Apples, caramel, molasses cookies, and oatmeal crumble, baked to a golden bubbly perfection. What's NOT to like? I'm proud to say that my recipe won first place at the local Medford Farmer's Market apple cook off. So, I can really call it an award winning recipe and it's very tasty if I don't say so myself. I've entered the apple cook off for the last 5 years but this year it seemed like a real challenge to come up with something different from things I've made in the past. So this year I decided to go ahead and put a few of my favorite things into one delicious recipe. What really made it yummy was the addition of the molasses cookie pieces into the crumble mix. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Now my mind is racing to think of all the different versions that I could make using other favorite cookies in the crumble as well... oatmeal, ginger snaps, snicker doodles, etc. etc.
Apple crisp bars with oatmeal and molasses cookie crumble
Coat a 9x14 baking pan with spray oil. Make shortbread crust and bake it for 15 minutes while you prepare the apple filling and the crumble.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and the oatmeal crumble.
8 Empire, Granny Smith, or apples of your choice peeled, cored, and thinly sliced.
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Combine apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice, and apple cider in a sauce pan. Mix together. Simmer on low heat until the apples are just softened and most of the liquid is reduced. Let cool before spreading on top of the cooled shortbread crust.
Oatmeal molasses cookie crumble
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup oatmeal
12 tablespoons unsalted butter diced
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 molasses cookies or favorite cookie of choice
Combine flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and vanilla in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Break up the molasses cookies into small pieces and mix into the oatmeal crumble by hand until just combined.
Spread apple mixture on top of the short bread crust. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly on top of apple mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes on 350 degrees until bubbly and the crumble is golden.
Let cool and then drizzle brown sugar caramel over the top of the bars. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
Brown sugar caramel sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter (4 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch Of Salt
Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium to low heat. Cook while whisking for 5 to 7 minutes, until thick. Turn off the heat. Let cool for about 10 minutes before drizzling on bars.