Apple Crumb Pie Bars

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not a big pie lover. That’s why, for this Thanksgiving, B and I decided to make a few pie-themed recipes in a non-pie form. So, desserts that are inspired by pie, but aren’t actually pie. Make sense? (or as my mom would say, Capeesh?) Yesterday I shared some awesome pecan pie bars. And today, it’s apple crumb pie bars!

Apple crumb pie MAY just be my favorite type of pie. Growing up, for Thanksgiving, we’d often pick up pies from a local farm in Upstate New York – and my favorite was always the apple crumb. And this bar recipe definitely reminded me of those pies – but even better, it’s in a cookie bar form! Oh yeah – these cookie bars also have oats and apples, so they have to be healthy, right?

Full disclaimer – these are very easy, just time consuming to make all three parts. It helps if you have someone peel and cut the apples while you prepare everything else. Thank you to B for taking on this oh-so-fun task!

apple crumb pie bars - i crashed the web

Apple Crumb Pie Bars

Here’s what you need:

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Pie Filling:

  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 6 medium apples, peeled and sliced thin (I used Granny Smith)
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 2 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, sliced and cold from the refrigerator

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Start by making the crust. Beat butter, vanilla and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in flour and sugar and mix until just combined – don’t overmix.
  3. This will be your crust! Using your hands, place mixture onto the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish prepared with parchment paper. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until crust is just starting to brown. Cool crust.
  4. Prepare the pie filling. In a large pan, melt butter and mix in brown sugar. Add sliced/peeled apples and cook on medium to medium-high heat until apples start to turn translucent (about 10-12 minutes). Add cinnamon and nutmeg and cook about 10 more minutes, or until apple liquid has almost nearly disappeared. If it starts to burn/turns too dry before the apples are fully cooked, feel free to add a little water while you cook. Cool.
  5. Make the crumb topping. Combine rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda. Cut in the 1 1/2 sticks butter using a knife and combine with a fork (or your hands) until the mixture is in crumbly clumps (again, yes that is the scientific term).
  6. Put it together! Place the apple filling over crust and then sprinkle crumb topping down over the apple layer. Press down lightly over apple layer until it’s thoroughly covered
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the oatmeal crumb topping is lightly browned.

apple crumb pie squares - thanksgiving - i crashed the web

apple crumb pie bars - i crashed the web


These are inspired by a few recipes, mostly this one from Food + Wine Mag.

Pecan Pie Bars

I’m not a big pie person. I know, I know – pies are somewhat trendy (well they were a year or so ago) and therefore I should like them. I’ve just never been a big fan. Don’t get me wrong – I love desserts of ALL kinds, but if I had a choice between an apple pie or apple cookie – I’d choose cookie all the way.

So when B and I got charged with bringing dessert to his family’s Thanksgiving this year, I wasn’t really looking to make enough pie to serve 20ish people for three days (yes, it’s a pretty big family gathering). But of course, for B some people,you can’t have Thanksgiving without pie. So in addition to making a pie, or two, we decided that we’d also bring some bars – inspired of course by popular Thanksgiving pies. First up? Pecan Pie Bars. These are great for both pie AND non-pie lovers. The sugar cookie dough crust could be eaten alone and works marvelously (I’ve been watching too much Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife) with the pecan filling.

Oh, and besides having these for Thanksgiving? I’m very seriously thinking about making these for Christmas – because they really are that good.

pecan pie bars - i crashed the web

Here’s what you need:

For the crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened

For the filling

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans (I put mine in a food processor and c

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour with powdered sugar. Cut in 3/4 cup softened butter using a knife and combine with a fork (or your hands) until the mixture is in crumbly clumps (yes that is the scientific term).
  2. Using your hands, place the mixture on the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish prepared with parchment paper. Allow mixture to come up the sides of the dish a little as well.
  3. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges are starting to brown. Cool crust.
  4. Combine brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, and heavy whipping cream in a skillet. Bring to a boil. Stir in pecans, and combine. Pour hot pecan mixture into cooled crust.
  5. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the pecan filling is a dark golden color and bubbling. Cool before cutting into bars.
  6. Enjoy!
sugar cookie crust

sugar cookie crust

pecan pie filling

pecan pie filling

Bars are done!

Bars are done!

Recipe inspired by this Food Network recipe – minus the corn syrup! – and this one.

Fall Cookie Inspiration (Pumpkin, Apple, Oatmeal and more)

Yesterday was National Homemade Cookie Day! I can’t believe I missed it. I actually didn’t even have it on my radar until last night when my friend Devin messaged me, “Today is national homemade cookie day – sounds like a good opp for Melissa Bakes!”

I dropped the ball and ended up going to the Indians game instead of baking; but, here’s a belated blog post to share some cookie recipes that are perfect for fall. I promise to make at least one of these recipes this week!

Caramel Apple Bars (from Betty Crocker)

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (from Annie’s Eats)

Peanut Butter & Fudge Oatmeal Bars (from The Kitchn)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Sandwiches (apologies for the photo -it’s from my Tumblr – I made these last year)

Caramel Apple Cookies (from Midwest Living)

Pumpkin Blondies (from Inspired By Charm) – I am so making these this week!

Pumpkin Gingersnaps (from Two Peas in their Pod)

Did you celebrate National Homemade Cookie Day? What are you excited to bake this fall?