Cookies from the Book: Apple-Spice Bars

     This is a wonderful way to use up any apples that may be lingering in the refrigerator.  Especially in the fall when apples are plentiful. Of course apples can be found any time of year in the grocery store.  However my Dad has always purchased bushels of apples from our local orchards every fall just after the harvest.  It was our family tradition to make apple crisp anytime he would bring these apples home.  I think it may just be his favorite dessert.  During the apple season we averaged making apple crisp once weekly.  It would be filled with crisp fresh apples and loaded with a double and sometimes triple recipe of an oat crumble topping.  Later my mom and dad became more adventurous adding cranberries, various nuts, and nut flours to the mixture.  The crisps we made where buttery, bubbly, full of spice, with a crusty crunchy golden topping, made extra delicious with the addition of vanilla bean ice cream.
     These bars below are equally as delicious as that apple crisp of my childhood.  While this is labeled as a “cookie” recipe these bars have more of a cake-like texture.  This is the first time I have made this recipe from my classic Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Cookies Cookbook.  But I instantly fell in love with it.  I added currants to the original recipe and some additional fresh nutmeg.  I love the extra aromatic spice!  Adjust the spices to your taste if desired.  I also was a little skeptical that the batter would fill the 13x9x2 pan.  But not to worry, while the batter seemed a little stretched and thin in the pan, it rose up quite wonderfully.  Enjoy these on their own, with a cup of coffee or tea, or hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Take it from my dad a real apple dessert connoisseur, I shared some of these bars with him and he oohed and aahed over them exclaiming they “were great!”

Apple Spice Bars


  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup finely chopped peeled apple
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar.
  3. Add 2 eggs to butter and sugar and beat well to incorporate.
  4. In separate bowl stir together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger.
  5. Blend dry ingredient mixture into creamed mixture; mix well.
  6. Stir in finely chopped apples and currants.
  7. Spread mixture over greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
  8. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over top of batter.
  9. Bake at 350º for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cut into bars.
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