Apple Pie Bars {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

Now that the sugar rush of Halloween has passed, I bet you’re either a) done with sweets for a while or b) looking for a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth. If your answer is a), then I can’t help you because I have a daily desire for sweets… which obviously means if your answer is b), then this recipe is for you!

These bars start with a shortbread-like base…

which is topped with a sweet apple pie filling…

and then crowned with more of the shortbread crust.

There’s no butter, refined sugar, or wheat flour in these bars, yet they really do taste like apple pie.

You really must chill the pie if you’re to have any success cutting it into bars; and even then they tend to be pretty crumbly. Thus, I suggest serving the bars with forks to cut down on the messiness factor.

Whether your sights are set on a delicious Thanksgiving dessert (which guests with an array of food allergies or intolerances can enjoy) or on a healthy seasonal treat…

these apple pie bars fit the bill perfectly!

 

 

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Apple Pie Bars {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (12 bars)

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, (preferably organic), peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp melted & cooled coconut oil* (make sure to melt before measuring)
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

*I always use unrefined virgin coconut oil, but if you can’t stand even the faintest flavor of coconut, you can use refined coconut oil for this recipe.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper going both ways (be sure to leave a bit of overhang to help you remove the bars).

In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, combine the chopped apple and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Cook, stirring, until the apples have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, salt, & baking soda. Add in the melted coconut oil and 3 Tbsp maple syrup, and mix with a spoon until fully combined. Reserve half of the mixture for the topping.

Pour the remaining half of the mixture out into the prepared baking pan, and spread out into an even layer using slightly damp fingers or the back of a spoon. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are starting to turn golden brown, then remove from the oven.

Spoon the apple mixture over the top, very lightly pressing down to create an even layer. Evenly sprinkle the remaining crust ingredients over the apple layer, again very lightly pressing down and out to create an even layer.

Return to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Let cool completely to room temperature, then cover pan with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until fully chilled (this step makes it much easier to cut the pie into bars). Lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Serve with forks, as the bars tend to be crumbly.

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