Comfort Food

It’s been the word [and taste] on everyone’s lips lately; Comfort food.  Turbulent, stressful times call for a bit of reassurance that everything truly will be okay, really, and there are few things that carry so much emotional, nostalgic, and physical importance as food.  The dish or flavor that first comes to mind is so subjective, such a personal desire, I think that it would be impossible to name one all-purpose comfort food, no matter how tempting such a declaration might be.

Apple pie is about as classic and homey as they come, but I wouldn’t have named it right off the bat as a top comfort food in my book.  Sure, I like a good apple pie, as I would assume that most reasonable people would too, but I don’t ever crave it.  It’s not what I long for after a stressful day of work, or on a lonely rainy afternoon.  It wasn’t until I sat across from my mom as she ate warm apple blintzes just last week, the smell of spices and sweet apples wafting up from her plate, that it hit me how powerful my desire for such a dessert truly was.  Almost as if that one whiff awakened a hibernating beast, that need for comfort food stuck with me, driving me back into the kitchen to fill the hole in my stomach that cried out for apple pie.

Quick and Simple Apple Pie Bars

1 Cup Coconut Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, Divided
Pinch Salt
1/2 Cup Frozen Margarine, Cut into Small Pieces
5 Tablespoons Plain Soymilk
2 Crisp Apples, Peeled, Cored, Sliced, and Quartered
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and lightly grease an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan. Set aside.

Place the coconut flour, all purpose flour, 1 cup of the sugar, salt, and margarine in your food processor, and pulse to incorporate. Drizzle in the soymilk, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the mixture comes together in a cohesive dough. Divide the dough in half, and press one half into your prepared pan with your hands. If it’s difficult to handle, lightly flour your fingers to prevent the dough from sticking to them. Make sure you get an even layer on the bottom, and then bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the apple slices, the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl, so that the apples are thoroughly coated. Distribute the mixture evenly over your baked crust. Crumble and distribute the remaining dough over the top.

Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, golden brown on top. Let cool, and cut at will.

Makes 12 – 16 Bars

Printable Recipe

56 thoughts on “Comfort Food

  1. Looks so yummy! I had no idea there was even such a thing as coconut flour, then again, what do I know about baking. Apple pie isn’t on my list of comfort foods but if I had to be comforted by your apple pie (or really any of your baked goods) then so be it. :-)

  2. These look so beautiful and fluffy and just gorgeous! Other than the coconut flour I have all of these ingredients in my kitchen. I’ve never seen coconut flour in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, do you think there is anything else I can use? Chickpea flour? Brown rice flour? I’ve got those! :-)

  3. Mmm, the coconut flour sounds like it would add such a good flavour to these bars. I was just thinking tonight how much I would like an apple pie – I bet bars are much easier to make gluten free than a pie! :) -Eve

  4. Thanks for the recipe Hannah :-) We don’t have coconut flour here but I guess I could use something else instead.Very yumy looking comfort food!

  5. How delicious! Apple pie is sch a comfort food. I will have to look for coconut flour, I don’t think I have come across it before. Beautiful picture of the bars!

  6. I know what you mean…I LOVE fresh apples, but cooked apples have never appealed to me. Every once in a while, though, that desire hits. I’m glad to have this recipe for those times!

  7. Oooh, those look gorgeous! Thats a great idea though, so much easier to make than an apple pie and much easier for transporting too. Maybe I need to make an annendum to my grocery list…

  8. So ironic ~ while apple picking with friends yesterday, we were discussing wanting to make apple bars… and here’s a wonderful recipe for us to try! I couldn’t wait to put my treasures to use, so last night I made your crustless apple streusel pie and IT WAS SOOO GOOD! These apple pie bars might have to be my next baking excursion.

  9. oooh yum! we’ve been making apple pie at the bakery where i work almost every day and it’s so fun!! these are so cute, and i’m sure very tasty. perfect for this time of year.

  10. These are gorgeous as always Hannah. I just picked a load of apples yesterday and these sound perfect. Definite bookmark. I don’t know that I’ve seen coconut flour before. Do you think I would find it in Whole Foods where they have tapioca flour, soy flour and the like?

    I’m always so impressed with your writing and photography. I wish I had those gifts when I was your age (as if I’m that much older!). You are such an old soul in the best possible way.

  11. A comforting food that has just enough of a twist to be fresh and interesting. (as if vegan desserts wasn’t enough of a twist!)

    Pie-bars! Yum.

  12. I’d feel very comfortable with one of these in my hand right now! I’m not usually a big apple pie person (I tend to go straight for chocolate), but your bars sound perfect for the fall!

  13. Apple pie is totally my all-encompassing comfort dessert. I’m a chocolate girl as much as the next… but I have a much easier time justifying apples in a dessert than chocolate chips ;)

    I’ve certainly been craving a warm apple pie, and it looks like I’ll have to be trying this one soon!

  14. Impressive price of coconut flour in America!
    Here, for 500 grams, I pay € 9 or $ 13.
    Amazon is altogether less!

    I’m going to wait to make recipes using that ingredient and see if London can I buy

  15. Apple Pie Bars?!?!?! Are you kidding me? Those look so yummy. I wish I had the photography skills that you do. You are going to do great as a photographer!

  16. What a lovely blog! i am so glad I found it. Is it me? I can’t seem to find a rss or subscribe button anywhere. Could be blind bespectacled me. Help a gal out and point me to it PUHlease!

  17. Beautiful bars! Those might be the perfect recipe to use up some of my bevy of apples with. And coconut flour too–I’ve been wondering what it’s good for ever since I spotted it on the shelf at the co-op.

  18. Hi. Long time reader, first time poster. I’m a beginner when it comes to vegan baking (vegan just over 3 years, I believe). I’ve got a severe coconut allergy and I was just curious about whether or not there are any substitutes for coconut flour.

  19. Does the “1 cup of sugar” mix along with both flours and the salt? If so, then I might not have enough room in my 4-cup food processor.

  20. Those are so beautiful Hannah!! I agree that apple pie isn’t my biggest thing…but we had some apple pie rosemary “cheesecake” this past weekend that was totally perfect.

  21. I just found some Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour at my local grocery, so you can bet I’ll be testing out this recipe after I go apple picking next week :) I love fall!

  22. Ooo these apple pie bars look so good. They’re something I’ve always wanted to make. Definitely a comforting baked good. =)

  23. Im new to your blog, found you thru Alicia (Onefrugalfoodie). I am high raw all vegan. Anyway that fudge on her post today…what book is that in?? I am a raw un-baker and make things just about daily (I’m nuts that way!) and would love to whip up a batch of that. I am assuming cocoa, agave, what else and how…please send me the link of the book so I can get it and get going!


  24. I am a huge fan of apple desserts. Apple Bars sounds and looks awesome! My stomach just growled from looking at the pic.

  25. I’m not sure how I came across your site, but so far I love it! While I’m not vegetarian, I am very interested in vegetarian/vegan recipes for some reason. Anyways, these bars looked scrumptious so I tried them out today. They just came out of the oven so I have yet to try them, but half way through making them I realized that there was nowhere to add the 1 cup of sugar. I’m assuming it was to be added to the flour mix. I didn’t realize this until I was baking the bottom layer, so I just added some sugar to the remaining dough. My bottom layer will have no sugar, but my top layer will. I just wanted to let you know so you can adjust your recipe on your blog.

  26. I’m going to have to get my hand on some coconut flour. I’ve heard wonderful things about it. Your bars look delicious!

Leave a Reply