“Do these have apples in them?”
No mom, they most definitely do not have apples in them…but that’s actually a pretty good idea…maybe I should do some experimenting! Perhaps I could add some apples and serve it with vanilla bean ice cream? (I’ve officially decided vanilla bean is my favorite, it doesn’t lessen my affection for other ice cream don’t worry! But I just can’t deny my strong love for the vanilla bean!!)
So what exactly are these bars that ended up in my belly that would pair so nicely with warm apples and vanilla bean ice cream?
Cookie Butter BROWN SUGAR Streusel Bars! That brown sugar is of extreme importance for many reasons!
First: While making the bards with my friend Rose, different members of my family kept asking what we were making. I kept forgetting to say brown sugar, so she had to keep correcting me (clearly I was far more excited about the Cookie Butter part). So now whenever someone asks me about the bars I feel the need to stress the BROWN SUGAR!
Second: It’s flavor is by far the most powerful in the bar. Rose and I wanted a strong Cookie Butter taste, but these were not the bars for that! It was kind of a bummer, but if you just forget the fact that you wanted Cookie Butter, these bars are INCREDIBLE! Heck they were incredible even when I was a little upset about the lack of Cookie Butter taste. Believe me I got over it real fast! So cinnamony, brown sugary and buttery!! They are best right out of the oven!
Third: The brown sugar makes these bars chewy and soft and moist and heavenly!! The bars were so so so rich!! They stayed super duper soft the entire two days we had them in the house. NO SHAME! My family attacked those bars! I gave some to the kids I nanny, and they were in complete awe! It was awesome to here them rave about my baking. Yesterday, Althea ate the last one, and Oliver was so upset:) That and the fact they didn’t last more than two days in my house means that these are one gosh darn amazing dessert! (I’m not sure why I wanted to say that, but I wanted to, so I did!) Even though they didn’t last long in my house, I am extremely confident that they would have stayed soft for days to come!
Brown sugar is a wonderful thing if you haven’t noticed!
One thing to note…a little on the depressing side…but these bars are also a tad greasy! Well like a little more than a tad:( But hey sometimes you have to live a little! You don’t need to eat them every day, just as a treat every once in a while. Remember, everything in moderation:) If you’re afraid you’ll eat the whole pan, give some away! Your friends will love you!
So these pictures! They’re actually pretty good! I think part of the reason I like them so much is because they are so bright and colorful! All the credit goes to that beautiful plat! Provided by the lovely Terri Zustiak! That’s my friend Rose’s mom! She was so nice and sent Rose to my house with some colorful itemS to use on my blog! Plural! So that means there is more colorful items to come;)
Here’s the recipe for this sinfully delicious bars!
Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup brown sugar, packed (I used light; dark may be used for more robust flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
heaping 1/3 cup smooth Cookie Butter (or creamy Biscoff)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1/4 cup unsalted butter (half of one stick), softened
1/2 cup whole rolled old-fashioned oats (not quick cook or instant)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I used light; dark may be used for more robust flavor)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1+ teaspoon cinnamon, to taste (I used 2 teaspoons, add to taste)
2 tablespoons Cookie Butter, melted for final drizzle after baking
- Bars – Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter, about 1 minute. Allow the butter to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the egg.
- Add the egg, 1 cup brown sugar, vanilla, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and whisk or stir until smooth.
- Add the heaping 1/3 cup Cookie Butter, and stir to incorporate.
- Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula; set pan aside.
- Streusel Topping – In the same bowl you made the batter in (provided you scraped it fairly clean with a spatula), add all the streusel ingredients except the 2 tablespoons cookie butter for final drizzle post-baking, and work the mixture with a spoon, a pastry cutter, or your hands until small pebbles form. Sprinkle topping evenly over base layer (it looks like there’s quite a bit, but it seeps in during baking).
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly; and the edges are set and have pulled away slightly from sides of pan. It will be hard to determine how set the center is because it’s hard to see what’s going on underneath the streusel topping and edges are the best clues. I baked for 29 minutes, at which point most edges were quite firm, crusted over, and the corners were crisping. Testing for doneness in the center with a toothpick is another clue; toothpick should come out mostly clean.
- After pulling pan from the oven, heat 2 tablespoons of Cookie Butter in the microwave to melt, about 15 seconds.
- Immediately and evenly drizzle Cookie Butter over the top of bars.
- Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Store bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer.