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Why This Recipe Works

Apple cobbler combines a homey, crowd-pleasing mixture of apples, cinnamon, and sugar with a lightly sweetened, biscuit-like topping. It's one of our favorite desserts, but it's a plated affair; we wanted to bring its flavors together in a treat we could eat anytime or anywhere. Enter: cobbler bars. Instead of using fresh apples—which would undoubtedly make for a soggy cookie no matter how much we cooked them—we turned to both apple butter and dried apples, which we added to the buttery cake-like base of our bars. The apple butter gave the bar good apple flavor without making it wet like applesauce did. And the chopped dried apples, sprinkled over the base, provided textural contrast. Next, the bars needed their cobbler topping. Adding bread crumbs to the standard mixture of flour, butter, and sugar gave it an extra-toasty flavor once baked, as well as a unique crunch. And we couldn't resist sneaking in a common New England apple cobbler accompaniment: cheddar cheese. With the contrast of salty, nutty, sharp cheese, we think these cobbler bars might be even better than their inspiration.

Ingredients

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Topping

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
½ cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (½ cup)
¼ cup (1 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Base

3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
cup packed (4 2/3 ounces) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup apple butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried apples, chopped
Nutritional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving (Serves 24)

  • Calories 279
  • Cholesterol 48 mg
  • Fat 16 g
  • Sodium 60 mg
  • Saturated 8 g
  • Carbs 28 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1 g
  • Monounsaturated 5 g
  • Sugar 11 g
  • Polyunsaturated 1 g
  • Protein 4 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Instructions

Makes 24 bars

This recipe works fine with both homemade and store-bought plain bread crumbs.

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse butter, bread crumbs, pecans, sugar, cheddar, flour, and cinnamon in food processor until coarsely ground, about 12 pulses. Transfer bread-crumb mixture to prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until mixture is golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely.

2. FOR THE BASE: Make foil sling for 13 by 9-inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide, and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.

3. Whisk flour and baking powder together in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, apple butter, and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Stir in pecans.

4. Transfer dough to prepared pan and press firmly into even layer. Scatter chopped apple over dough. Top with crumb topping and bake until deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let bars cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 1 hour. Using foil overhang, remove bars from pan. Cut into 24 pieces before serving.