I love apple desserts. Actually, I love APPLES. The End. Like seriously, they might be my favorite fruit – bonus points for being cheap (and tasty) year round and perfect for baking =). These Apple Streusel Bars are the perfect combination of apple pie and apple crisp/streusel – in bar form. The flavor profile is very classic with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, which is exactly how I like my apple desserts. And if rolling pie crust isn’t your thing, this is definitely the dessert for you! Just press the buttery, shortbread-like crust in the pan, add the apple filling (which doesn’t require any pre-cooking!) and then top with an oatmeal-pecan topping. Simple, delicious, and easy! (Especially if your dad peels and slices all the apples for you! Side note: my dad is just generally awesome but if I’m making anything that requires peeling/chopping, he is the master. He has more patience than anyone I know.) Just make these bars. They won’t disappoint! Enjoy!

Apple Streusal Bars

for the crust:
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces

for the filling:
5 cups apples peeled and diced (about 5 apples)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

for the topping:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 13×9-inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving some excess to overhang. Spray foil lightly with nonstick spray.
2. Make the crust: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Stir with a whisk. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the butter until mixture resembles damp sand. Set aside 1-1/4 cups of the mixture for the topping. Press the remaining dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
3. Make the filling: While the crust is baking, add apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Pour the filling over the warm crust and spread into an even layer.
4. Make the topping: Add the brown sugar, oats, and pecans to the reserved crust mixture. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the topping over the filling. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the topping is lightly golden brown and crisp.
5. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan by foil overhang. Cut into squares.
*barely adapted from Baked by an Introvert

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