Cinnamon-Apple Crumble Bars with Vanilla Icing

I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes lately — some have been good, some not so good, but only a couple really impressed me. Like these apple crumble bars. They taste like apple pie but are so much easier to make.

Cinnamon-Apple Crumble Bars with Vanilla Icing (click to print)
makes an 8×8-inch pan
adapted from What We’re Eating and this post

Apples
3 medium-sized fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into a 1/2″ dice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Crumble
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

Icing
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

For the apples:
Place the apples, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and toss to coat until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.

For the crumble:
In a large bowl, blend together the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt using a pastry cutter until the butter is incorporated and there are crumbs the size of peas. Add the egg and lightly stir until just incorporated.

Reserve 1 heaping cup of the crumb mixture. Pour the rest of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and gently press the mixture into the pan to form a level crust. Next, evenly distribute the apple mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and the apples are soft. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan.

In a small bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Add the milk, vanilla, and melted butter and whisk until a creamy glaze forms. Pour the glaze into a small plastic bag. Snip off a small corner of the bag and gently squeeze and drizzle the icing over the bars. Let the icing set for about 10 minutes then serve.

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