apple cranberry walnut bars are a decadent treat!
For anyone craving a sweet bite with the flavors of fall, this is for you. Actually, this is for Donna. She responded to my request for favorite fall comfort foods and, well – here’s what she said on Facebook:
Don’t you love her enthusiasm!
I’m exuberant too — for these insanely rich, decadent, over-the-top, food-coma inducing, defibrillator demanding apple, cranberry, walnut bars! As you know, I try to be conscientious about having desserts in the house because it’s down to just me and Scott here. And if I make it — we will eat it!
So I planned this one strategically. We were going to visit Emily for a weekend at her college. I thought I should bring her a taste of home and maybe make her rethink her decision to live four hours away. I made a batch of these bars as a
Who can resist a thick buttery crust of shortbread, topped with tart-sweet apples and cranberries and a granola-streusel topping? Holy heart-attack Batman!
Of course, I didn’t actually want to kill my child – so my instructions were to share this bounty with her friends and roommates – thereby also making me a very popular Mom!
Share a batch of these scrumptious bars with your family, friends or co-workers. I guarantee instant acclaim!
apple cranberry walnut bars
For the crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the filling
- 3 apples peeled, seeded, medium dice
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water mixed into a slurry.
For the streusel
- 1/2 cup granola no nuts
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until mixture just comes together in one ball. Press dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until crust is pale golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the apples, cranberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and water. Cook until apples are softened and cranberries have plumped about 8-10 minutes. Bring mixture to a low boil and stir in the slurry. Cook for one minute until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
To make the streusel, in a small bowl, whisk together the granola, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingertips, forming pea-sized crumbs.
Spread the apple mixture over the shortbread. Sprinkle the streusel over the apples.
Bake until topping is golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.
Cool and cut into bars.