Monica's favorite gear for making
Apple Bars
I use this healthy, whole grain flour in place of all or part of white flour in many recipes like these bars. It contains all of the wheat berry's healthy and natural elements - the germ, endosperm and bran - yet it has a lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour.
This is preferred over whole flaxseed for better nutrient absorption.
This Oxo peeler is awesome! I peeled the apples for these bars in no time.
Also available: Oxo Y PRO Peeler
An indispensable tool in my kitchen, this is all I needed to mix the batter and glaze for these bars. For small, quick mixing, it's easier than getting out an electric mixer.
Also available: 4-cup, 1-cup, 2-cup
I have two sets of these versatile, durable pans; they get daily use in my kitchen. The small (9x13) one is the perfect size for a batch of apple bars. Love the lids, too.
This sturdy multi-purpose tool gets lots of use in my kitchen. It makes easy work of cutting these bars neatly.
This little spatula is so well designed. It small size makes it easy to slip under food in tight spaces. I use it for everything from cookies to fried eggs...and neatly removing these bars from the pan.
This OXO silicone spatula is my go-to mixing spoon. It's sturdy enough to easily stir the thick apple bar batter. It is heat resistant to 600 degrees. That makes it a handy multi-tasker to use for stirring hot foods on the stove-top, too.
This grade B syrup has a more robust flavor than grade A syrup. Click below for grade A syrup.

Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars with Apple Cider Glaze

Apple cider syrup makes these amazingly moist and flavorful.


Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars with Apple Cider Glaze

By Monica              12 servings
Apple cider syrup makes these moist cake bars over the top with apple flavor.  Serve as coffee cake in the morning or dessert in the evening.

Apple cider syrup makes these moist cake bars over the top with apple flavor.  Serve as coffee cake in the morning or dessert in the evening.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (same as flaxseed meal)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider syrup (recipe at http://www.theyummylife.com/Apple_Cider_Syrup); or use frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled & chopped into max. 1/2" pieces (3 cups chopped)
  • APPLE CIDER GLAZE:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider syrup (or use frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, plus 1/4 cup additional powdered sugar)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray or softened butter; set aside.

In microwave safe bowl, heat butter until just melted; approx. 20-30 seconds. Set aside to cool. (It should be melted, but not hot when added to the batter later.)

TO MAKE BARS: In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, & flaxseed; set aside. In separate large bowl, add eggs and whisk until uniformly mixed. Add butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, apple cider syrup, & vanilla. Whisk until well blended. Add dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until uniformly mixed. Stir in the apples. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center has moist crumbs. Place on cooling rack and cool completely.

TO MAKE GLAZE:
In medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, and apple cider syrup. Whisk until blended and smooth.

Drizzle glaze on cooled bars and spread evenly over top.

Best if eaten the same day, but may store 2-3 days. Store uncovered to prevent the glaze and bars from becoming soggy. May be stored at room temperature or in fridge.

Nutritional Information per serving (recipe cut into 12 bars): 339 calories, 9.9g fat, 299mg sodium, 61.7g carbs, 42.2g sugars, 3.5g fiber, 3.2g protein. High in vitamin B6. Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 9


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Today's recipe is for apple lovers. That's because the depth of apple flavor and moist texture of these bars is over the top! There's a secret ingredient that elevates these above your normal apple bar.

That secret ingredient is Apple Cider Syrup. It's a natural sweetener with intense apple flavor that is the perfect addition to many recipes, and especially this one. It's added to both the batter and the glaze of these apple bars. I explained how to make Apple Cider Syrup in a previous post. It's super easy. So whip up a batch of syrup and then move on to this recipe for Gooey Apple Bars. 

When I served these to my family, there was much discussion over what this dessert should be called. Bars? Gooey Cake? Coffee Cake? Apple Blondies? Sheet Cake? I settled on a combination of these. Gooey Butter Cake is a thing in St. Louis, so Gooey had to make the list as a nod to my home town. One thing I know for sure is that whatever you call it, this dessert was a hit that I will be making again.

Healthified (kinda). Not healthy, mind you, but healthiER than similar desserts. It does have butter (although a reduced amount) and a generous amount of sugar. I used whole wheat flour and added some flaxseed meal to give it a nutrition boost. (Believe me, no one will know it.)  And, the apples are good for you. But, if you're limiting carbs and sugars, this may not be the recipe for you. Just because it's whole-grain, that doesn't make it diet food. But, splurge worthy? Yes! 

Nutritional Information per serving (recipe cut into 12 bars): 339 calories, 9.9g fat, 299mg sodium, 61.7g carbs, 42.2g sugars, 3.5g fiber, 3.2g protein. High in vitamin B6. Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 9

Step-by-step photos for making
Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients

  • whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
  • flaxseed meal (same as ground flaxseed)
  • powdered (confectioner) sugar
  • brown sugar
  • baking soda
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • vanilla
  • maple syrup
  • apple cider syrup (same as "boiled cider")

view organic products on Amazon:  whole wheat pastry flour, flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed), maple syrup

Ingredients for Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

  • More about Apple Cider Syrup. This is what makes these apple bars particularly flavorful. If you're unfamiliar with this old-time natural sweetener, you can read how easy it is to make in my post, Apple Cider Syrup & Molasses. It can also be purchased online from King Arthur's Flour (Boiled Cider), but it's pricey (almost $20/pint with shipping, yikes). An easy, affordable substitute is to thaw a can of frozen apple juice concentrate--it works, although it's not nearly as flavorful as apple cider syrup. But, it will do in a pinch.

Apple Cider Syrup is a secret ingredient in Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars.

