Monday, August 11, 2008

Apple Bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups oats (I use regular non-quick oats. I think the texture is better)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 sticks (regular, salted) butter,cool but not cold, cut into pieces
1 cup apple sauce
2 apples peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 tsp corn starch

Grease an 8x8 baking pan. Mix together everything but the cornstarch, applesauce and apples. Take a couple tablespoons of applesauce and mix it up with the cornstarch then mix it in with the rest of the sauce. Mix the apples and sauce together. Put half the oat mixture into the pan and tamp it down lightly. Scoop the apple mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly over the oats. Top with the rest of the oat mixture, pressing it down gently. Bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes, till brown. Let cool completely, cut into squares and serve.


Ok kids, this is another one where I got the original from Pioneer Woman. Which means butter and lots of it. If you are afraid of butter then you just can't make this. Nothing else will do. Now in her original recipe you put jam in the middle instead of the apples and sauce. I used raspberry jam when I made it the first time and it was wicked good. But I wanted to do something with apples, something about this oat mixture just screamed for apples and cinnamon. So I did. It came out really well, the only problem it has is you can't easily pick up a square and run like you can when it's made with jam. You can eat it by hand, but it's on the messy side. But that is a small price to pay, I think, for something this good. Did I mention that there is lots of butter? Almost two sticks in an 8x8 pan. For real. Ok, now that I have scared off the butterphobes, lets do this thing shall we?

First things first, grease an 8x8 pan. I would think that something with this much butter wouldn't need it, but I don't question PW. Now we have flour, oats, salt, baking powder and brown sugar in a bowl. Oh, and butter. I did mention this has butter right? Regular salted butter, cut into chunks. The butter should be cool but not straight from the fridge cold. Mix it up. It takes some doing since the butter is the only moisture and it should still be firm. It will look like this about halfway through, then this at the end. Now it is time to mix up the apple stuff. You can use jarred applesauce if you want. I made my own because I like making things. If you use my recipe, you might want to add a little more sugar to it since the filling for this should be pretty sweet. If you use jarred, that shouldn't be an issue. Heh. Peel, core and cut up some apples. I used two, one golden delicious and one fuji. Then you mix that in with the applesauce. While I was making this I worried that the apples would put out lots of liquid and make the whole thing squishy. So I took a teaspoon of cornstarch and a couple spoons of applesauce and mixed them together. Then I mixed that in with the applesauce mixture. Seems to have worked out fine, at least the bars came out like bars and not like buttery oatmeal. What you want to do now is put half the oat mixture in the pan and spread it out and tamp it down. Don't press it too much, we aren't making granola bars here. Then spoon on the apple mixture and spread it evenly over the bottom layer. Then put the rest of the oats on top and spread them evenly, also pressing down gently. Now toss them into your preheated 350 degree oven for 40-55 minutes. PWs recipe has them in for less time, but I wanted to make sure the cornstarch got cooked and I like a dark brown crust. I love layers in things, does that make me weird? Probably, but I don't really care. Maybe I should have been a geologist. Heh. Now you should let them cool all the way, then cut them into squares. My girlfriend wouldn't hear of it, she wanted some hot. So I spooned some up, plopped on some ice cream and we had what amounts to apple crisp that has more crisp than apples. It was wicked good. The next morning I cut a piece off for breakfast. They aren't anywhere near as neat as PWs bars, but man are they tasty.Not low fat though. Because of the butter.


The Brutal Gourmet said...

That looks good. Good to see you got your picture setup going too -- those little pictures were, um, little.

Bob said...

Heh, the pictures are all firefox. It interacts totally differently with blogger.


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