This is another recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies. I absolutely loved the apple filing in this recipe. It uses dried apples, which are simmered in apple cider and intensifies the apple flavor, as well as make preparing it much quicker.The recipe calls for dried cherries, but I substituted craisins because I always have them on hand and they are much cheaper. They really added a nice contrast to the apples. I also cutted up the apples with kitchen shears before simmering in the cider.I cooked the bars for the time recommended, but they were overcooked and slightly burnt around the edges. Next time I would cook them as much as 10 minutes less. I would also only put 3 cups of the oat mixture on the bottom so there is more for the top.
These definitely need to be completely cool before you cut them. They might even be better if left to sit over night and soften up a bit. I wouldn’t know though because they were gone the first night. Enjoy!
- 3 cups dried apples, about 7 ounces
- 3/4 cup dried cherries, about 4 1/2 ounces
- 1 3/4 cups apple cider
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for dish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Simmer apples, cherries, and cider in a covered saucepan, stirring occasionally, until fruits are softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Let cool.
- Coarsely chop fruit. Combine with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and reserved cooking liquid.
- Whisk together oats, flour, baking soda, salt, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbs range in size from peas to gum balls. Press 4 cups of oat mixture into bottom of prepared dish. Spread fruit filling on top, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top.
- Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack. Cut into 24 bars. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days
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