Do you love the chill in the air, the change of color? All reminders that it is apple harvest time! This recipe will remind you of apple pie, but in dessert bar form. Layers of a buttery crust, spiced apples and a lightly sweet topping. Let the aroma fill your kitchen!
Apple Harvest Bars
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 2-3 large apples)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375° and grease a 9 x 13″ baking pan.
In a food processor, add flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt, pulsate once to combine. Add butter and pulse a few times until the mixture turns to dry crumbs. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
In a medium bowl, toss the sliced apples in lemon juice. Arrange the apples slices in rows on top of the crust.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the layer of apples. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the coconut, egg, condensed milk, vanilla and pecans in a medium bowl. Remove the pan from the oven and spoon the coconut mixture evenly over the layer of apples. Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the coconut is golden brown.
Slightly cool in pan and cut into bars while still warm.
The aroma of apple pie fills the house!
Tip: Cut dessert bars ahead of time to make an easy-to-serve dessert. Sweet Stackers layer your baked goods in one container so they are ready to serve or transport to a party! Visit sweetstackers.com to learn how you can convert your containers to multi-level.
There is something about spring that brings on a cravings for lemon!
These Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars were perfect for an adult Easter dessert. Double lemon because the cheesecake had a hint of lemon and topped with a lemon glaze. Delish! Cut into individual portions, stacked, stored and ready to transport to a party without a mess using Sweet Stackers.
Hope you had a nice Easter and enjoy this recipe!
Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/3 cup lemon juice, divided
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs, 1 separated
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup water
Preheat oven to 325° and line a 9×13 inch pan with foil. Mix wafer crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes.
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 TB lemon juice and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add 1 egg white (reserve the egg yolk for later use) and 3 whole eggs, adding one at a time while beating.
Pour batter over crust. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Glaze: Mix cornstarch and remaining sugar in saucepan, gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice. Bring just to boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until clear and thickened. Lightly beat reserved egg yolk and stir in 2 TB hot cornstarch mixture. Return to remaining mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened. Cool.
Spoon glaze over cheesecake. Refrigerate 1 hour. Use foil handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
Simple, Festive, Sweet – the perfect Christmas treat!
There are many variations of “Magic Bars” out there, so I added a little twist of my of my own to make them look more festive for the holidays and also made them with a chocolate graham cracker crust. The pop of color using the red M&Ms and white chocolate chips looked so pretty on my holiday table.
Christmas Magic Bars
2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
½ cup (5 ½ tablespoons) butter; melted
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
¼ cup red M&Ms
¼ cup white chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350º F.
In a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; press mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Combine the chocolate chips and coconut, then spread evenly over the condensed milk. Sprinkle the red M&Ms and white chocolate chips on top, followed by the chopped pecans. Press down lightly. Bake 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in an air tight container.
Ready to store and transport to a holiday event on my Sweet Stackers! The Christmas Magic Bars were transferred to a pretty crystal plate to pass around this formal event.
Sweet StackersTM are the solution to layering pastries, cookies, bakery or even finger foods in one storage container without disturbing their appearance or plainly having them stick together. Sweet StackersTM allow you to store your bakery in an air tight container by using a stackable tray system. Visit sweetstackers.com for more ideas on how to use Sweet StackersTM.
Love this recipe! So easy, so yummy…and perfect for a play date. I am pretty sure the kids liked it and I know the Mommies sure did! Thank you Pioneer Woman for a great recipe.
This recipe intrigued me because the filling can changed to any fruity jam or preserves. So depending on your mood or whatever jar of jam you have in your pantry, you most likely have all of the ingredients on hand. Though…it sounds like the strawberry is the best if you need a comfort food. They were hard to only eat one….perfectly sweet!
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
- 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 – 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Add the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter (using your hands, combine the butter into the dry ingredients) until it makes course crumbs. Spread half of the mixture into the greased pan, pushing it evenly and tightly into the corners. Add a layer of the jam over the oatmeal crumble, carefully spreading it with a knife. Then layer the remaining oatmeal crumble over the top of the jam.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Now for the hard part. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
This is not your ordinary banana bread, which by itself is absolutely delicious. But I thought to give my banana bread recipe a little make-over and add a summer twist with strawberries. The base ingredients were the same as my banana bread recipe, but I only added one banana and made a homemade balsamic strawberry sauce. Balsamic vinegar and strawberries are a great combination because it brings out the sweetness of the berry. I was pleasantly surprised that this bread turned out even better!
