Is there anything better than sitting down to a delicious homemade dessert that’s made with wholesome ingredients? Only sitting down to that same delicious dessert and sharing it with family and friends. While apple pie may be the quintessential fall dessert, the process of making it is often time consuming and a little complicated. These soft and chewy bars allow you to enjoy the comforting taste of apple pie without all the work! Plus, they’re vegan and perfect for sharing.
These bars taste even better on the second day! That is, if you can make them last that long.
For the apple filling
1 Tbsp (15 mL) arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 Tbsp (15 mL) warm water
2 cups (500 mL) apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
For the bars/topping
1 cup (250 mL) quick oats
1/2 cup (125 mL) oat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) almond flour/meal
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing baking dish
1/4 cup (60 mL) blanched sliced almonds
Mix arrowroot powder or cornstarch with warm water in small bowl until no clumps remain. Set aside.
Combine apples, sugar, and cinnamon in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until apples are soft and easy to break apart with a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in premixed arrowroot and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Brush an 8 x 8 x 2 in (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish with coconut oil and line with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl, combine oats, oat flour, almond flour, and salt. Add maple syrup, applesauce, and coconut oil, and mix until all ingredients are well combined and dough begins to form.
Reserving 1/4 cup (60 mL) dough, transfer remaining dough to prepared baking dish, using your fingers or spatula to ensure even distribution. Spoon apple filling overtop, using spatula to spread evenly. Add sliced almonds to reserved dough and sprinkle mixture on top, breaking up bigger chunks and pressing down lightly.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until top begins to turn a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan and cutting into bars.