 2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
To prepare crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
Cut in butter with a pastry blender or use your hands to mix in until you have pea-sized crumbles.
Gently mix in beaten egg. Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Gently pat about 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Preheat oven to 350 and set aside.
To prepare apple filling, combine flour, sugar, and apple pie spice.
Toss with apples and spread apples out on prepared crust. I actually forgot to toss apples with flour and sugar and had to pick them off the crust and toss them. Apparently I can't watch TV and bake at the same time ☺
Pat reserved crust mixture over the apples, it's ok if there are some uncovered parts, its supposed to be like a streusel. I just tore off bits of batter with my fingers and patted it into place. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. When finished, allow to cool completely. To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. My tip, to make less of a mess, combine all glaze ingredients in a Ziploc bag and smoosh together with your hands. Be sure not to leave any powdered sugar lumps. When glaze is desired consistency, cut off a very small portion of one of the corners of the Ziploc.
Drizzle glaze over cooled pastry and allow to harden (you can place it in the freezer to hurry things along).
Cut into bars and serve.
What's your favorite fruit dessert? I think these might be mine!