Alex Makes: Apple Bars

Every week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex's Day Off , shares with readers what she's eating -- whether it's from the farmers' market or fresh off the boat, she'll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

Recently, I shared my one of my two favorite apple recipes with you: a warm and comforting Mulled-Apple Cider. Now, I'm whipping up a Thanksgiving treat that will become a fall staple.

Alex's Apple Bars
3 granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons honey
The juice from 1 orange
8 dried figs cut into small pieces
2 cups unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon (to be used after baking)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

3. Combine the apple slices, honey and orange juice in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Cook, simmering gently, until the apple becomes soft. Stir in the dried figs and continue simmering the mixture until the figs and the apples meld together. Note: If liquid is needed while cooking the apples, feel free to add some water to the pot.

4. In a large bowl, knead the butter and sugar together until the mixture is smooth. Add the salt, flour, almonds and ginger and mix to blend. Set aside about 1/3 of the dough.

5. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of a greased baking sheet so it forms a flat layer. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the apple puree and crumble the reserved dough over the top like a crumb topping. Place the tray in the oven and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes. The top should be light brown. Put the cinnamon in a strainer and sprinkle it over the top while it’s still hot. Cool and cut into wedges.

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