Dutch Apple Pie Bars

I am totally and completely infatuated with fall. From pumpkin, apples and cinnamon to jeans, hoodies, football and everything in between… I love it all. It’s such a cozy time of year and I love the warmth that it brings, even though the days grow chillier. I’ve always loved apple pie, but have long been partial to the Dutch version. As much as I love pie crust, I just can’t resist the crumble topping of a Dutch apple pie. As much as I enjoy making a homemade pie, I love bar desserts for their ease of assembly and the ability to just grab one and eat it standing up. All of the same fabulous flavor without the need for a plate and fork.

These bars are a perfect alternative to dutch apple pie, from the crust to the spiced apples and the buttery crumble. Not only can you eat them on the go, but you won’t feel nearly as bad about eating two or three of these, as opposed to two or three pieces of pie… that’s always a bonus! ;-)

One year ago: Salted Caramel Cashew Bark
Two years ago: Pittsburgh Steelers Football Jersey Cookies
Three years ago: The Famed Neiman Marcus Cookies
Five years ago: Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dutch Apple Pie Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
8 ounces (4 cups) animal crackers
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Pinch salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Streusel:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornmeal
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼-inch thick
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over pan edges. If using foil, grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Make the Crust: Process the crackers, brown sugar and salt in a food processor until they have been reduced to fine crumbs, about 15 seconds. Add the melted butter and pulse to incorporate. Press the crumbs into an even layer in the prepared pan and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 13 minutes. Cook on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Keep the oven on.

3. Make the Streusel: Whisk together the flour, sugars and cornmeal in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and toss with a fork until the dry ingredients are all evenly moistened. Set aside.

4. Make the Filling: Combine the apples, melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Assemble: Spread the apples over the crust in an even layer and sprinkle with the streusel. Bake until the streusel is brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Using the foil or parchment overhangs, lift the bars from the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Share This Post...



62 Responses to “Dutch Apple Pie Bars”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on September 20, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I’m with you on preferring the dutch apple pie! I can’t pass up that yummy crumble topping :) These look great!

    Reply

  2. Keisha on September 20, 2012 at 4:56 am

    WOW! These look incredible! One of my favorite parts of fall is homemade apple pie. I’m excited about these bars..i can have apple pie on the go!

    Reply

  3. Linda K. on September 20, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Considering I have about twenty pounds of apples from apple picking, I am definitely going to be making these! They look so good and I love that it has the flavors of a pie in a bar. I love Fall recipes!

    Reply

  4. Jen @ Savory Simple on September 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I always go crazy in the fall. Jeff and I took a walk last night just to enjoy the crisp chill in the air, especially sweet after such a brutal summer. These bars sound just wonderful.

    Reply

  5. Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab on September 20, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Those look incredible! I’ve been jumping full swing into baking with apples the last week or two. So far I’ve done apple pie cookies and apple pie ice cream. Dutch apple pie is my favorite version of apple pie, I can’t wait to try these!

    Reply

  6. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on September 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Animal Crackers? I love that!! Great recipe!!!

    Reply

  7. shelly (cookies and cups) on September 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I love love apple pie bars. These look amazing!

    Reply

  8. leslie on September 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Yep..these just SCREAM fall!

    Reply

  9. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on September 20, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Totally in heaven with these.

    Reply

  10. Tracey on September 20, 2012 at 9:28 am

    The only thing that can make apple pie better in my book is to make it portable and add a crumble topping, so clearly these are awesome :) Definitely going on my fall to-do list!

    Reply

  11. Kare @ Kitchen Treaty on September 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Animal cracker crust?!! Brilliant!

    Reply

  12. Rachael on September 20, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Hi, i’m from Australia and i don’t really know what/have animal biscuits, what could i use instead?

    Reply

    • Marla on September 22nd, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Animal crackers are these little animal-shaped cutout cookies, crispy in texture and slightly sweet with a bit of spice. Do you have graham crackers down under? They might be a good substitute if you do. Otherwise, there are recipes on the internet for homemade animal crackers. I have not tried it but I found one that seems similar to the commercial ones at confessionsofacookbookqueen.com. (eliminate the candy frosting for the Dutch Apple Pie Bars.) Another option is to order some from Amazon.com, though that might be kind of expensive with shipping. Good luck!

      Does anyone else have a suggestion for our Ozzie friend?

