I love my mom so much, but man can she repeat things. Some would call it nagging. But, I don’t dare. This past week, my mom has been bugging me. Every single day, she’s been bugging me about apples. Yes, I said apples. You see, my mom tends to buy in bulk. You’d think this philosophy would only apply for big box items, but you’re wrong. She somehow applies this logic to fruit and vegetables as well. Yes, we’re a family of five, but sometimes this philosophy just doesn’t make sense. Because, last week, she bought a ton of apples. I’m talking we have at least 10 or more on hand. No one has been eating them, besides me. Because of that, she’s been bugging me to make a dessert with them, so I can get rid of them. So, I decided to make these squares. I wanted something easy and that wasn’t fried. Thus, I decided on this recipes. These squares have the best of everything. A spongy vanilla cake bottom, the warm tender apples in the middle and the chewy, yet slightly crunchy streusel topping. I loved these and ate them real quick. The best part was, I got a nice snack while finally getting rid of these apples that were laying around. That buys me some time until she buys some more fruit in bulk which should be a week or two. Sorry mama, but it’s true.
Wash and peel some Granny Smith apples. Slice them thinly, not paper thin, and place them in juice, while you work. Anything with acid will work here.
We’re going to make the bottom layer first, which is the cake layer. Start by, creaming the butter on medium speed. Gradually add in the sugar. Scrape and then mix on medium speed for five minutes. Next, add in the extracts and eggs, one at a time. Scrape between additions. Turn the speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, then use a rubber spatula to finish folding in the dry ingredients. It should be smooth.
Combine the streusel ingredients and fold in to start. Then use your hands to clump up and mix the ingredients. Texture should be like wet sand when finished. Then prepare preserve, dilute with water and mix. Get your pan lined with parchment and greased. At this point you can also pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
In your prepared pan, pour in the cake batter and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
Then fan over the apple slices until they’re all used. Brush on the preserve throughout to hold the apple slices together.
Now sprinkle the streusel on top of the apples and make sure to cover as much space as you can.
Bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes. Let it cool in the pan until cooled completely.
Use an offset to wiggle the sides free and unmold onto wire rack or cutting board. Use hot water and sharp knife to cut into squares. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon and enjoy while warm!