I'm telling you. These will KNOCK your SOCKS off. Sooo good.
I'm not one to post recipes to my blog often. However, I am one to delight in making people happy through food. And these bars will make you and your family very happy. Unless, of course, you're trying to diet- in which case, you will be very UNhappy to find that you cannot walk by the fridge without sneaking a bite. I know this from experience.
It's a Betty Crocker recipe, (a 2007 prize winning recipe, to boot!) and you can find it on their website, too. But just to make things easy, I'm posting it here and encouraging you to make it, ESPECIALLY if you have gone apple picking like us and need a good way to use some up.
Instead of using the canned apple pie filling like it calls for, I used real apples. I would highly recommend you do this, even though I haven't tried it with the canned filling... I think canned filling is both worse for you and lacks a lot of the taste that real apples have. It's worth the extra work to use real. Here's what I did:
I peeled, cored, and sliced thin (into about 1/16ths) about 12-14 small apples, then tossed them in 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. I brought a splash of apple cider to a boil and then threw in the cinnamon sugar apples and stirred for about 20 mins, or just until the apples were starting to tenderize. I know this isn't very exact, but I did it on the fly, and it worked. You don't need to cook the apples all the way through on top of the stove, because you're going to bake them in the dessert- you just don't want them to be crunchy when you get them out. Don't worry- apples are hard to ruin.
I also used chopped hazelnuts instead of walnuts- just cuz I don't like walnuts, and I'm the Momma, and I'm the one who made them. :) Oh, and neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese. Because it has 1/3 less fat. And I think this recipe had plenty of fat without the real cream cheese, thankyouverymuch. It didn't change the texture at all, so don't be hesitant to do this if you want! It will lower the guilt level of these treats :P
And here's the rest of the recipe:
|1||pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix|
|1/2||cup firm butter or margarine|
|2||packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened|
|2||tablespoons all-purpose flour|
|1||can (21 oz) apple pie filling|
|1/2||teaspoon ground cinnamon|
cup chopped walnuts
|1.||Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.|
|Place cookie mix in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes.|
Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked crust. In medium bowl, mix pie filling and cinnamon. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes. Refrigerate to chill, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
I'm not putting the nutrition information for obvious reasons. If you REALLY want to know, head on over to Betty Crocker and find out for yourself. But don't say I didn't warn you- things that taste so good are never quite as good for your butt. :P