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Apple Pie Bars



I've been on quite a roll with bar desserts lately. First, the sweet and salty M&M pretzel bars, then the banana oat bars, and now these apple pie bars. What can I say, you really can't go wrong with bar desserts. Plus they're super easy to put together. And I like easy these days. I definitely don't need something keeping me in the kitchen for more than an hour with the heat waves we've been having.



Surprisingly, the heat wasn't an issue at all today. It was more the lack of electricity from the freak storm we had  that came out of nowhere. Can someone even explain to me how it can hail in the summer? Without electricity, I wasn't able to access the recipe I bookmarked for these bars. And even when the electricity kind of came back, it was dim and wasn't enough for the router to turn on, leaving me with no internet. #FirstWorldProblems

Two hours and some later, we heard the AC turn back on and let out a sigh of relief--my sigh of relief  pertaining to the fact that there was still enough daylight outside for me to carry on with my baking plans. The bars took me no more than 15 minutes to put together, and came out exactly 43 minutes later, looking beautiful as ever with their crackly surface.



All apple desserts are definitely best eaten warm, so I didn't waste too much time photographing these. Especially because I could hear my nephews in the back chowing down on their bars and saying things like "Mmm", "Yummmy", and "Can I have another one meemaw?".  I was officially teased and pulled up a seat.



My first thought on tasting these bars? They're SOFT! Like, really really soft. I didn't expect them to be that soft considering the recipe didn't call for any butter, so it was a pleasant surprise. You know what else was a pleasant surprise? The butterscotch chips. I'm not too big a fan of butterscotch to begin with so I wasn't sure how well they would work with these bars. But they certainly exceeded my expectations, playing on the delicious flavors of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and soft tart apples in a way I never thought they would. Definitely a combo for the books. 

I wouldn't say that these bars necessarily taste like apple pie, but they do have all the flavors and qualities of an amazing apple dessert.

Apple Pie Bars

Yield: about 24 squares
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Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, and eggs until fully combined (about 2 minutes). The mixture should be thick and pale yellow.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the sugar mixture in the mixer and beat until completely combined. Using a sturdy spoon or spatula, fold in the apples. The batter should be very thick.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the top with butterscotch chips. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few, moist crumbs attached. Be careful not to over-bake. 

Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve the bars warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from A Beautiful Mess

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