Monday, November 12, 2007

Harvest Time Apple Bars

Make sure not to over bake these delicious apple bars, or they may come out too dry. Try adding more nuts to enhance the harvest flavor.

2 cups flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
1 cup chopped PLANTERS Walnuts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3-1/2 cups chopped apples

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the cinnamon; cut in butter using pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts. Reserve 2 cups of the crumb mixture for topping; press remaining crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan.
BEAT cream cheese and milk with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the egg and vanilla; mix well. Pour over crust. Top with apples; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
BAKE 30 min. Cool completely. Cut into 32 bars to serve. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

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