Makes 18 bars
Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Total time: about 2 hours
With their layers of flaky crust and gooey apple filling, these bars have all the yummy goodness of a slice of pie. The crowd-pleasing dessert was developed by Sandy Wickland, who has been bringing them for years to family holiday gatherings. "My brothers are disappointed if I don't make them," she says. Here, Sandy shares her secrets to making the recipe easy as pie for budding bakers.
● Sandy's apple of choice for this recipe is McIntosh. "They cook up soft, and the taste can range from very tart to sweet, which is great."
● If the pastry begins to brown too quickly, before the bars are fully cooked, and there are at least 20 minutes of baking time left, Sandy recommends covering the crust with foil to keep it golden brown.
In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly. Separate the egg yolk and white, reserving both parts. Beat the yolk in a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk to measure 2/3 cup and blend well. With a fork, stir together the yolk-milk mixture and flour mixture until the ingredients form a sticky dough. Halve the dough and flatten each half into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Cover the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until well chilled, at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the cornflakes into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to lightly crush them.
On a sheet of waxed paper, roll one portion of dough into a 15-1/2- by 10-1/2-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to an ungreased 15- by 10-inch jelly roll pan. Sprinkle the crushed cereal over the dough, then layer on the apple slices.
Roll out the remaining dough as in Step 3. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the filling. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, then lay the dough on top. Use the tines of a fork to seal the dough edges.
In a small bowl, use a fork to beat the reserved egg white until foamy, then brush it over the dough. In another small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and sprinkle it on the crust.
Bake the pastry until lightly browned, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let it cool for an hour, then mix the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to make a glaze and drizzle it over the top. When the dish has completely cooled, cut it into bars and serve.
Per serving (1 bar): Calories 276 ● Total Fat 11 g (17% DV) ● Saturated Fat 7 g (33% DV) ● Cholesterol 39 mg (13% DV) ● Sodium 150 mg (6% DV) ● Total Carbohydrate 42 g (14% DV) ● Fiber 2 g (7% DV) ● Sugars 25 g ● Protein 3 g (6% DV)