Apple Pie Streusel Bars

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      Apple Pie Streusel Bars
      Shortbread Crust:
      1/2 cup butter, melted
      1/4 cup granulated sugar
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      1/4 tsp salt
      1 cup all-purpose flour
      Apple Filling:
      2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick
      2 tbs all-purpose flour
      2 tbs granulated sugar
      1 tsp ground cinnamon
      pinch ground nutmeg
      1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
      1/3 cup dark brown sugar
      1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
      1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
      Preheat the oven to 300 F. Line an 8- x 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
      Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.
      Make the apple filling: Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated.
      Set aside.
      Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
      Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350 F. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. These can be enjoyed warm or cold. The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. Yield: 12 bars

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