And it appears the weekend’s over, so um………I think we need something sweet to “celebrate”, right?
HEY, how do you feel about apples and cinnamon stuffed inside cookie bars???? But for reals, what do you think? I have all types in my gang when it comes to apple desserts; the ones that like anything and everything, the ones that only like cooked apples but hate cinnamon, the ones that claim to be allergic to all fruits, those that only like raw apples, and those that refuse to have an opinion at all.
With so many people living here in casa craziness it’s becoming easier and easier to get rid of all my extras as you could probably have guessed.
Anyway, so these cookie bars were inspired by one of my fam’s favorites, my s’mores cookie bars! Oh my goodness, and as I’m typing this I just realized that I’ve never shared that recipe, what am I doing with my life guys??? (I’ll definitely share it soon though.? )
Ok, but back to the apple bars, they are simply a combination of the most amazingly soft and delicious cookie base and a classic cinnamon apple filling like what you fill a pie with. Of course, then I couldn’t resist the urge to drizzle them with something extra (I’ve got issues) so I added a little bit of icing to dress them up. If you want you could skip that part I guess (#boringpeopleoftheworldunite), but I’m a frosting fanatic so I seriously cannot.
Alrighty, now that I’ve explained why you have to make these I’m gonna shut up so you can. Oooohhh, and don’t forget to sip something cozy and hot with them like a chai latte or some spiced cider, yum!!!! Enjoy, you guys!
Cinnamon Apple Graham Cracker Crumb Bars (Vegan)
- 3 medium apples peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cookie Bar Dough:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1 cup graham cracker or vanilla cookie crumbs finely ground *see note (I used graham crackers from this recipe
- 2 teaspoons almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment. Add the water to a medium saucepan over medium high heat and add your apples. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the apples are starting to get soft and darken. Combine the salt, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix to combine, then add to the pan. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes longer until, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to melt and caramelize. Remove pan from heat and set aside until needed.
Cookie Bar Dough:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat coconut oil, nut butter, almond milk, and brown sugar together until creamed. Add, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until mixed. Add the flour and graham crumbs and beat until well combined.
Use a rubber spatula to spread about 1/2 of the dough in the baking dish and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes until the top starts just barely browning. Remove from oven and scrape out your pan of apple mixture over the dough. Spread to even out then crumble the remaining 1/2 of the dough over top and return to the oven for 15 to 17 minutes until the top is starting to turn golden brown. Remove pan from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
Whisk the, milk, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Add the powdered sugar and stir gently until you have a smooth icing. Use a fork or fine tipped pastry bag to drizzle over the bars after you cut them.
*If you are vegan and prefer to not make your own graham crackers you can replace the crumbs in this recipe with a number of lightly sweet cookies or crackers from the store. I think Nabisco makes grahams without honey but Speculoos and Biscoff Speculoos cookies, animal crackers, cinnamon teddy grahams, and Girl Scout's Thanks-a-lots are all vegan. Double check to make sure though.