Oh, snap you guys. These. Bars.
These simply delicious, decadent bars will have all your friends asking for the recipe in one bite. You’ve got flakey pie crust with a soft cinnamon apple layer and then coconut oil streusel. All those things are oh so tasty on their own, but then you put them on top of each other, and then do it again. THEN, you drizzle some caramel sauce on top and you better hope you’re not on a diet.
But in all seriousness, I believe that everything in moderation is the way to live your life. Maybe that’s because I hang out with a bunch of cyclists all the time and work at a food company, but I think a little ice cream now and then never killed anyone. You want the chocolate? Eat it – just don’t eat donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and a Chipotle burrito in the same day as the chocolate and you’ll be fine. Actually, you might have food poisoning but, that’s not from eating poorly. Sorry, Chipotle. Tangent over.
First things first, line a 8×8″ pan with either parchment paper or tin foil. Why? Because it makes your life super easy. You can easily pull the bars out of the pan to cut them or even plate on something fancy looking if you’re too cool to show up to a party with some dinky pan. I’m obviously not cool, but I also think it doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it tastes good.
These bars start with my easy pie crust recipe. This recipe debuted in my first post ever! And your friends won’t even know that it’s vegan. I fooled quite a few of my friends with these bars who couldn’t believe they didn’t have dairy in them.
Next comes a very thinly sliced layer of your favorite apples. I used Gala, because I couldn’t even dream of putting my precious Honeycrisps in something that was going to be delicious anyways. You throw a little brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in there and mix them around in a bowl and you’ve transformed your least favorite apple into a tasty mess. FYI – using your hands is by far the easiest way to do this and Braeburns are officially the worst apple ever. So, if you’ve got any of those laying around then get slicing because this is the only way you’re gonna make them edible. My apologies if for some reason you actually like Braeburn apples.
You can layer these pretty thin, just be sure to overlap them. You don’t want to leave anyone an apple-less bite, do you? Unless of course, they are Braeburn. The best part is next – coconut oil streusel (see below for tasty looking picture)!
Now, do all that x2 and you’ve got yourself some tasty, vegan apple pie bars! I also whipped up some caramel sauce based on the oh ladycakes recipes. The only thing I did differently was use brown sugar which she calls out in another caramel recipe and whisk in some bourbon whiskey at the end, because these bars are for adults ;). But, seriously that caramel is so delicious you don’t even need the whiskey.
Apple Pie Bars
Servings: 16 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours (includes chill)
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup COLD vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1/2 cup cold shortenning
- 1/2 cup + 3-4 tsp of COLD ice water
- 3 medium sized apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 TBSP all purpose flour
- 3 TBSP brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup cold coconut oil, broken into small chunks
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- caramel sauce, oh ladycakes recipe
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8×8 square pan with tin foil or parchment paper. I highly recommend this step because it makes your life a lot easier.
- For the crust, mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Cut butter and shortening into small pieces and incorporate into the dry mix. I use a pastry cutter but a fork or your fingers will also suffice. You can even use a food processor, just be sure NOT to over mix. A few pulses is more than enough.
- Start with 1/4 cup of cold water, pouring around the edges of the bowl. Use a fork to push the outside mixture inward towards the center, rotating the bowl as you go. Repeat for the remaining 1/4 cup of water. Add the remaining 3-4 TBSP of cold water if needed. You want the dough to be moist enough to stick together, but not so wet that it is difficult to handle. If you find that it’s too wet, just add another TBSP of flour and mix thoroughly. Separate dough into two chunk and place in fridge for about 20 minutes.
- While dough is chilling, mix all apple filling ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Be sure to coat all the slices, and check the bottom of the bowl because all the good stuff tends to find it’s way to the bottom.
- For the streusel topping, mix all dry ingredients together. I recommend chilling the coconut oil before you add it because it is easier to break apart and distribute throughout the mixture. Take a knife or fork and break coconut oil into small chunks. Add this to your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Remove dough from fridge and roll out onto a clean, dry surface into a sheet about 1/4″ thick. Sprinkle the surface lightly with flour prior to rolling else it will get stuck to your counter. Place your pan on top of the dough and trace the outline of the pan. Cut out a piece of the dough that is the same shape. You will want two of these.
- Now you are ready to assemble the bars. Place one pie square on the bottom of the pan. Next, layer about half your apples on top of the dough. You’ll want a slight overlap and for the apples to fit tightly – the more the better. Layer half your streusel topping on top of the apples. Then, repeat the layers. At the end you should have dough, apples, streusel, dough, apple, and streusel on top.
- Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes until topping begins to brown and coconut oil chunks are melted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, and for 1 hour 30 minutes in the fridge.
- While the bars are cooling, you can whip up some caramel sauce. Again, this is not my recipe. I did sub brown sugar for the sucanat and I only had to use one jar of “coconut cream” from Trader Joe’s. I did still refrigerate it overnight. You can drizzle the caramel sauce over the bars at any point. If it’s a little too thick after it has cooled, just heat it up in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before drizzling.