I have been on a dessert rewind re-vamp kick lately – i.e. remembering delicious desserts I enjoyed in my younger years and overhauling them to be healthier! This has proven to be challenging, but very fun and rewarding when I get the recipe right. Let me introduce you to this beloved apple dessert that I hold dear to my heart. I have such fond memories of my Mom making apple bars and perfectly placing the apples on the crust in rows before baking. I remember the heavenly aroma that came from the oven as these beauties baked – the scent of sweet, buttery crust and cinnamon-laden apples danced through the air. (I’m actually drooling recalling this memory…) Those apple bars were delicious, BUT they could have caused a coronary with the amount of butter they contained! This version of apple bars contain much less fat and sugar AND they are allergy-free. The crust is made from whole-grains and along with the apples, these bars contain plenty of fiber! How do they taste? Like an open-faced apple pie! Incredibly DELICIOUS! The whole pan was gone in a few hours…no tummy ache and no guilt here! YUM!
1/2 cup applesauce + 1/4 cup coconut oil (keep the coconut oil at room temperature or cooler)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 flax egg
2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (or flour of choice)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups apple slices (I like to use a very tart apple such as Granny Smith)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (or flour of choice)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup organic powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon plant-based milk of choice
Cream applesauce, coconut oil, and coconut sugar together then add flax egg and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix all together. Remove approximately 1/3 of the dough and put aside. Press remaining 2/3 of dough in a parchment-lined or greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine coconut sugar, flour and cinnamon, then add sliced apples. Coat apples thoroughly. Arrange apples on cooked crust. Crumble remaining 1/3 of dough over apples. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. When cooled, mix powdered sugar and vanilla with milk to dribbling consistency. Drizzle icing over bars. Cut and serve.