  • Apples--the main ingredient--Granny Smith apples are my favorite to use in this recipe, because their tartness balances the sweet ingredients. For other apples that are good for baking, refer to my chart, Comparing Apples to Apples. The apples need to be peeled and chopped.

view on Amazon:  Y peeler4-cup mix & measure cup

Cutting apples for Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 2. Melt the butter, but don't overheat--it shouldn't be hot when you add it to the other ingredients (otherwise, you could end up with cooked scrambled eggs). Microwave the butter until almost completely melted, then stir until the last bits melt in. This takes 25 seconds in my microwave. Set aside to cool more as you assemble the other ingredients. 

Melting butter for Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 3. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, salt, baking soda. Set aside.

view on Amazon: wire whisk

Dry ingredients for Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 4. In separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the brown sugar, maple syrup, apple cider syrup, and vanilla; whisk until mixture is a uniform color. (You can use an electric mixer for this, if you like. I personally find it easier to use the whisk for simple mixing like this.)

view on Amazon:  8-cup measuring/mixing bowlWet ingredients for Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 5. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined with a uniform color throughout.

view on Amazon: rubber spatula (sturdy for stirring this batter and heat tolerant for stove-top cooking)

Combining ingredients for Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 6. Stir in the chopped apples, and spread it evenly in a sprayed or greased 9x13 cooking pan. I used a shallow baking sheet for easier cutting, but it's fine to use a regular baking pan with taller sides. 

view on Amazon: baking sheet set (I have 2 sets of these versatile pans and use them frequently. I use the smaller 9x13 pan for this recipe.) 

Adding apples to Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 7. Bake until browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center has moist crumbs.

  • See all of those little holes on top? They're a result of bubbles formed from the combination of the baking soda and the natural acid in the apples and apple cider syrup. That helps to add leavening to the bars, and also turn this into a natural "poke cake" (science pokes the holes instead of you!). The glaze will seep into those holes to lend moisture and flavor throughout. That's where the gooey yumminess of the recipe originates.

Baked Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Step 8. As the bars cool, whisk together the glaze ingredients: powdered sugar, maple syrup, apple cider syrup, and cinnamon. Easy--no cooking required.

Apple Cider Glaze

Step 9. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars; spread it evenly over the top. After a bit, some of the glaze will seep into the holes.

Glazed Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Tip for cutting tidy bars. Any time you have a sticky frosting or glaze, cutting the bars by dragging a knife through them can make a mess of them. They'll still taste great; but if you want a tidier presentation, try this. Use a pastry scraper/chopper, coat the blade with cooking spray, and make vertical, down and up cuts, wiping the blade and respraying after each cut. It may sound like a hassle, but if you cut all of the bars at once, it doesn't take long. It makes it so much easier and prettier to serve these when they're cut evenly and neatly.

view on Amazon:  pastry scraper/chopper

Cutting Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars

These apple bars are perfect with coffee or tea for a mid morning break.

Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars | TheYummyLife.com

My family loved them when I served them for dessert after dinner. King-Man prefers his  warmed slightly in the microwave and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Glazed Whole Wheat Apple Bars

Store bars uncovered for 2-3 days. Yes, you read that right--uncovered. Most glazes don't hold up well once they're covered. (Have you ever covered glazed donuts overnight and discovered that the glaze has melted to a wet coating by the next day? Yuck.) The moisture from the bars will begin to dissolve the glaze eventually. These bars are best when freshly made and glazed. But, if you have leftover apple bars and want them to maintain a firm glaze, leave them uncovered. I tested these stored uncovered both at room temperature on the counter and in the fridge. Both held up well, so take your pick. (The fridge will keep pets and pests away.) Even though it may be counter intuitive, the bars won't dry out and the glaze will be firm (not hard) and won't dissolve and become "wet" if they're stored uncovered.

view on Amazon: small spatula (perfect for removing cookies, bars, & cakes from pans)

Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars | TheYummyLife.com

It's hard to describe just how flavorful these are. They're moist, gooey, and apple-icious to the max!

Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Cake Bars | TheYummyLife.com

Make it a Yummy day!

Monica

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Gooey Whole Wheat Apple Bars with Apple Cider Glaze
By Monica              Servings: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (same as flaxseed meal)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider syrup (recipe at http://www.theyummylife.com/Apple_Cider_Syrup); or use frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled & chopped into max. 1/2" pieces (3 cups chopped)
  • APPLE CIDER GLAZE:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider syrup (or use frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, plus 1/4 cup additional powdered sugar)
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray or softened butter; set aside.

In microwave safe bowl, heat butter until just melted; approx. 20-30 seconds. Set aside to cool. (It should be melted, but not hot when added to the batter later.)

TO MAKE BARS: In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, & flaxseed; set aside. In separate large bowl, add eggs and whisk until uniformly mixed. Add butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, apple cider syrup, & vanilla. Whisk until well blended. Add dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until uniformly mixed. Stir in the apples. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center has moist crumbs. Place on cooling rack and cool completely.

TO MAKE GLAZE:
In medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, and apple cider syrup. Whisk until blended and smooth.

Drizzle glaze on cooled bars and spread evenly over top.

Best if eaten the same day, but may store 2-3 days. Store uncovered to prevent the glaze and bars from becoming soggy. May be stored at room temperature or in fridge.

Nutritional Information per serving (recipe cut into 12 bars): 339 calories, 9.9g fat, 299mg sodium, 61.7g carbs, 42.2g sugars, 3.5g fiber, 3.2g protein. High in vitamin B6. Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 9
Print this Recipe   Share this Recipe



Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014








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