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Caramel Apple Bars

Quick & Easy Caramel Apple Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Layered caramel apple bars make a delicious, crowd-pleasing fall dessert! Made with an oatmeal cookie crust and crumble topping, the bars are baked in an 8-inch pan, no mixer required! Featuring a spiced apple filling topped with caramel sauce, these easy apple pie bars taste just like warm apple crisp or the best homemade apple pie. 


Ingredients

Crust and Crumble

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Apple Filling

  • 2 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)

Caramel

1/2 cup salted caramel sauce


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Make crust and crumble: Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Fold in melted butter and vanilla until combined. Reserve 3/4 cup of dough for topping (keep chilled); press remaining dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Bake crust for 14 to 16 minutes, until lightly golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Make apple filling: Place apples and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and arrowroot starch; add to bowl with apples and toss together until combined.
  5. Spoon apple filling evenly over the cooled crust and drizzle the apples with 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce. Crumble reserved dough over the top.
  6. Bake bars for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until topping is golden and filling slightly bubbly. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  7. Just before cutting, chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Carefully lift parchment and place bars on a cutting board; cut into squares with a sharp knife. Drizzle with remaining salted caramel sauce.
  8. Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator and warm briefly before serving.


Notes

Oats: I recommend regular rolled oats instead of quick-cooking oats for the best texture.

Apples: I used a blend of Fuji, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious apples. Honeycrisp or pink lady apples are also delicious.

Gluten Free Bars: Use your favorite 1-1 gluten-free flour and gluten-free oats.

Larger Batch: For a larger batch of bars, double the recipe and bake in a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking pan.