A few days ago I began house/dog sitting for some friends who needed to go out of town. When I go to their pad, I found a note on their fridge that said I could raid the house and devour everything in sight! Okay, so maybe that wasn’t their actual wording buuuuuuuuuuuut it’s how my brain interpreted it! Inside the produce drawer sat some decent looking apples, which all of you mainlanders might be getting sick of by now up there in the land of Johnny Appleseed, but down here in the tropics they can be hard to come by. The apples + the fact that I’m staying in a house that has an actual oven(!) meant that I could finally make this dessert that I’ve been craving for weeks. WOOT! The post below was written back in Oct. 2009. Back when there were two people behind WWE and I still lived in San Diego. Things in my life are completely different from when I posted this originally but the bars are still off the chain. I hope you enjoy these bars as much as my friends will later tonight!
We’re eating cinnamon apple pecan crumb bars made with local fuji apples and drizzled with cream cheese cinnamon icing.
Every year apple season (aka fall) brings with it a wave of nostalgia, and I can’t help but reminisce about the autumns of my youth. Growing up in Virginia fall meant the leaves turned from green to lovely shades of vibrant orange, red, yellow and deep purple. Along with the cool air, fall also brought with it loads of glorious apples. The house I grew up in had 2 apple trees, 2 peach trees, 2 cherry trees and 2 seckel pear tree in the front yard, thus we never had a shortage of fresh fruit to feast on throughout the growing season. While my family never made these particular cinnamon apple pecan crumb bars, they certainly have the flavors that I associate with fall. There’s just something so comforting about the combination of cinnamon and apples. Between Tyler, our neighbor and Nicole & Justin these bars were gone almost as soon as they were made! They’re super simple and sure to be a great fall crowd pleaser.
For the apples:
3 medium fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into a 1/2" dice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the crumb:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, soften
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the icing:
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x11.5" glass or ceramic baking dish.
Place all ingredients for the apples into a mixing bowl. Toss to coat and evenly distribute all ingredients.
Place first 5 ingredients for the crumb into a mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients together using a pastry blender or a fork until the butter has been incorporated and there are crumbs the size of peas. Add the egg to the crumb mixture and lightly stir just until the egg has been incorporated. Try not to over work the mixture. You want for there to still be pea-sized crumbs after incorporating the egg.
Reserve 1 heaping cup of the crumb mixture. Pour the rest of the crumb into the prepared baking dish. Using your hands or the back of a spoon, gently press the crumb mixture into the dish to form a level crust.
Next evenly distribute the apple mixture over the crust.
Finally, sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the apples.
Place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 50 minutes or until crumb is golden and apples are soft.
Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.
While the bars are cooling, make the icing. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk or beat until smooth.
Once the bars are cooled drizzle with the cream cheese icing. Cut into bars and enjoy! Bars can be made 2 days in advance. Simply cover the bars once they've cooled to room temperature.