Apple Butter Crumb Bars

Apple Butter Crumb Bars

Last fall, I canned some apple butter for the first time. I don’t think I’d ever even had it before, and I had no clue what I would do with it other than giving it as gifts. Why did I make it? Because I could! I only started canning a couple of years ago and got into it in a big way last year. I loved the huge wall of jars of food, the convenience of having things on hand, and the knowledge of exactly what was (and wasn’t) in each jar.

I’m fortunate to live near several marvelous orchards. It’s a treat to buy fresh apples right from the source. I started making applesauce years ago and freezing it. It freezes really well, but only for a few months. After that, it really loses quality. That was why I took up canning in the first place — in the hopes of having my homemade applesauce last even longer. Canning is a lot of work, but it’s also fun. So I started browsing books, looking for other things to can. 

Trying apple butter was a bit of a lark, but it was love at first bite. I set off to find uses for it; there had to be something more than eating it with a spoon, or is that just me? It tastes a lot like apple-pie-in-a-jar, so one of those things had to be dessert. I’m a huge fan of shortbread, apple pie, and fruit crisps. This incredibly rich, decadent dessert is a cross between the three. Fresh out of the oven, it has a consistency like that of apple crisp without the chunks of apple. Allowed to cool, it takes on more of a cookie bar vibe. Either way, it’s delicious! I have a huge sweet tooth, so I can easily eat one-fourth of this batch. If you are more easily sated, you could consider this to have six or even eight servings. For a larger crowd, you can double the recipe and use an 8” x 8” (20 x 20 cm) pan. 

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Ingredients: 

1 cup flour (120 g)

¼ cup sugar (50g)

¼ cup packed light brown sugar (55 g)

⅛ teaspoon vanilla powder (may substitute vanilla extract, or omit)

⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter (85 g)

⅔ cup (160 ml) apple butter

Preparation:

1.) Preheat oven to 325º F (163º C). Generously butter a small (5” x 7”, or 13 x 18 cm) glass baking dish.

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2.) Melt the butter in the microwave. For mine, this was 1 minute on 50% power, stir, then another 30 seconds on 50% power. I like to use a glass measuring cup with a small plate upside-down over the top to prevent splatters.

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3.) In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla powder. 

4.) Add the melted butter to the bowl; blend lightly with a fork. You want to break up any large clumps, but avoid packing or compressing the mixture while mixing.

5.) Transfer about half the mixture (just eyeball it — a bit more than half is okay) to the buttered baking dish. Pack down tightly with the back of a spoon or your fingers. 

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6.) Lightly spread the apple butter across the surface.

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7.) Sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture on top of the apple butter, crumbling with your fingers as you go. 

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8.) Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Eat warm for a crumble, or let cool to room temperature for a more cookie-like bar. 

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Apple Butter Crumb Bars

A doubled recipe fits nicely into an 8” x 8” (20 x 20 cm) pan. 

Ingredients

1 cup flour (120 g)

¼ cup sugar (50g)

¼ cup packed light brown sugar (55 g)

⅛ teaspoon vanilla powder (may substitute vanilla extract, or omit)

⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter (85 g)

⅔ cup (160 ml) apple butter

Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 325º F (163º C). Generously butter a small (5” x 7”, or 13 x 18 cm) glass baking dish.

2.) Melt the butter in the microwave. For mine, this was 1 minute on 50% power, stir, then another 30 seconds on 50% power.

3.) In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla powder.

4.) Add the melted butter to the bowl; blend lightly with a fork. You want to break up any large clumps, but avoid packing or compressing the mixture while mixing.

5.) Transfer about half the mixture (just eyeball it — a bit more than half is okay) to the buttered baking dish. Pack down tightly with the back of a spoon or your fingers.

6.) Lightly spread the apple butter across the surface.

7.) Sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture on top of the apple butter, crumbling with your fingers as you go.

8.) Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Eat warm for a crumble, or let cool to room temperature for a more cookie-like bar.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks really delicious, and easy too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Oh, it is! I hope you get a chance to try it. Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have a lovely Thanksgiving Julie!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. julie says:

        Thanks, Dorothy — you, too!

        Liked by 1 person

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