I cannot believe that I have not yet shared this recipe!
I have made these bars probably no less than 100 times since Paul and I have been married. They are Paul's single favorite cookie/dessert/snack/breakfast. I have brought them to potlucks, work parties, birthday celebrations, and church functions. They are always met with rave reviews.
These bars are a cross between a blondie and a slice of apple pie. A bounty of apple pieces are folded into a basic cake batter that has been spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. After the batter has been spread into the pan, butterscotch pieces are scattered throughout, serving to intensify the apple flavors. The aroma that fills the kitchen is warming, comforting, and mouth-watering. The bars are delicious served warm or cold - with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or as an accompaniment with your morning coffee.
Paul and I made another batch of these babies to bring to a dinner being hosted at a friend's house tonight. And I confess that we ate about 1/4 of the pan for "lunch." After Paul finished his piece, he declared: "Let's make more!"
And we will.
Apple Pie Bars
adapted from The Runaway Spoon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 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
1 cup butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 baking dish.
Using a stand mixer, beat 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, and spices. 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 - 1 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.