Jill’s arrival threw off our fall schedule and our annual trip to the apple orchard had to get pushed back by a few weeks. Unfortunately, that meant that by the time we were ready to head out and tackle some apple picking as a family, the trees were bare. We made do with a trip to the orchard’s cider mill for a gallon of cider and 2 dozen donuts. We were also able to pick up a bag of already picked apples. Not bad for a consolation prize I suppose!
As I unloaded some of those apples to display on our counter, I thought of these bars. I decided I needed to make them ASAP. I’m so glad I did just that because these are one of our favorite fall snacks. The bars are just bursting with juicy bites of apples and all the flavors of fall. They are moist and light with just the right amount of sweetness and spice.
Apple Spice Bars
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 c. flour
- 1 c. oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking)
- 1 T. cocoa powder
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 1/8 t. allspice
- 2 c. peeled apple cubes (green apples work best, but any kind is fine)
- 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
- 1 t. lemon juice
- Powdered sugar for garnish, optional
1. Beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except the apples and walnuts. Stir well and add to the mixing bowl. Beat just until combined.
3. Combine the apples and walnuts and toss with the lemon juice.
4. Fold the apple-walnut mixture into the mixing bowl. Spread into a greased 13×9 casserole dish.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into bars. Dust bars with powdered sugar, if desired.
These bars also do double duty as a great dessert. Just warm for a few seconds in the microwave and top with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Lightly drizzle on some caramel and enjoy!