Apple Cranberry Crisp Bars

It’s apple crisp time! I’m keeping it short and sweet today because I have been baking away all day long and now I really just want to watch This Is Us, cry a little (what is it about that show??), and sleep for a very long time. But first, I want to tell you all about these bars. As a supporter of pretty much all desserts, except for stupid ones like italian ice or anything with cool whip, I have a hard time picking a favorite. That being said, I think that apple crisp (warm, with ice cream obviously) is right up there at the top. That whole warm cinnamon spiced apple thing with buttery crispy oats and a giant puddle of semi-melted ice cream just gets me every time.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (never too early to choose what you’re making for dessert), I made apple crisp a bit more portable. One that’s easier to transport from your kitchen to the next and doesn’t require you to demand 40 minutes of oven time from a frazzled turkey stressed host. Although I have to say, these are pretty good cold but warm, they are absolutely golden. So maybe beg for a few minutes of oven time post-turkey to get these all warmed up.

The base and crumble on these bars is an unbelievably simple mix of oats, butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon. The crust gets a little head start in the oven to get golden then gets layered with sugared apples and cranberries and topped with a super thick layer of crumble that gets perfectly crispy in the oven. The crumble on top also gets mixed with crushed gingersnaps because apples + cranberries + gingerbread is a combo that I never want to leave behind.

Apple Cranberry Crisp Bars

Makes 9 bars

| Ingredients |

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed gingersnaps
  • 4 cups thinly sliced apples (3-4 apples)
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

| Instructions |

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.
  • In a large bowl, combine butter, 1/2 brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add 1 cup flour, baking soda, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and oats. Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake 12 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
  • In a mixing bowl, toss the sliced apples and cranberries with 2 tbsp. flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Remove crust from the oven and arrange the apples and cranberries in an even layer, pressing the firmly into the pan.
  • Mix the gingersnap crumbs into the remaining crust mixture and sprinkle in clumps on top of the apples, pressing down gently. Bake 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbly and tender. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Using the parchment overhang, remove the bar from the pan and cut into squares.
  • Serve warm. (And always with ice cream, obviously)