Here's a treat so good you'll swear it comes from a bakery... even as you pull it from your own oven! Apple Pie Bars are everything you love in a fall-favorite dessert, in miniature form. Featuring tender spiced apples, a buttery crust, and a creamy maple-infused glaze on top, Apple Pie Bars can liven up your next party or sweeten a quiet evening in. It's an autumn confection of epic (taste) proportions!
IngredientsFor the crust and topping: • nonstick cooking spray • 4 sticks unsalted butter • 3/4 cup granulated sugar • 3/4 cup light brown sugar • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 4 cups all-purpose flour • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 cup pecans, chopped For the filling: • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced • 3 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar • 1/4 cup light brown sugar • 1 tablespoon cornstarch • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice • salt, to taste For the glaze: • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter • 1 ounce of cream cheese, softened • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted • 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare a 9x13-inch baking pan by greasing it with nonstick cooking spray. Then, line the pan with parchment paper.
Next, using a mixer, beat the granulated and brown sugars, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl until fully combined.
Then, scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add in the salt and flour, then mix on low speed until well combined.
Lightly moisten your hands with water, then press about 3/4 of the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of the prepared pan.
Put the remaining 1/4 of the crust mixture in the fridge until needed. This will serve as the topping to the bars later on.
Refrigerate the pan for 15 minutes to chill the butter within the dough and create a flakier crust. Then move the pan to the preheated oven, baking for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Set on a wire rack to cool.
To prepare the filling, toss the vinegar and apple slices together in a large bowl.
Add the cornstarch, brown sugar, apple pie spice, and salt, tossing well to coat.
Spread the apples out evenly over the crust in the pan, leaving a small border around the edges.
Tear apart the reserved crust topping mixture into small pieces. Using your hands, incorporate the pecans into the dough and evenly scatter the mixture over top of the apples.
Bake until the topping is golden brown and the apples are fork-tender, about 1 hour. Then let cool for 1-2 hours in the pan.
To begin the glaze, mix the butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and cream or milk in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth and fully combined.
Once the bars are cool, lift them up out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang, then set them onto a cutting board.
Drizzle evenly with the glaze.
Cut into squares and serve!