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Monday, April 03, 2006
By Request: Food Blogging
Peri made a request in the comments last week for the recipe for Apple Bars with Oatmeal Crumb Topping. Since these bars are so unbelievably good, and since they're also unbelievably easy to make, I thought I'd post the recipe here for your enjoyment. These taste like little slices of apple pie -- they're fantastic with a scoop (or two!) of vanilla ice cream. I'd encourage anyone interested in baking to have a look at the cookbook More From Magnolia -- it is a gem. I've made several recipes from it (including ST's birthday cake as well as the Magnolia Bakery's signature vanilla cupcakes with buttercream icing) and have been very, very impressed each time. I have a lot of baking books, and this is by far my favorite.
Apple Bars with Oatmeal Crumb Topping from More From Magnolia, pages 36-37
CRUST 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 2 cups all-purpose flour
TOPPING 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup packed light brown sugar 2/3 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking), plus 3 tbs. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
FILLING 1 (21 oz.) can apple pie filling
GLAZE 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted* 1 tbs. plus 1 tsp. water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, using the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter and flour until crumbly and well-combined. Pat the mixture evenly into an ungreased 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Make the topping. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, oats, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then toss the ingredients with your hands until well-combined. Set aside.
When the crust is cool, spread the apple pie filling evenly over the crust, leaving 1/4" all around the edge. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling, then sprinkle the addition 3 tbs. oatmeal over the crumb topping. Bake for 45 minutes and then cool to room temperature.
Make the glaze. Combine the sugar and water and beat until smooth. Cover until ready to use. When the bars are completely cool, drizzle the glaze decoratively over the crumb topping**. Allow the glaze to set 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.*** * I made the full amount and did not come close to using it all. Next time, I'd make half of this amount.
** I used a zip-top sandwich bag with the corner snipped off as a pastry bag and piped the glaze in a lattice pattern over the top of the bars -- very pretty.
*** I think these bars were best the first two days after making them. Although they tasted fantastic even four days later, the topping got a little soggy from the apples underneath and the texture wasn't as pleasant. If I were to serve these as dessert after four days, I'd definitely serve them as part of an apple pie sundae. Before then, though, they are perfect without accompaniment.