Apple Cinnamon Cookie Bars

First of all, Happy Veterans Day to the soldiers (past & present). Thank you for your service and sacrifice! Josh and I have the day off today, yippee! We are meeting our good friend Lincoln for lunch and plan on enjoying our day together.

I am a firm believer in the theory, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I eat at least one apple every day. I just love them. I like all varieties, but Josh is picky, he only likes the really tart apples-Granny Smith are his favorite. Honey crisp, Jazz, and Mutsu
 are my top three, but again, I have a special place in my heart for all apples:)Fall is the perfect season for baking with apples. The apples are so good right now…and cheap too:) I decided to create an apple cinnamon cookie bar since I already created an apple cinnamon cookie earlier this fall. You all know I love my cookies:)

I started with a basic bar dough and added in lots of cinnamon and spices. I am in love with nutmeg, all spice, and cloves-so I added in a little bit of each. I decided to add in a handful of too, because I personally love the shriveled little guys, but you can omit them if you wish. I used Granny Smith apples so Josh would be happy and tart apples really are great for baking. I sprinkled the dough with extra cinnamon sugar before putting them into the oven.
It is important to let the bars cool before cutting/serving because they are very soft when they are warm. I know it is hard to wait, but these are well worth the wait, I promise. I am going to be making these every fall. I hope you will too!

Apple Cinnamon Cookie Bars

(Printable Recipe)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 cup raisins (you can leave these out or try dried cranberries)
2 apples, cored and diced, I used Granny Smith
Cinnamon Sugar mixture to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugars on medium until creamy. This will take a minute or two. Scrape down the sides if necessary.
On low, add the eggs, one at a time. Beat until combined. Add in the vanilla. Beat on medium until everything is smooth and mixed together.
Turn mixer on low. Add a little flour. Slowly mix and add until all of the flour is combined. Don’t over mix.
Stir in the raisins and apples.
Spread the dough evenly into prepared pan. Use a spatula to make sure the dough is nice and even. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Bake for about about 30 minutes. You want the bars to be golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack. Cut the bars once they are cool. Serve and enjoy!

If you like these bars, you might also like:
Apple, Pecan, and Cinnamon Crumble Bars from Dessert First
Caramel Apple Bars from Recipe Girl
Apple Pie Bars from Cookie Baker Lynn
Applesauce Spice Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod