Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Crumble Bars and Our Marine

Monday Morning 4am.

The streets were dark.  The neighbor's dog was barking...oh wait those were our dogs.  Sorry neighbors.

My little brother sat on the sofa calmly as he waited to begin the next chapter of his life.

Maybe it was because my contacts weren't in, or maybe it was because it was 4am, but my little brother suddenly didn't look so little as he waited patiently for his ride.

All he could bring with him were the clothes on his back, $20, and a Bible.  Was he really headed into the military and not to be some missionary in a distant land?

I sat there smiling as I remembered him as a 2 year old sitting in the kitchen surrounded by a broken glass bottle of his favorite juice.  His hand was cut deeply and he just sat there happy he found a way into the bottle.  Still to this day that kid would do anything for a glass of apple juice.  How brave he was as he sat there with his hand cut open.  How brave he was as he sat there waiting to become a Marine.

His cell phone rang and his recruiting Officer told him to meet him outside.  The parents, the uncle, me, and me Brodo headed outside.  We hugged him goodbye, wished him well, reassured him of our love and prayers, and bid him adieu. 

Goodbye Brodo.  Do us proud!

Now in the days before he left I was banned from the kitchen and my mixer as he was ordered to loose 5 pounds before he left.  It was so hard not to make him his favorite meals and oatmeal raisin apple cookies before he left.

I planned on going to boot camp at the end of that day, but instead an 18 wheeler truck decided to hit me in slow motion while stopped at a red light.  I mean super, super slow he was stopped behind me then decided he could sneak past me through a very small space...yeah, not so much.  I just sat there stuck between a sea of cars in 5 o'clock traffic with a giant truck slowly crunching my car.  Really, really?  Are your eyes that bad Mister?

Needless to say by the time we had exchanged insurance information in the pouring rain...oh, did I mention it was pouring rain...well it was, and that was the last straw to convince me not to work out.  Instead I went home and made something with apples in it that tasted wonderful and I dedicated them to my awesome Brodo.

Apple Cinnamon Crumble Bars
adapted from the Smitten Kitchen and Baked New Frontier's recipe for Raspberry bars

For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature

For the apple filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound chopped apples, about 4 medium apples peeled/cored/chopped into 12 slices then chunks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the crust and crumb.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9x13" pan and then line with parchment paper.  Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a mixer and mix for a few seconds.  Add the butter and mix until loose crumbs form.
Mixture will be dry, fear not, carry on.  Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside.  Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan.  Bake until golden brown about 15 minutes.Remove from oven and cool, set aside.

Make the apple filling: In a bowl, whisk the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together. Add the apples, lemon juice and melted butter.  Stir until apples are coated

Spread the apple filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling, and slightly press down.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating 1/2 way, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.  Cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator.

Eat your heart out,


"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
-  Winston Churchill 


  1. I think it's my turn to bring food to our bible study next week.... I think I might bring this!

  2. You summed up exactly how I felt the day my little brother left for boot camp. He pulled out of the driveway and I and couldn't believe he was really an adult. Now, I look at his life almost ten years later and I can't believe we are ALL that grown up! Wives, husbands, kids, etc... it happens so quickly.

    Have a blessed day!

  3. I love how you shared about your brother and how dear he is to you. How sweet!

  4. Wow, the marines are strict! Kelson just left for the Coast guard, and he was allowed to bring $50!

  5. Thanks for the kind comments ladies! Aldebaran- let me know how they turn out if you do make them : ) Mary-so glad you can relate : ) Jenny - He is indeed! Ellen - hope kelson enjoys the coast guard!