Shortbread Apple Bars or Cups

Shortbread Apple Bars or Cups

This shape-shifting dessert can be made into bars or cups. Just add an apple-cinnamon filling and a sweet confectioners' sugar glaze for a delicious fall dessert.


12 to 16 cups or 16 bars



  • 1 cup C&H® Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided


  • 2 to 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup C&H® Granulated Sugar


  • 1 cup C&H® Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract



In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, butter, salt and vanilla; mix until well blended. Add egg; mix until fully combined. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour. With mixer on low, or by hand, incorporate the flour into the mixture; dough will be sticky. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, until firm enough to roll, or overnight.


Cut apples into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Toss with lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown.

In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Place 1/2 of the cinnamon/sugar mixture into bowl with apples; coat evenly. Save extra cinnamon/sugar for garnish.


Mix sugar, water and vanilla together until smooth. Drizzle over bars or cups. 

For Apple Cups: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with paper liners.

Remove dough from refrigerator; place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick and cut with a 5-inch flower-shaped or circle cookie cutter. Press shaped dough into lined muffin cups; add filling, folding over the edges of the dough to slightly cover the top. Garnish with extra cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool cups completely before drizzling with glaze. Allow glaze to dry before wrapping each cup individually with plastic wrap.

For Apple Bars: Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 151/4x101/4x3/4-inch cookie sheet.

Remove dough from refrigerator; place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick and shape into a large rectangle to cover the size of your cookie sheet. Roll dough around rolling pin to transfer from work surface to cookie sheet. Unroll dough onto sheet; trim to fit bottom of cookie sheet with pizza wheel or sharp knife. Collect dough scraps together into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Cover the top of the dough with a single layer of filling. Remove leftover dough from refrigerator, roll out to 1/4 inch thick and cut into 10 long strips about 1/2-inch wide; place over filling, about 3/4 inch apart. Garnish tops with extra cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven; let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully cut warm bars into 16 pieces. Once bars are cool, drizzle with glaze. Allow glaze to dry before wrapping each piece individually with plastic wrap.