Recently, I had the chance to meet one of our readers from Hesston.
We had a fairly short (but very pleasant) conversation, and before I left, he gestured to a bag on his kitchen counter.
“Do you like apples?” he asked me.
And that’s how I became the excited owner of four huge, beautiful golden delicious apples. He said he bought an entire case of them recently and had been working through them, little by little. I was happy to take these off his hands.
I was very tempted to just eat all of them, but instead, I felt like the gift deserved a spot in a new recipe, and after searching for an apple recipe that used sweet apples instead of tart, I landed on the one I’m sharing with you this week.
The recipe I tried comes from the blog “Healthy Family Project” by Amanda Keefer. You can find the original post at https://healthyfamilyproject.com/recipes/apple-crisp-breakfast-bars/. I added extra maple syrup and cinnamon in my version.
Apple Crisp Breakfast Bars
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup and 4 tablespoons maple syrup divided
- 4 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon divided
- 1 egg
- 2 sweet apples I used golden delicious, diced
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an eight-by-eight-inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper, and set it aside.
- In a bowl, mix the oats, flour, salt, one-fourth cup maple syrup, butter and two teaspoons cinnamon, and mix until everything is well combined and the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Set aside one-half cup of the mixture.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then pour it into the remaining crumb mixture, stirring to incorporate it completely. Spread the dough into the prepared baking dish into an even layer.
- In another bowl, mix the apples, remaining maple syrup, remaining cinnamon and cornstarch until the apples are well-coated.
- Spread the apple mixture evenly over the dough in the pan, and then top it with the oat mixture you set aside, crumbling it evenly over the top. (It won’t completely cover it; just get it evenly over the entire thing.)
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are fork tender.
- Let the bars cool completely before slicing them into squares.
- Store the bars in an airtight container.
These are not overtly sweet, even with the extra maple syrup I added in my version. They truly are a great breakfast bar, even though you could totally get away with sharing them as a dessert, too.
I ended up doubling my batch of these bars and sharing them as part of a brunch with friends. It’s an incredibly easy recipe to double.
It was nice to be able to take a simple gift and turn it into another gift for others. (I’m sure there’s a small-town metaphor in there somewhere.)
And it was a doubly sweet experience to have a nice conversation on a cold afternoon. Thanks again, Harvey; I hope we will chat again one day.
This piece first appeared in print on Nov. 9, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.