My favorite season in the entire universe has been treating us well here in Texas.  Though the weather is still a tad warmer than I would like it, Fall is here and I’m ready to party.  The leaves are changing (sloooowly), the nights are becoming cooler and I’ve pulled out every pair of boots and sweaters and jackets I own, because here in Texas you only get to wear them 2 months out of the year.  Time is of the essence people!

Fall also brings around some of my favorite fruits — Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits! (Oh my!) But my favorite would have to be the endless varietals of apples — Honey Crisp (my favorite), Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Fuji — I try to make everything apple during the Fall.  So let’s start this season off right with these DELICIOUS Apple Pie Bars, the tartness from the Granny Smith Apples gives this dessert a wonderful flavor.  Not to mention the nutty streusel topping and the buttery shortbread crust that will put a smile on anyone’s face!

(From Food and Wine Magazine)

Ingredients for Apple Pie Bars: (makes 4 dozen bars)


  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 12 granny smith apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup water, as necessary


  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled

Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line a 15 by 17″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms.  Press the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan and 1/2 inch up the sides in an even layer.  Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden and set.  Let cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make the filing: In each of 2 large skillets, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar.  Add the apples to the skillets and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir half of the cinnamon and nutmeg into each skillet.  Cook until the apples are caramelized and very tender and the liquid is evaoprated, about 10 minutes longer; scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillets and add up to 1/2 cup of water to eac pan to prevent scorching.  Let cool.

Make the topping: Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden a fragrant, 8 minutes.  Let cool; coarsely chop.  In a large bowl, mix the oats with the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in the walnut sand press the mixture into clumps .

Spread the apple filing over the crust.  Scatter the crumbs on top, pressing them lightly into an even layer.  Bake in the cente rof the oven for 1 hour, until the topping is golden; rotate the pan halfway through baking.  let cool completely on a rack before cutting into 2-inch bars.

** The bars can be store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days or frozen for up to a month.

You can also make a smaller batch (2 dozen) by dividing the amount of the ingredients in half.


Since we’re on the subject of Apples, I wanted to share with you guys a shoot I did for my friends Heather and Trevor.  Photography is always fun when your subjects are as photogenic as Heather and Trevor and their love for each other is inevitable through these photos.

Heather first fell in love with Trevor when they were tiny tots back in elementary school. Several years later in High School, they were reunited at a party — Heather spotted Trevor across the room and rushed up to him – “HEY! I had a HUGE crush on you in elementary school!”  And the rest is history.  Long story short, he fell in love with her beautiful blue eyes and heart of gold she fell in love with his brawn and robust personality.

Could these two be any more adorable?  I love the fact that Heather is the beautiful southern belle and Trevor is the rugged Texan cowboy — I love the contrast of not only of their apperances but of their personalities.

They’ve been happily married and will be celebrating their 3 year anniversary soon — kudos to you Heather and Trevor!  To one of the most beautiful couples I know — thank you for letting me photograph you guys :)


  1. Noelle says: 25 Oct ’10 • 12:07:29

    These look SOOO good.I have to make an apple version next. :) Great minds think alike. :)


  2. Elissa says: 25 Oct ’10 • 12:28:35

    Butter be damned. I’m going to make these.


  3. Kristen says: 25 Oct ’10 • 19:29:28

    I think it’s hilarious that we both post article about autumn fruit (you apples and me pears) within 30 minutes of each other. And YEAH for sweaters and boots!!!!!!


    • Kristen says: 25 Oct ’10 • 19:30:40

      BTW, I love that you used the bright pink flowers with the green apples. Per-fec-tion!

  4. Amy says: 25 Oct ’10 • 19:40:20

    These sound so good! Lovely photos as well :) !


  5. Evan @swEEts says: 25 Oct ’10 • 20:45:35

    You take such gorgeous pictures! The apple pie bars sound wonderful and you really can feel the love in the photos of your friends!


  6. tasteofbeirut says: 25 Oct ’10 • 20:52:20

    These apple bars are scrumptious! and the story of this couple is lovely and the photos are so compelling and show their feelings very well.


  7. kristy says: 26 Oct ’10 • 00:05:38

    Joy, your apple bars look simply luscious! Hope I can have a few slices too. Time just flies, isn’t it? I’ve been through all four seasons with most of the bloggers from all over the world since last year and am glad will be going through it again & again. Do you have any maple trees around your living area? So excited to find out if you can take some pictures from your neighbourhood!



  8. Heavenly Housewife says: 26 Oct ’10 • 03:10:59

    Great recipe, I have loads of apples this year from my trees in my back yard, and I’m always looking for cool recipes that i can use them up with. This looks fabulous.

    *kisses* HH


  9. penny aka jeroxie says: 26 Oct ’10 • 06:09:51

    oh wow! Such a good recipe and the photos are beautiful! You captured their happiness.


  10. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen says: 26 Oct ’10 • 08:07:34

    Those apple bars look delicious and your photography is fantastic! Can’t wait to make these!


  11. Jenn says: 26 Oct ’10 • 08:34:53

    Your pictures are stunning! These look delicious….thanks so much for sharing :)


  12. Carolyn Jung says: 26 Oct ’10 • 10:56:53

    Ahhh, don’t know which is sweeter looking — the apple pie bars or the photos of your wonderful friends. Great pics! ;)


  13. torviewtoronto says: 26 Oct ’10 • 12:53:29

    beautiful pictures


  14. fresh365 says: 26 Oct ’10 • 15:55:40

    These look SO awesome Joy! I have got to bookmark these for a weekend project! Love your photos too!


  15. May Ling Wu says: 27 Oct ’10 • 10:13:35

    Will have to try these, I love apple pie but I don’t make it so often. Hard to have a whole pie when your one person. Great photography as well!


  16. BigFatBaker says: 27 Oct ’10 • 11:29:42

    Those bars sound wonderful. I love the fall baking season, there is always so many great ideas for the seasonal items. Love your photography too!


  17. Jason Phelps says: 1 Nov ’10 • 00:34:28

    Your pictures are so amazing. We make a similar type of recipe in the fall in NH with our fresh apples. Love it!



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  19. Apple Recipe Round Up – Bites From Other Blogs says: 1 Nov ’11 • 20:29:48

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