Apple Streusel Bars

The latest installment from What's Gaby Cooking?
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What's Gaby Cooking?
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The latest installment from What's Gaby Cooking?
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Gaby from What's Gaby Cooking is back for her monthly food column, this time with the ideal treat to bring to any holiday party. Enjoy! 

It’s go time guys! We’re at peak season for baking and I can’t be stopped. My kitchen resembles a professional bakery in that there are pounds and pounds of flour stocked in the pantry, the amount of butter in my fridge should be criminal, and I have sugar coming out of my ears! There are treats to be made, hostess gifts to be baked and cookies to be consumed. And I’m not the least bit upset about it. Growing up my all-time favorite dessert was an apple crisp. Over the years I’ve morphed it into these Apple Streusel Bars which are half apple crisp and half shortbread bars. Make them immediately! You’ll thank me later :)

xo - Gaby

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Crust

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Filling

2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough on the sides so you can lift out the bars once they are done.

For the Crust:

Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until combined. Press the crust evenly into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the heat to 350 degrees F.

For the Filling:

Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl and toss to combine.

 For the Streusel:

In another small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Add the chilled butter and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the mixture. Once it resembles coarse crumbs it’s ready to go.

Arrange the apples on top of the par-baked crust. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown and just slightly crispy.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour. Dust the top with powdered sugar, slice and serve as needed. If you’re feeling extra decadent - serve this up with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!