Do you ever wonder what to do with those apples that have been sitting in the fruit bowl for just a bit too long? I have the solution! I absolutely hate throwing produce away, but, I love to have fresh fruit and vegetables in the house. So, when I noticed that these apples were on their way out, I knew I needed to use them up quickly. I have been really trying to eat more healthily by incorporating more whole grains, veggies, and fruit into my meals. Oh, and I am also trying to use less sugar, oil, and butter.
I began to hunt through my cookbooks to find a healthy recipe that used apples. Even though I searched through many books and on the internet I could find nothing that fit with the ingredients I had on hand and was in line with my current idea of eating a more health conscious diet. After one big flop, (the flopped bar cookies became doggie treats) I came up with this great combination of healthy ingredients, and this time it worked!
Oatmeal Apple Bars
5 medium apples, cored and finely chopped
½ cup butter, (1 stick) at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup fancy mixed raisins
2 cups old fashioned rolled oatmeal (not the instant or quick cooking kind)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour*
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Stir to combine.
* High altitude adjustment: You may not need as much unbleached flour at sea level.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 X 9” baking dish with cooking spray. Place the cut up cored apples and 4 eggs in a food processor bowl fitted with the chopping blade, pulse until the apples are finely chopped. Dump the apple mixture into a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle. Add the butter and the sugar and then beat until completely incorporated. Add the raisins and the oatmeal and mix to combine. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix to combine. Add the whole-wheat flour, stir until completely incorporated, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix well. Then gradually add the unbleached flour until the batter becomes thick enough to hold its shape when pushed up with a spatula.
Let the batter rest for 10 minutes. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish, smooth the top, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean. Immediately, sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Cover tightly with foil, and put in a cool place to cool. When cooled completely cut into bars. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. The cinnamon sugar actually melts into the top and makes a sweet topping. This whole recipe has just ½ cup of butter, 1 - 1/2 cups of sugar, and tons of fiber! It makes 28 cookies. ©2012 All rights reserved!