I have a bad habit of leaving things in my freezer too long. It’s not that I don’t know they’re there. In fact, I’m very organized and (almost) always have a good handle on what’s in my freezer. It’s just that I’m such a born conservationist. I tend to think, “I need to save these for when I really need them,” (surprise visitors, need a quick meal, etc.). My husband is quick to point out when something is freezer-burned. There’s the nasty taste and aroma, and sometimes things get dried out or too chewy. It’s always a bonus, then, when I can find a recipe that will let me have my flaws and eat them too.
These apple bars may actually be more moist after a year and a half in the freezer than on day one! Yes, I’ve left them in there that long before. They come out in incredibly good shape, and you can just eat (serve) them without even having to microwave them to moisten them up. Truly melt in your mouth.
This passes for a breakfast bar, snack food, or a dessert (looks like cake, smells like cake, melts in your mouth like cake…). It’s the perfect fall food when apples are in season and plentiful. I made a double batch last week to share with my Bible study gals and again yesterday for Baking Day.
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The original recipe is from 30-Day Gourmet’s Freezer Cookbook that I checked out from the library a few years ago. Here it is, (then keep going for my healthy upgrades):
- Preheat over to 350
- Stir dry ingredients together.
- In another bowl, beat oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add dry to liquid ingredients, beating well.
- Stir in apples and nuts.
- Pour into greased 15x10x1 cookie sheet.
- Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Frost once cooled or mostly cooled.
*Other fruits (blueberries, drained pineapple, sweet cherries) may be substituted for apples.
- Replace half of the white flour with whole wheat flour
- Replace half or even the whole cup of oil with applesauce (Not that I’m afraid of fat, you know, but it’s neat to be able to make something so apple-y in the fall!)
- Reduce the sugar by ¼ cup (or more!)
- Use 100% white whole wheat flour OR
- Use coconut oil or melted butter (I used half homemade applesauce, half coconut oil and butter mixed. It was just that kind of day, running out of everything!)
- Add the walnuts – so tasty and full of omega-3s!
Because these freeze so very well, it’s worth it to double the recipe every time. I made a single batch today as part of Baking Day and kind of regretted only having 24 squares to share with Buddy Boy’s school group Friday and for ourselves. The only part that really takes more time is the apple chopping. I happen to have the best 4-year-old helper in the world. Check this out:
I mentioned Monday that I’d share my meatloaf/meatball recipe and how I freeze them, but that’s going to have to be next week. We’re talking animal fats next week anyway, so it sort of fits!
Other Fall Recipes:
- One-bowl Pumpkin Muffins
- Cabbage Pumpkin Soup
- 6 Ways to Use up Leftover Pumpkin
- Chicken Barley Leek Soup
I’m participating in:
- Life as MOM’s Ultimate Recipe Swap: Make-Ahead Foods
- Hoosier Homemade’s Holiday Food Fest ~ Fall Desserts
- Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
- Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things
- Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Amy’s Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free (I feel badly about linking up such a gluten-filled recipe – check out some ghee, too!)
- Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale