Can you believe that we’ve made it to the halfway point of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats? I know I sure can’t! But I’m glad to have been stocking up on some holiday treats and filling my freezer! This week’s treat is not going into the freezer though. I’ve taken a little diversion and am making more of a fall treat this week. Our school is having a luncheon for the teachers and I offered to make a dessert. This one seemed a little bit healthier at first glance but realized that it’s got a fair amount of sugar and butter in it. Oh well, the bars are small at least!
And the bonus is I got to use up some of the dried apples I bought at Trader Joe’s a month or so ago and the extra cream cheese I had in my refrigerator (which I don’t even remember why I bought in the first place!) which goes along nicely with my Pantry Challenge!
I love the apple, cinnamon and ginger flavors in these bars. They smelled delicious even before they were baked! And I do love a good bar cookie—so easy and quick. These have just the right sweetness to apple flavor and are perfect for any fall holiday table. I hope you’ll give them a try!
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Cookies special issue
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apples
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 - 4 teaspoons milk
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For crust, in a large bowl stir together flour, oats, granulated sugar, the 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and ginger. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. For topping, set aside 1 cup of the crust mixture. Press remaining crust mixture evenly and firmly onto the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
- 2. For filling, in a medium bowl beat cream cheese, apples, walnuts, sweetened condensed milk, maple syrup, and the 1 teaspoon cinnamon with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Spread filling over crust in pan. Sprinkle evenly with reserved topping.
- 3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is light brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
- 4. For icing, in a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and enough of the milk to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over uncut bars. To serve, cut into bars.
- Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
NOTE: I didn’t take any extra pictures of the process this week. I was in a rush and just didn’t have the time–I needed to just get them done! But I know y’all are smart enough to figure out how to put them together.
Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!