Ok, so I allllmost didn’t post this recipe. Why you ask? Because it’s SO stinking easy, that it’s almost not even a recipe. I’m almost embarrassed to post it because it really is that simple, but honestly, aren’t those the “recipes” sometimes the ones we love the most?!
More than a few years ago (like, before I was married and had kids ‘years ago’), I was at a girls beach trip, and at about…ohhhh, the wee hours of the morning, someone said something along the lines of, “I’m hungry for something sweet!” After going through a pretty well stocked fridge, our friend Jen came up with what we thought was absolute GENIUS! She found a tube of Pillsbury croissant dough, cream cheese, and cinnamon applesauce. I know what you’re thinking… “Ummm, Cyn, that sounds ‘muy malo’!” Alas, it was actually pretty stinking yummy – and with a steaming hot cup of coffee and watching the sunrise…it was a little bit of heaven! Even now, all these years later, I can’t help but smile.
Fast forward to 15+ years later, my kids wanted something, “sweet and tasty!” After looking through recipes of easy desserts on the internet, and going through the fridge, we realized we had everything we needed to make just that…kind of. While the ingredients were a ‘touch’ different, I couldn’t help but smile thinking back to the days of making something out of nothing. We found a recipe for ‘Apple Pie Cookies’. It called for peeling apples, cutting them, cooking them with sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice……then making a mixture of cinnamon and sugar….then purchasing a jar or ‘dulce de leche’…rolling out pie dough and cutting it with a circular cookie cutter…. Ummm…if you’ve been following me, I think we know where I stand with baking. NOPE! So, I took the concept of it, and kept looking. After finding a recipe that looked easy peasy, I glanced at the instructions, got the gist of it, opened up my fridge and pantry and what we came out with is what we now call… “Appleicous”!
So, my sweet Smarty Friends, I present to you, a 3 (yes THREE) ingredient dessert/breakfast that is actually PERFECT for brunch. So surprise your kids one fall Saturday morning, when they are expecting a bowl of cereal, with something a little special…APPLEICIOUS! Dessert for breakfast?! Yep. Is it packed with spinach, and grains and everything good and great for you? Nope! But then again, neither are random hugs from your sweetheart and sticky lipped kisses from your kids, chocolate covered strawberries, a glass of wine on a random Thursday and date nights “just because”…but don’t all of those things make you smile? Just.Sayin.
As always, let’s get the ingredients ready…oh wait. One more thing…we had a little taste test…
When they were OUT of my regular brand of apple pie filling, I decided to buy the two they had.
After my trusty taste-tester tried them both, we had a winner!
The Harris Teeter brand pie filling won! So the ingredients are: refrigerated sugar cookie dough, Apple Pie Filling and *Cinnamon Sugar.
Take about ¾ of the sugar cookie dough, and spread it out thinly and evenly in a baking dish. I think my baking dish was a 13 x 9.
As you can see from the picture below, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If it doesn’t go all the way to the edges, so be it…did I mention this is a pretty forgiving recipe?
Next, you want to sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the top of the cookie dough. You really can do as much or as little as you want here, the trick to is make it an even coating. We use a pretty liberal amount…
…as you can see below. And I should add that when I turned my back to do something, a little someone sprinkled on…a little more ☺
With the remaining ¼ of the cookie dough, you want to roll them into little balls, and then flatten them out in your palm, and randomly lay them on top of the cinnamon and sugar.
This is one of those recipes that is perfect for getting your kids in the kitchen to help…or pups ☺
Once you’ve added the cookie dough topping, you want to finish it off by sprinkling cinnamon sugar evenly over the top. Again…
…we love Cinnamon and Sugar in this house, so it was a little liberal of a shake. And for good measure, when one of my helpers turned around, my other little helper added a liiiitle bit more.
I know I’ve sung the praises of Penzeys spices before, but I can’t say enough about them. They just opened up a location here in Charlotte (happy dance), so if you haven’t checked them out yet, do yourself a favor and take a peek inside. The cinnamon sugar that I used is a mixture of sugar, two types of cinnamon and vanilla beans – yum!!!
Bake at 350˚ for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top. I baked mine for 15 minutes, rotated the dish around (for more even baking), and baked for another 15 minutes. I used my convection setting, so if you’re using the standard baking temp, you might need to add a few minutes. It took 40 mins when I did it in a standard oven. Just start peeking around 30-35 mins.
You’re house will start to smell like apple pie, sugar cookie heaven! The edges and tops are crispy and crunchy, while the inside is sweet and gooey – Yumma! It’s sooo perfect with a piping hot cup of coffee or ice cold tall glass of milk.
Glad I took the picture as quickly as I did, because when I got back…
Appleicious Cookie Bars
Adapted from recipes found on Pinterest
* 1 package refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
* 1 – 20oz Can/Jar of Prepared Apple Pie Filling
* 2 to 5 TBS ** Cinnamon Sugar Use more or less to taste. We used more ☺
** You can make your own by combining ½ C granulated white sugar with 2 TBS ground cinnamon. Stir well. If you want to give it an extra kick, and some vanilla bean, for a vanilla scented cinnamon sugar.