Apple Pie Bars

04capplepiebarsbzloThis is a pretty awesome dessert; and the pastry recipe was so unusual – well, to me, anyway – that I knew I’d have to try it.

The nice folk at Kraft sent me an email featuring fall desserts, and this was one of them; making use of prime apple season, and, of course, one of their own fine products, Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

I was so taken with the recipe that I only made one change, because, really, doesn’t everybody add allspice to apple pie?

Apple Pie Bars:
•8 oz cream cheese, softened
•1 cup butter, softened
•3-1/4 cups flour, divided
•10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced (about 9 cups)
01afoilpanbzlo•1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
•1 tsp. ground cinnamon
•1 tsp allspice

•1-1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
•2 tbsp water

01cdoughbzloImportant Note: you are gonna want to line your baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil as shown here, because more than likely, some of the cooking juices will spill out of the bars and, trust me, you are not gonna want to be scrubbing out that hot mess.

Heat your oven to 400º.

First, make the dough by beating the cream cheese and butter together until blended and mebbe just a little bit fluffy.

With your mixer on low, add the flour slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the flour to be worked into the dough before adding the next 1/2 cup.

Gather the finished dough into a ball and divide into two halves.

02adoughrollbzloLine your work surface with waxed paper and sprinkle a tablespoon or so of flour over the top.

Place half of the dough on the waxed paper and flatten it out.

Sprinkle a bit more flour over the dough, then top with a second sheet of waxed paper and roll out into a rectangle.

03capplesdoughbzloNote: I folded the ragged edges of my dough back in towards the center and rolled again to get a more or less even rectangle.

Remove the top piece of waxed paper, then, using the bottom sheet, transfer to your foiled 15×10 baking pan. Place the paper, dough side down, into the pan, then peel back the paper, leaving just your bottom dough layer in the pan.

Whisk the sugar together with the cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl, then add the apple slices and toss to coat.

03dtopdoughslitsbzloArrange the apples over the dough, leaving an edge all the way around the dough.

Roll out the second dough half between two lightly floured sheets of waxed paper, then place this half on top of the apples and bottom dough.

04bglazedbzloPinch the edges together to seal, then cut several slits in the top to allow steam to vent while baking.

Pop into the oven and bake until the dough is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Make the glaze by stirring the water into the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Brush the glaze over the top and allow to cool for another 15 or 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

A scoop of good vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce is a nice addition.

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