In the spirit of crispy cool days & reflections on childhood visits to upstate NY apple farms I bring you my Maple Apple Pie Oat Bars. These are delightfully happy little treats that can be enjoyed any time at all. Made with old fashioned rolled oats, pure maple syrup, crispy fresh apples and warming spices these are a great breakfast, dessert or snack recipe.
The house smelled fragrant & wonderful while these bars were baking.
What is it about cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, maple syrup & apples? They evoke such great memories, comforting thoughts, smiles & satisfaction.
If you are stressed or in a bad mood I suggest you bake up a batch of these. The smell alone will have you dancing & prancing around your kitchen. All natural aromatherapy & you don’t even need a trip to the spa, though that would be nice too!
Serve these bars warm with a side of maple sweetened Thick Greek Yogurt freshly whipped cream or your favorite ice cream. You can also make some extra apple-maple sauce to drizzle over the top. Now were talking. For add flavor & texture I added 1/2 cup of Ezekiel Cereal. You could also use Grape Nuts if you have those on hand. If you have neither, don’t worry simple use all oats.
Aren’t these chocolate covered sunflower seeds so adorable? They add so much to the presentation too!
What is your favorite way to combine oats, spices & apples?
- large diced Apple - about 1 1/2 cups, skin on
- 2 1/2 cups [Old Fashioned Rolled Oats|http://astore.amazon.com/familyfreshcooking-20/detail/B000VHI0MC}
- 1/2 cup Ezekiel Cereal or Grape Nuts
- 2 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- 2 large Eggs, whisked & room temperature
- 1/2 cup low fat Ricotta Cheese
- 1/4 cup pure grade B Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Cooking Spray
- Pre heat oven to 350 F with rack in the middle. Grease a 9x13 inch oven safe baking dish with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. In a medium sized skillet heat butter over medium high heat. Add apples, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice & salt, stir together. Bring to a boil & reduce heat to medium. Cook about 5 minutes until apples have softened & mixture is golden brown.
- Remove from heat & let cool a bit.In a large bowl combine oats, cereal, eggs & ricotta cheese. Stir in cooled apple mixture. Press batter into prepared pan so evenly distributed. Bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through & top is lightly browned. Slice into squares with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
- Top with whipped cream, ice cream, peanut butter, almond butter, more maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.
- These bars are great re-heated in the toaster oven before serving. Yummy at room temperature too.
- Be sure to use Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, not quick cook ones.
- I prefer grade B pure Maple Syrup, this is darker in color & has a stronger maple flavor than grade A.
- These bars are not too sweet. If you prefer them a bit on the sweeter side add some honey, pure maple syrup, stevia drops or stevia powder to the batter.
Toss a handful of the following into the batter before baking:
- Chopped toasted nuts or seeds – peanuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Chocolate Chips
- White Chocolate Chips
- Cinnamon Chips
- diced Candied Ginger
- dried cranberries, blueberries or raisins
- chopped dried apricots
Oat Bar Recipe Links