Balsamic vinegar and Strawberry Sauce
1 Cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
In a saucepan, stir the strawberries and sugar over medium heat for 5 minutes until the strawberries cook down into a sauce. Add the balsamic vinegar to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
This sauce would even be delicious over yogurt or ice cream. Ooh…the possibilities!
But here is the bread recipe…
Balsamic Strawberry-Banana Bread
2 C flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
1 medium mashed bananas
balsamic strawberry sauce (recipe above)
1/3 C milk
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 C chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 C chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease pan, mix all ingredients together and place in a 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. I used 3 mini loaf pans and baked for 45 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
This had to be one of my favorite parties! My daughter turned 6 and she invited a few girls for a quaint fairy tea party. The weather really worked out because we held it out in our yard under the pergola (though the backup plan was to have it indoors) and the garden was just starting to bloom. The fairies must have stopped by to open the flowers just in time for this magical afternoon. Don’t forget to make a place setting for the fairies!
The preparations started the night before. My daughter was just ending her Kindergarten school year and has been very excited about writing. She left a note for the fairies by one of the many fairy houses in our backyard to “leave a sign that they were here to visit” and invited them to her party tomorrow. The fairies really did come to visit because when she checked the fairy house first thing in the morning, fairy dust was sprinkled at each fairy house in our yard with a few “gems” or polished glass stones. She sure anticipated her party after school!
I made the headbands for each girl that attended the party using small silk flowers, ribbon and a butterfly and I found the package of headbands at the dollar store.
Her guests were welcomed into the yard by a “Welcome to the Enchanted Fairy Garden” sign and a fairy house.
I made placemats for the girls out of white card stock with their name, butterfly stickers and a fairy quote “Like fairy dust gleams on butterfly wings, little girl dreams are made of magical things”. At the end of the party I put the placemat and menu in their goodie bag so they could bring them home.
The menu for the fairy tea party was as follows:
Flower Power Grilled Cheese
Butterfly Egg Salad Sandwich
Ham & Cheese Snail Pinwheels
Raisin Bread with Cream Cheese and Sliced Apple
Sliced Banana and Nutella Spread on Crackers
Fresh Fruit Fairy Wands
Chocolate Dipped Fairy Berries
Rainbow Petits Fours
Magical Dragonfly Cupcakes
Peach Herbal Tea
I served proper English style tea for the girls using a herbal peach tea. All of the girls were willing to at least try it. I think it is important to try new things and it was ok if they didn’t care for it, we then served pink lemonade.
I thought this menu catered to most kid’s and I avoided peanut butter in case of food allergies. The biggest hit was the butterfly shaped grilled cheese sandwiches. I had the bread cut, buttered and the sandwiches prepared ahead of time. As I prepared the three tiered server, I put them on a hot griddle, flipped them and they were ready to serve.
The fresh fruit fairy wands were made using wooden skewers.
The dragonfly cupcakes really turned out beautiful. I dipped pretzels in melted blue chocolate wafers and pieced them together on wax paper. They perfectly stayed together to adorn the top of the cupcake. The devils food cupcakes were iced with pink cream cheese frosting.
Desserts are served! The petit fours were easily made using frozen pound cake cut into squares and dipped in different melting chocolates. These could be made a couple days in advance and kept in the fridge.
We played two games at the fairy tea party.
The first was an egg hunt in our yard and throughout the garden. The plastic eggs were filled with small items that the girls will use to build fairy houses to take home. Some items included, glass stones, buttons, pinecones, sea shells, etc. The winner had found the most eggs.
The second game was played in between courses. I filled a tray with “tea party” items and covered it with a table cloth. Once I removed the cover, I explained the items to the girls and they had one minute to look things over. I then covered the tray and gave them paper to list out as many items as they could remember. For young writers, they did a great job!
After the girls finished up their dessert, I cleared the table to work on building a take-home fairy house. I found these little odd shaped boxes that I thought would be perfect to decorate. Prior to the party, my daughter and I filled a box with some natural items, clippings from the boxwood bushes, dried pressed flowers, sticks, pinecones and small stones. I purchased a small bag of moss, seashells and glass stones from the dollar store. Just a few paper plates with glue and the girls were ready to decorate their fairy houses. The houses are perfect to be kept in a dry place outside like a covered porch.
It appeared that the girls enjoyed their afternoon together and we were thankful for them coming to our fairy tea party. The goodie bags included a book on Fairy Houses and a fairy book mark – perfectly matching the Fairy Tea Party theme.