      Reply

      • Shilpa on July 15th, 2013 at 3:19 am

        Hi Rachael, you could use digestive biscuits instead. I did, and it worked fabulously!

        Reply

    • Michelle on September 25th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Rachael, You could use graham crackers in place of the animal crackers.

      Reply

      • Nat on March 9th, 2013 at 12:29 am

        We don’t have graham crackers here either….or graham flour for that matter! So many recipes we can’t make! Boooo. ;)

        Reply

    • Rebecca on April 8th, 2013 at 11:03 am

      biscuits are the same thing as cookies in England I would think they are the same as our animal cookies.

      Reply

  13. icakepops on September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    It’s apple season here in the NE and I will be making these alot throughout the season!

    Reply

  14. Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen on September 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

    For some reason, making a pie often terrifies me so these are the perfect alternative. I also have a feeling that I’ll want to use animal crackers in all my baking now!

    Reply

  15. Chris on September 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

    OK, this is the catalyst I needed to whip up the gluten-free vanilla wafers…because I NEED to make these bars!!! (No easy animal crackers for me…) I can SO make this work!

    Reply

  16. Amy on September 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Looks delish! Just one question – you meant after the crust has baked for 10-13 minutes for it to cooL on a wire rack for 20 minutes, right?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 25th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Amy, Yes, you’re correct!

      Reply

  17. Sues on September 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Perfect! I love that you mention you can eat a few of these as opposed to a few pieces of pie. VERY true!

    Reply

  18. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on September 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I love apple pie, but I think I might love streusel topping even more…. These are a perfect mix of the two!

    Reply

  19. Laura Dembowski on September 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Those look so yummy! It’s so cool that the crust is made of animal crackers. What a genius idea :)

    Reply

  20. Katie Rhoads on September 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Saw this on FB this morning and got right to work! Drizzled some of the salted caramel from the cupcakes from your site… Amazing!!!

    Reply

  21. Helen Brawley on September 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    These look delicious!

    Helen
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

    Reply

  22. Amber, RD on September 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I love it! Dutch apple pie is one of my favorite things ever!! But I don’t always feel like making a pie. This sounds like a great alternative, especially for taking to a party! Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  23. Jess on September 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    These sounds yummy! I’ve been so obsessed with pumpkin for fall that I’ve neglected apples! Must make these soon!

    Reply

  24. Michele on September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Oh my, these look sooooo good!! I so wish I could just 3D print them & gobble them up…lol! And Katie Rhoads’ comment about drizzling them with some of the salted caramel seriously pushed these over the edge. MUST.MAKE.SOON!!!!

    Reply

  25. Mia on September 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

    These look amazing! I’ve (amazingly) managed to go through the 10 lbs of apples I picked just 10 days ago, so I guess its another trip to the orchard! (Or maybe just the market…)

    Reply

  26. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on September 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I’m making these this weekend for company that’s coming from out of town!

    Reply

  27. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on September 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    These look awesome. I’m not much of a pie person, so I will take these any day. Always a bonus when they have a streusel topping.

    Reply

  28. jann on September 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Are you talking about the animal cookies that come in those little boxes?
    They are kind of expensive, especially since you need 4 cups.
    Any other cookies I could use?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 25th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Jann, Yes, actually one regular-size box of animal crackers is 8 ounces, so you only need one box. However, if you don’t want to buy them, I imagine that graham crackers would be a good substitute.

      Reply

  29. April on September 22, 2012 at 11:17 am

    These look delicious! I bet you could substitute graham crackers for the animal crackers.

    Reply

  30. Tracy on September 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Dutch apple pie is my favorite way to make apple pie! These bars are perfect!!

    Reply

  31. natalie@thesweetslife on September 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    i love apple pie, but mine is never as good as my grandma’s…i think i’ll stop trying and instead just make these. somehow i think i won’t be disappointed :)

    Reply

  32. Transportation Services New Jersey on September 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Fall gets the best of me as well… there’s something about the weather and the wardrobe and the yummy food you get to eat!!

    Reply

  33. jann on September 25, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Follow up-
    I did find the 8oz bag of animal crackers and used them. I had considered using vanilla wafers if I couldn’t get the animal crackers.
    THe recipe turned out very well. Tasted best the day I made them. (But, I didn’t store them in the refrigerator.)

