Desserts come in all shapes, sizes and flavors, but dishes with fruit are my favorite.  In my book, few flavors say “fruity goodness” like juicy apples.  Great any time of the year, these Apple Shortbread Bars will be a hit for anyone you serve them to!

Apple Shortbread Bars
I love my husband. I know, I know, sappy statement to start a blog post with.  But hear me out.

This guy is pretty darned near perfect (for me, anyway), and I like him enough to even pick up and follow him around the globe whenever the military tells us to.  Sometimes, great locations are in the cards.  Other times, it’s a crap shoot and I’m not always thrilled with my new surroundings.  But one thing that makes it worth it is he’s got my back the way I have his.

I’m no expert, but I think this is one of the signs that we may be seeing each other for a few more years to come.

Last weekend we celebrated 16 years of putting up with each other, following each others’ dreams and jobs, and basically still liking each other at the end of most days.  It’s pretty good when it works out!

Cute Couple
Ain’t he a handsome devil?

When I tell him how great he is, he predictably poo-poos my complement and makes comments to the contrary.  But when my words don’t quite get through to him, I fall back on the old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

And his stomach loves him some apple desserts.

To that end, I’m always trying to come up with alternatives that aren’t just the standard apple pie.  We both love apple pie, but as with marriage, variety is the spice of life.  So to the kitchen I went!

After many years of asking what his favorite meal or favorite dessert is, I know without question that his preferred dessert has either apple or caramel (or both!).  For a recent birthday, I decided to play with a variation on apple pie bars.  Traditional pie bars are awesome, but I wanted something different than the standard crust.

After some poking around on various recipe sites, this one from Epicurious/Gourmet magazine caught my eye.  This version of a classic found me making my first batch of shortbread. I can tell you that this won’t be my last playing with this portion of the recipe.

A crispy and flaky base topped with crunchy and tart apples was a perfect way to show my guy that I really do dig him!  And even for just a moment, I think he believed me after having one (OK, maybe three) of these Apple Shortbread Bars!

 

 

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Apple Shortbread Bars
Apple Shortbread Bars
Print Recipe
There are few things more comforting than a favorite dessert. And what says "comfort" more than apple pie? Or in this case, Apple Shortbread Bars. The flaky shortbread provides a perfect base to soak up all of the tart juices from the Granny Smith apples. Add the graham cracker topping, and you've got yourself a perfect bite of comfort and tasty goodness!
Servings Prep Time
12 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Apple Shortbread Bars
Apple Shortbread Bars
Print Recipe
There are few things more comforting than a favorite dessert. And what says "comfort" more than apple pie? Or in this case, Apple Shortbread Bars. The flaky shortbread provides a perfect base to soak up all of the tart juices from the Granny Smith apples. Add the graham cracker topping, and you've got yourself a perfect bite of comfort and tasty goodness!
Servings Prep Time
12 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Shortbread
Apple Filling
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in food processor and pulse with flour & brown sugar until small balls are formed. Place dough mixture in a cooking spray-coated 9 x 13 baking dish. Using your hands, press evenly in pan. Bake in middle of oven until the top begins to brown slightly, 15-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
    Apple Shortbread Bars
  2. In the meantime, melt the butter for the apple filling and keep it warm. Quarter and core the apples and cut into 1/8 - 1/4" slices. Line the top of the shortbread with the apple slices, overlapping evenly until shortbread is completely covered.
    Apple Shortbread Bars
  3. In a small bowl, mix sugar & flour. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the apples.
    Apple Shortbread Bars
  4. In a food processor, chop the graham crackers in to a fine crumb mixture. Sprinkle cracker mixture evenly over the top of the apple slices.
    Apple Shortbread Bars
  5. Carefully pour the warm, melted butter over the top of the whole baking pan.
    Butter Topping for Apple Shortbread Bars
  6. Bake the apple bars at 350 degrees for 50 minutes - 1 hour.
    Butter Topping for Apple Shortbread Bars
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes prior to slicing.
    Apple Shortbread Bars
  8. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I doubt they'll last that long!
    Apple Shortbread Bars
Recipe Notes

This was such a hit, it got me thinking of other varieties I could make with other fruits.  Pears, peaches, plums, or any other stone fruit would likely be amazing over this flaky and buttery shortbread.

Is there a special person in your life who would love these Apple Shortbread Bars as much as my hubby did?

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