Can you believe it's December already? As the end of the year (and the end of my 27th year as of tomorrow, haha) approaches, I've been looking back over 2011 at all the changes and excitement we've had. I graduated and passed the boards and started working as a nurse. We got pregnant and had a baby. We rearranged the entire house. We made new friends and stayed close with old ones. We joined a church and got involved in community service.
So far, 2011 has been my favorite. :-)
The base of these bars became one of my favorites, too. Remember how I have all those apples? Well, I needed something else to make with them. Last summer, I made some peach shortbread bars with a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. This time, I figured that I could use the same base, tweaked a little, and top it with cinnamon sugar apples. After I assembled the bars, I decided they could use a little kick - I had a bag of Hershey's cinnamon chips in the cabinet, and I thought they would go nicely. These bars kept for 4 days in the fridge - pop them in the microwave for a few seconds before serving - they're so much more delicious warm!
Apple Pie Shortbread Bars
(inspired by Smitten Kitchen)
3 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1 large egg
3 apples (I used Jonagolds), peeled, cored and sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup cinnamon chips
Time and temperature: bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven and grease a 9 x 13" glass pan or line it with parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly like wet sand. Cut in the egg. Using the back of a butter spoon, press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Stir together the apple slices, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and brown sugar. Spread the apples over the base and top with cinnamon chips. Top this with the remaining crumbs and bake for 30 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.