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Apple Pie Bars

adapted from The Velvet Bird
Apple pie in the form of a bar cookie
Servings 12


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 baking apples cored and diced, but not peeled (I used 1 Ginger Gold and 1 Gala)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, then set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars, mixing until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until fully incorporated. The dough will be quite thick at this point, like the consistency of cookie dough.
  • Remove bowl from stand mixer and stir in the apple chunks.
  • Spread into the prepared 9x13 baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Be careful not to underbake.
  • Cool completely before cutting and serving.


*Next time, I may reduce the vanilla sugar to 3/4 cup. These are quite sweet and I don't think a reduction of 1/4 cup of sugar would affect them too greatly.
*It may seem repetitive to grease the baking dish and line with parchment paper. You don't need to use the parchment paper, but it does make it easier to remove the bars when cooled, especially for cutting. Greasing the baking dish helps keep the parchment paper in place when you're spreading the dough in the pan.
*I did underbake on my first shot, taking the bars out after 30 minutes. Once they had cooled for an hour, I realized my error. I popped them back into a re-preheated oven for about 8 minutes, then left them sitting in the now-off oven with the door wedged open (using the handle of a wooden spoon) for about 10 minutes, since I was interrupted mid-process. It did help firm them up, but I highly recommend getting it right the first time around, if you can.