    Reply

  34. Jann #2 on September 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Making these for this weekend–going up our camp @Pymatuning for some family/fun/food time! These look scrumptious! Thank you! : )

    Reply

  35. Penny on September 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I can’t wait to make these! I have an intolerance to any type of corn product can you suggest what I should use instead of cornmeal.

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 30th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      Hi Penny, You can simply omit it; it adds a little bit of extra crunch but isn’t necessary.

      Reply

  36. Jimena on September 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I was so excited to make these over the weekend since it was such a perfect fall day today. So i made them this morning, and they were super easy to make. My only question is that the bottom is too crumbly. I measured out all the ingredients and used the right amount of melted butter. But after the bars have cooled and i go to cut them, the bottom is falling off. They tasted amazingly delicious, but do you have any advice on how to get the bottom crust to stay on? I was thinking of trying to add some quick cooking oats to the ground up animal crackers, similar to the oatmeal fudge bars recipe i’ve made from here. Any advice would be appreciated, since i plan to make this recipe a lot throughout the season. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 30th, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Hi Jimena, You could try adding some quick cooking oats, or try reducing the butter by a tablespoon or two to see if that helps. Also, make sure your oven isn’t running hot. You can reduce the baking time a little as well. That should help!

      Reply

  37. heidi on October 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    These look so good. Great recipe!

    Buy Here Pay Here

    Reply

  38. Barbara on October 5, 2012 at 3:39 am

    These turned out amazing! I used cinnamon teddy grahams for the crust and loved the flavor.

    Reply

  39. Elisa on October 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Did u mean cornstarch vs cornmeal in the streusel ?

    Reply

  40. Jack Tyler on October 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Brilliant! Apple pie is one of the favorite pies of my family. Specially my children, my God they really love pie. But for this Dutch Apple Pie, for sure an additional list of their favorites. Thanks for the recipe :D

    Reply

  41. Claudia Pletting on October 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Just made these today. They are delicious! Will send a picture!
    Thank you.

    Reply

  42. Mónica on November 5, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Hello Michelle,
    I´m a spanish follower. I live in Madrid, Spain. I´ve made these yesterday and they are delicious and really easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  43. S on November 28, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Hey Michelle, what a great recipe! I used digestive biscuits and accidently missed out pre-baking the crust. They tasted amazing and the crust holds itself well, so I’m curious why do you prebake it?
    Thanks again for such a wonderful recipe. It’s a firm favourite and would have made this everyday if not because of all the sugar involved ;)

    Reply

  44. Steve Rheinstrom on June 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Michelle–
    I made the bars last night, using the King Arthur Cookie Cookbook recipe for the crust instead of animal crackers. The cookies taste great with one caveat, the streusel is a little too dry. Do you think more butter might solve the problem? The taste profile is right on, but the streusel didn’t brown as much as one would like, and cooking longer would burn the rest of the cookie.

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      You could try more butter, although you don’t want the topping to essentially melt, which I’ve seen happen with streusel toppings have too much butter. You say it was dry, but not brown enough. I’m wondering if your oven temperature is on par?

      Reply

  45. Shilpa on July 15, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Hi! Any tips on how to make this a day in advance?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 15th, 2013 at 10:03 am

      You can make them a day in advance, let them cool completely and then store in the refrigerator. I would take them out about an hour or so before you plan on serving them.

      Reply

  46. Luv What You Do on August 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I love the idea of using animal crackers as the crust! These look heavenly!

    Reply

  47. Alisha on October 11, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    These turned out pretty good, but I had a couple issues making them. My little food processor was too small and I had to make the crust in two batches. Maybe that’s why the crust didn’t come out quite right. It was super crumbly, like fell apart easily just from picking up and was burnt a little on the edges. The apples and topping came out really good though.

    Reply

  48. Mary on June 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    How many cups of crushed graham crackers would I need? Also, can I bake this in a smaller pan to get a thicker bar? Would I need to change the baking time?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 30th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Mary, While I haven’t tried this with graham crackers, I would use the same amount as the animal crackers. If you bake it in a smaller pan, you will need to increase the baking time.

      Reply

  49. Kym on November 20, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Can these be frozen. I make this every years for our small schools Thanksgiving Feast. (I never have leftovers of this one). However due to timing and scheduling can these be frozen?

    Reply

Leave a Comment





(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)