When I saw Mary's beautiful picture and mouth watering post, I know it would not take me long to give it a try. Since my first apple bar inspired by Dorie Greenspan, I was on the look out for another one.
I have yet to establish a system in my labyrinth of "to-try" recipes but I have taken a spring resolution of some sort to bake one to two recipes that I have bookmarked from another blog each week, and if you knew how many I put in my "favorites" each day, you would see that it is not a small endeavour!
I adapted her recipe a little bit given what I had in my pantry, but mostly because I got sidetracked by my dog chasing a bird that had flown into the house, hence the title of this post. The bars were delicious. I had a difficult time not nibbling at the little pieces sticking out in the corners, the uneven edges or the crumbly topping. I had a harder time saving some for B., needless to say the neighbors never saw a sample of these, not even a crumb!
Little Birdie Almond Apple Bars, adapted from Mary’s recipe:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tb. butter, cold
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 medium apples, peeled, cored & cut into thin (I chose Braeburn)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch square baking pan with parchment. Spray with cooking spray.
Make the Crust:
Combine the flour and ground almonds and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the almond extract and beat on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat on medium speed until blended. On low speed, mix in the flour/almond just until the dough comes together. It should be crumbly.
Reserve about 2/3 cup of the crust mixture.
Press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake until light golden, about 16-18 minutes. Remove crust from the oven.
Make the Topping: Add the flour, brown sugar to the reserved dough. Cut in the butter and mix with your fingertips. It should remain crumbly. Set aside.
Make the Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and the lemon juice.
Arrange the apple slices over the baked crust. Pour the cream cheese filling over the apples and gently spread the filling to cover. Crumble the topping over the filling. Bake until lgolden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool to temperature.
I found the bars easier to cut after a chill time in the fridge. The flavors were even more pronounced the next day (given the one square I had saved for the picture)
No, no, this is not the new HHDD event but stay tuned…the theme will be posted before the end of the week.