Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

DSC_1121It’s 90 degrees here in Nashville, and yet, it’s October. This just feels odd. Getting dressed is a conundrum each day. Menu planning is fuzzy to me, and fall baked treats just feel out of season, though in less than two months we’ll be hanging up garlands and making peppermint goodies. So, we best get to fall baking.

This was a dessert request from my friend Jennifer recently.   I searched through magazines, cookbooks and websites to arrive at this one from the blog- Sally’s Baking Addiction. It seemed like a straightforward and yummy bar. It was a success.

If you want an incredible Apple Pie. You should try this recipe:apple pieIf you want a delicious, apple pie-like dessert, but want something easier to serve or easier to double, you should try this recipe! It has several steps to it, but it is not very expensive or complex, just multi-faceted.

DSC_1126

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

borrowed from Sally’s Baking Addiction

*Makes 8 x 8 Pan= 9 – 12 servings; I made a 13 x 9 pan, doubling the recipe.*

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.

SHORTBREAD CRUST

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup  granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.

DSC_1088 (1)APPLE FILLING

2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick) (any tart crisp apple will work!)

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

DSC_1085 (1)DSC_1096DSC_1102 (2)

STREUSEL

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

 

Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or fork (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

DSC_1097 (1)DSC_1106

Assembly: Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350°F. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It might look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Once cut, drizzle salted caramel sauce on top of each.

These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even cold.

done - Fleur De Sel Caramel Sauce $3.49Below is the recipe for the caramel sauce.  If you have access to it, you can use Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce which is lovely, or any other good caramel sauce instead to save the caramel making process. Though this is very tasty!

Caramel Sauce– makes more than enough for a double batch of the bars

1 cup  granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature- cut into 6 pieces

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

  • Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
  • Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  • Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. A whisk helps if you find the butter is separating from the sugar.
  • Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
  • Make ahead tip: You can make this caramel in advance. Make sure it is covered tightly and store it for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe. This caramel is OK at room temperature for a day if you’re traveling or gifting it.

Larger batch: Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes and cool completely as directed in this recipe.

DSC_1110 (2)DSC_1154

This dessert would be great for a Halloween/Harvest Party, Thanksgiving Feast, or any ole’ balmy October day.

 

DSC_1078 (2)

My goof-ball assistant chef- eating the apple peelings after using my mom’s fancy apple tool to prep the apples.

2 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s