Instructor offers ‘Great’ holiday recipe

Andrea Maranville offers a baking demonstration.
November 26, 2019

The holidays are just around the corner.

For SUNY Adirondack Culinary Arts Adjunct Professor Andrea Maranville, the season brings back memories of her time spent as a competitor on ABC’s “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition.” 

Maranville, who earned a spot as a series finalist, shares her favorite apple pie shortbread bar recipe to help everyone bake for the holidays like a champion.

Shortbread Crust (Recipe courtesy Global Bakes By Tanya)

  • 1.5 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Apple “Pie” Filling

  • 3-4 apples  (Granny Smith), small diced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 3 ounces chopped pecans (reserved for top, optional)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 10 ounces butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure out all ingredients. 

Place butter and sugar in a mixer, and mix until combined and incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix till combined. Sift flour, salt and cinnamon. Add to mixer, and mix until just combined. Press into baking pan, and chill for 30 minutes.  

BAKER’S NOTE: USE these 30 minutes to prepare topping and filling. 

Mix topping ingredients and set aside.

Chop apples and place all filling ingredients into a medium-size sauce pot and cook on the stove at low-medium heat until apples are tender and liquid is reduced.  

BAKER’S NOTE: Lightly coat your baking pan with spray and line with parchment paper hanging up past the edge of the pan. This will allow you to remove the entire “bar” from the pan with ease for cutting into squares.  

Remove shortbread pan from the fridge. Lightly poke the shortbread with a fork throughout, and place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Under bake the shortbread slightly, as it will bake more once placed back into the oven with topping.

Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Place half of the topping mix directly on top of the shortbread base. Next, spread the apple mixture on top of the streusel, and then sprinkle the remaining streusel on top.  

Place back into the oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbling.  

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter. Place entire pan into the fridge to cool. Do not attempt to cut the bars until cooled for at lease 2 hours.    

These bars can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, but room temperature is Maranville's suggested serving temperature.

For more recipes, go to