What would the holidays be without a sweet finish? It’s hard to turn down a little celebratory indulgence, but in an effort to curb, ahem, waist creep and maintain our healthy eating habits during this cookie-, pie-, and bark-filled time of year, we’ve enlisted the help of Matt Albert, founder and baking genius behind Matt’s Cookie Bars, to create an updated take on the classic apple crisp.
If you’re eating organic or gluten-free, you’ll want to listen up, because Matt’s Cookie Bars not only fit both of those bills, but are also full of flavor, texture, and crunch. For this apple crisp recipe, Matt made a few key substitutions: almond flour for wheat or all-purpose, arrowroot for cornstarch (so no worries about ingesting GMOs), and coconut sugar for granulated or brown sugar. This is important because coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index, so, Matt explains, “you don’t get a sugar rush—or a post-sugar crash.”
This apple crisp recipe is a little less sweet than most, so if you’re looking for a sweeter, more robust flavor, drizzle a little maple syrup over the pan before baking. And if you’re serving it at a dinner party or other elegant affair, Matt suggests dressing it up with freshly made, unsweetened whipped cream. “The sweetness of the crisp is enough that you can go without sugar in the whipped cream,” he says. “I like to add a little vanilla for flavor, but that’s all you need.”
In case you’re wondering, Matt sells his delectable cookies online, and they make a fantastic—and much-appreciated—presents for people who eat gluten-free but can’t find good-quality snacks in their local stores. Pick up a bunch of Matt’s Cookie Bars for holiday gifts, then come back here and get to work on this apple crisp recipe.
Matt’s Apple Crisp
Recipe by Matt Albert of Matt’s Cookie Bars
4 cups organic apples, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups almond flour (or almond meal)
2 cups oats
4 teaspoons cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the apples in a medium baking pan or casserole dish.
- In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon sugar with the water, arrowroot, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix until dissolved. Pour the mixture over the apples and toss until the apple pieces are coated.
- In another bowl, mix the flour, oats, and the remaining sugar. Add the butter and mix to a coarse, crumblike texture.
- Sprinkle the topping over the apples and bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until the topping is crisp.