Parfait! Better Apple Pie Bars

04bslicedbzloA few weeks ago, I made a batch of Apple Pie Bars according to a recipe from the nice folk at Kraft foods; and they were quite good.

But…

Tho’ I (for once) followed instructions and used the sized pan called for, I found it impossible to get the (rather lovely) dough to fit the pan,and a lot of the filling liquid ran out into the open pan space and turned into a solid sheet of cooked sugar; still tasty, but really kindofa waste.

01cdoughbzloSo…

The next time I made the bars, I switched from the called for 15x10x1 inch pan to a 13×9 glass baking pan.

01aappleslicesbzloBingo!

I ended up with just-thick-enough dough, and the filling all stayed where it was meant to be – this is the way to make these apple pie bars!

Ermmm, I also eschewed peeling the apples in favor of thinly slice them with the skin on, and just punching out the core of each slice. Seemed to make the process go a whole lot quicker, and the end result seemed no worse for a bit of apple peel in the mix.

02adoughrollbzloINGREDIENTS
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)
•1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
•1 tsp. ground cinnamon
•1 tsp allspice

Glaze:
•1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
•2 tbsp water

01bsugarspicebzloHeat your oven to 400º.

Beat the cream cheese together with the butter in a mixing bowl until well blended and just a wee, tiny fit fluffy.

Add three cups of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low speed after each bit of flour until it has just been worked into the dough. Shape into a ball or other regular shape and divide in two.

02abottomdoughapplesbzloSlice and core the apples, then toss in a large bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, the sugar, and the seasonings until all of the slices are coated.

Set aside while you roll out the dough.

Arrange a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface and scatter a bit of flour over it.

Place one half of the dough on the waxed paper, flatten out a bit, then scatter with a bit more flour, and place another sheet of waxed paper on top.

03abakedbzloRoll the dough out into a rectangle a bit bigger than a 13×9 inch baking pan.

Apply a bit of cooking spray to that 13×9 inch baking pan, then remove the top layer of waxed paper from the dough and, using the bottom waxed paper sheet, flip to dough over and fit into the baking pan, pressing it lightly to fit into the edges and up the sides of the pan.

03cglazedbzloGive the apples another toss – you’ll notice a bit of that good, spicy liquid has formed – and pour them all into the dough in the pan.

I will confess, I started by arranging the apples slices oh, so prettily, but, that got real old, real fast, so after a layer or two, I just sorta spooned the rest into the pan.

Starting with new waxed paper sheets – sorry, but that’s the way this pastry stuff works, you try to reuse stuff, you crash and burn.

04aslicedbzloLay the top dough over the apples, tucking it into the sides, then cut about six thin slits in the top with a thin knife to allow steam to vent.

Bake for 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, then remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Stir the water into the confectioners’ sugar until you have a thick liquid, then spoon over the partially cooled apple pie bars.

Slice and serve.

You’ll note how there isn’t a lot of filling that oozed out in baking; and the bars are still so tasty and, really, quite a bit easier to cut and serve, too.

See? Better!

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