It might surprise you to discover that cooked, sliced zucchini is remarkably similar in texture to baked apples – and that was the idea behind today’s recipe for Apple Zucchini Crumb Bars!
Like so many of you – we’re still cooking our way through this summer’s bountiful harvest of garden-grown zucchini. But Jack and I are not at all complaining! Zucchini’s mild taste makes it a perfect, healthy ingredient in savory dishes (see here, here and here), and it’s equally terrific in sweeter, baked recipes (like this or this) as well!
This recipe is an adaptation of an old family recipe originally made with sliced apple – but sliced zucchini is a great substitute for a portion of the fruit if you want to add some extra green veggie nutrients to your baked goods (plus it’s a great way to use up some of your zucchini)!
Unless you tell them – your family will never guess that there is zucchini in these Apple Zucchini Crumb Bars. All they will taste is the sweet and creamy, cinnamon-infused filling that is sandwiched between a top and bottom brown sugar, oatmeal crust.
These apple zucchini crumb bars are delicious served warm right out of the oven or cooled to room temperature. An optional sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar is the perfect finishing touch to this sweet treat!
These bars can be made with a combination of zucchini and apples, or with just apples if you prefer. If using only apples, you will need 2 ½ cups of peeled, sliced Granny Smith apples.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup quick rolled oats
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- ½ pound zucchini sliced into 1/8th inch slices
- 2 Granny Smith apples cored, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Additional shortening to grease pan
- ½ teaspoon roasted cinnamon (or regular if roasted is not available)
- Confectioners’ sugar (optional) for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, sift flour, salt and baking soda.
- Stir in brown sugar and rolled oats until combined.
- Cut in shortening until fine crumbs form.
- In an 8 inch or 9 inch square pan, liberally grease bottoms and sides.
- Divide half of flour mixture and pour into pan.
- Lay zucchini and apple slices over flour mixture.
- Sprinkle granulated sugar over apples and zucchini.
- Dob butter pieces around top of sugar.
- Pour remaining flour mixture over top and sprinkle the top with the cinnamon.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Cool and cut 3X4 to yields 9 bars.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream or cold as is with powdered sugar dusted on top.
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