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Apple Crisp Oat Bars

Apple Crisp Oat Bars

Apple Crisp Oat Bars

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These apple crisp oat bars feature a thick layer of spiced apples sandwiched between two layers of sweet cinnamon oatmeal crumble crust for the ultimate dessert, snack, or coffee companion!

Friday September 18, 2020

(5 stars from 4 reviews)

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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Apple season is starting here in Ontario, and I am so, so ready. We've already gone through a big bag of baking apples that I got less than a week ago... that's how much we like apple desserts here! These apple oat bars have been a huge hit with anyone that has tried them. They taste almost like apple pie, but they are so much easier to make, serve and transport.

three apple crisp oat bars are shown stacked on top of each other

What exactly are oat bars?

This is a question my husband kept asking me as I made him try different versions of this dessert. I think he has a pretty solid understanding now, a couple oat-bar-batches later. In case you were wondering the same thing, I think of oat bars as their own category of dessert, but if I had to compare them to something it would be a pie. They're softer than a cookie, sweeter than a granola bar, but have less filling and are hold their shape better than a pie or crumble. They can also be described as an apple crumble slice, or apple crumble square.

9 squares are shown on a marble pastry board with apples, oats, and cinnamon sticks scattered around

What are the ingredients in Apple Crisp Oat Bars?

a top down view of all th eingredients needed to make apple crisp oat bars

There are not too many ingredients in these delicious bars:

  • flour - for structure in the crust
  • oatmeal - for texture and chewiness in the crust
  • sugars - both in the apple and the crust to add sweetness
  • butter - helps hold the crust together and adds flavor
  • cinnamon - nothing adds to an apple dessert quite like cinnamon
  • apples - the star of the show here! I like to use granny smith, macintosh or honestly whatever I have on hand at the moment
  • lemon juice - adds a bit of tang to the apples that nicely balances the sweetness
  • cornstarch - helps stop the apple filling from being too runny
  • vanilla - if you follow the blog, you'll notice I add vanilla extract to almost all baked goods - partly due to habit and partly because its delicious!

Are these bars easier than a pie?

Yes, so much easier! The secret to making these bars so quick and easy is the bottom crust and the crumble topping is actually the same mixture, which cuts down on the amount of prep work you have to do. Simply mix together the ingredients for the oatmeal crust, pat about 2/3 down onto your greased or lined pan, spread the prepared apples over it, and sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture on top. Bake it for about 45 minutes and allow to cool before you dig in! Simple and so addicting!

How do I make apple crumble oat bars?

These bars come together so quickly and easily - don't blame me if you are making them time and time again!

step one: mix all the dry ingredients for the crust together until well combined

step two: drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients and stir until mixed through

a collage showing how to make the crust for apple crisp oat bars

step three: peel and chop apples into small cubes (about 1/2")

step four: add chopped apples to a bowl with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon and vanilla extract and toss to coat

 

 

a colalge shoing the apples being chopped and then tossed with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, cornstarch, and lemon juice

step five: pat approximately 2/3 of the crust mixture down into a lined 9x13 baking pan

step six: spread apple mixture over the crust mixture in an even layer

step seven: sprinkle remaining crust mixture over apples

step eight: bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, filling will be bubbly and crust will be golden

a collage showing the layers being added to the pan then after baking for apple crisp oat bars

What kind of apples are best to make apple oatmeal bars?

These apple oatmeal bars work best with an apple that gets soft while baking such an Macintosh or Granny smith. In a pinch I have also used Gala, and many other varieties, but they tend to stay a bit firmer during baking. Use your favorite type of apple to get your favorite type of bars!

Tips and tricks for the best Apple Oatmeal Bars:

  • pat the crust down firmly into the bottom of the pan, you want it to stick together well
  • cut the apples into small cubes so they cook properly
  • make sure you let it cool before trying to slice into bars; otherwise they will fall apart (or be prepared to dig in with a spoon!)
  • dont skimp on cinnamon - it makes a delicious combination with the apple and oatmeal!
  • use quick cooking, minute, or large flake oats for this recipe - steel cut will not work
  •  
a hand grabs the top slice off a stack of three apple crisp oat bars

Other apple desserts you may like:


Apple Crisp Oat Bars

(5 stars from 4 reviews)

614 SHARES

By: Natalie Kollee
Yield: 15 Bars
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the oat crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/4 cups butter, melted
For the apple mixture:
  • 2 pounds apples, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes (about 8 medium apples - McIntosh, Sparta, or your favorite baking apple)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

a top down view of a pan lined with parchment

1. prepare pan and oven

Preheat oven to 350 F; grease a 9x13 baking dish

a top down view of a bowl with the crust mixture

2. prepare crust

Prepare oatmeal crust by stirring together flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, brown sugar. Drizzle melted butter over top and mix until thoroughly combined

a top down view of the apple filling

3. prepare apples

Prepare apple mixture by tossing apples with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and cinnamon

a top down view of the first layer of crust in the pan

4. form bottom crust

Firmly press down oatmeal crust mixture onto bottom of prepared pan, reserving roughly 1 1/2 cups for the topping

a top down view of apple crisp oat bars before baking

5. top with apples and crumb mixture

Spread apples on top, then sprinkle the remaining oatmeal crust mixture over the apples

a top down view of apple crisp oat bars in the pan after baking

6. bake the bars

Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes, or until apples are soft and topping is golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing into squares and serving.


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What Others Have Said


Debra
Wednesday September 29, 2021

Oh...I loved how easy these were to make...no fuss and all of the apple pie feels.

Natalie
Wednesday September 29, 2021

Glad you liked them!


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Natalie Kollee

Hi I’m Natalie. I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband, daughter and our cat. Since I was little, I have always enjoyed discovering new recipes and sharing food with loved ones. When I’m not in the kitchen you’ll probably find me crocheting, reading, or crafting.


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