Thursday, March 5, 2015

Apple Orchard Bars


Have you ever come across a recipe that looks pretty good but you don't expect it to be amazing.  And then you make it and you're like, "Wow, where have you been all my life?!"  That's totally what happened with this baby.  I got this recipe from a friend.  I've tried some of her other recipes before and they've all been wonderful.  I'll admit I was a little skeptical about the coconut (remember, I'm not a big fan).  Given her track record with good recipes though, I decided to jump in with both feet and give it a try, coconut and all.  Okay, mostly with both feet.  I did reduce the amount of coconut (as listed below) so you can add in another cup if you want.  Anyway, lets talk more about how amazing these bars are.  I first made them for an afterschool snack.  Of course I had to sample them before giving them to the kids.  I think I ate three of them before they even got home from school.  They were an instant hit with the kids.  When my husband got home from work he tried one.  You know how people have their polite, obligatory, "This is good" line that most average good food gets?  And then there's the enthusiastic, heartfelt, "Wow, this is amazing!" line that the really incredible stuff gets.  These bars got the "Wow, this is amazing!" line.  Many times.  When we were down to the last two bars, we had to cut them up into 8 little pieces because everybody wanted one last bite.  I made them two more times that week.  The batter is flavored so perfectly.  It's sweet but not so sweet that it makes me feel guilty for serving it as anything but a dessert.  The apples and coconut mix in to give it some girth.  Something to really sink your teeth into.  When I first made it, I decided it needed some nuts on top.  I was originally thinking walnuts but after turning my pantry upside down, I finally accepted the fact that I did not have that bag of walnuts that I was "sure" I had.  I decided to settle for sliced almonds.  That right there, my friends, is fate smiling down upon us.  Sliced almonds are the absolute most perfect nut for these bars.  I've never even gone back to try the walnuts because the almonds nailed it.  I know this is a lot of hype for a seemingly simple recipe, but around this joint, we all think they really are that amazing.

Ingredients
½ cup melted butter
½ cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
½ c rolled oats
1 ½ cups flour
1 C peeled chopped apple
1 ½ cup flaked coconut, divided*
1/4 cup sliced almonds

*If you want to omit the coconut, add an extra cup of oats to the batter and top with only sliced almonds.

Directions
Preheat oven to 375.  In a mixing bowl, add butter, sugars, baking soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs.  Stir together.  Pour in flour and oats mix thoroughly.  Add chopped apples and 1 cup flaked coconut.  Fold into batter until evenly combined.  Grease 9X13 pan.  Pour mixture into pan and smooth out.  Sprinkle ½ cup of remaining coconut and sliced almonds evenly on top.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or till slightly browned on top. Let cool and cut into bars like brownies.

Source:  Shirley Thornton

8 comments:

Jamie Young said...

When I was talking to you on the phone while you were making these and heard the reaction of your kids when they found out what you were making, I knew immediately I had to try them! With all those rave reviews I know it will be a hit!

Janessa said...

Haha! And that was the third time making it in a week and they were that excited!

Jamie Young said...

Just made them today and they were a huge hit!

Janessa said...

Yay! I'm so glad:)

Amanda said...

Maybe I'm missing it but do you have pinterest buttons on here to make it ready for me to pin things? If not, you should :)

Janessa said...

Thanks Amanda! When I hover my cursor over the top left hand corner of the picture the "pin it" icon pops up and I click and pin. Does it do that for you? If not I'll see if I can figure out how to add a pin it button. I also have most all of these pinned to either my "Tried and Tested - Food We Love" or "Desserts We Love" board on pinterest if you want to pull them from there.

Amanda said...

It works on my computer - just didn't on my phone. Thanks!

Janessa said...

Great! I'll have to see if I can add a pin so they can be pinned from a phone too. Thanks for the comments and feedback! Did you see the freezer meal tags I've added? Hope they're helpful! :)

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