Apple Shortbread Squares
When dreaming up this Apple Shortbread Square recipe, I wanted to create something with apple flavour, that wasn’t just a Fall recipe. I mulled through all the traditional Christmas flavours like chocolate, cranberries, peppermint and cream cheese before thinking of shortbread. Adding a shortbread crust makes this apple square recipe perfect for Christmas gatherings.
I am going to make some cookie recipes next week to add to my baking trays, but have to admit squares are so much easier to make when serving groups of people. Depending on the other treats your making, you can add a sifting of confection sugar over the apple squares. But I wanted the pretty golden colour on my dessert trays.
Apple Squares with Shortbread Christmas Recipe
The bottom layer of these squares is a single batch of my favorite shortbread cookie recipe.
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup butter
Preheat oven to 325. Line a 8 by 8 pan with parchment.
In a large bowl, sift together corn starch, icing sugar and flour. Add the butter and mix until a soft dough forms. Transfer to the bottom of the pan and pat flat. Bake at 325 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Apple Filling Layer
4 granny smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
heaping tbsp minute tapioca
This is basically the filling from apple pie with tapioca to reduce the juices. Too much juice will make the shortbread layer soggy. To protect the shortbread layer from too much juice and overcooking, the apples are baked twice. This also means you can bake the apples so that they are nice and soft without worrying about overcooking the other layers.
Turn your oven up to 350. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper, add the sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon and tapioca. Toss until the apples are coated, taste and see if your apple is sweet enough. If they are still sour add a a couple more tablespoons of sugar.
Cover the apples with another sheet of parchment paper and bake at 350 for about half an hour or until your apples are soft.
Make the brown sugar topping while the apples cool.
Spread the baked apples over the shortbread just before adding the brown sugar topping layer.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
Mix the brown sugar and butter together with your fingers until the size of peas. Then add your flour.
Mix well and sprinkle over top of the cooked apples.
Bake at 350 until golden brown, about twenty minutes. Cut into squares for serving.