October 16, 2017

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars


It's finally feeling like a crisp, fall day; let the baking season commence!  These salted caramel apple pie bars are to. die. for.  Imagine with me.  Buttery, shortbread crust topped with a sweet layer of apples, cinnamon streusel, and a delectable salted caramel drizzled on top.  Perfection.

Note:  Don't let the list of ingredients intimidate you.  Most of them are repeated.  There really are only 10 total ingredients (including the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg).

Ingredients:
Yields 8 to 16 bars, depending on desired size
Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction

Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 c butter, melted 
  • 1/4 c sugar 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 c all-purpose flour 
Apple Filling
  • 2 large apples, cored and sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg 
Streusel 
  • 1/2 c quick cooking oats 
  • 1/3 c brown sugar 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 c butter, cold and cubed 
Salted Caramel Sauce 
  • 1 c sugar 
  • 6 tbsp butter, room temperature, cut into cubes 
  • 1/2 c heavy cream 
  • 1 tsp salt 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line an 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.  Set aside. 

Prepare the shortbread crust.  Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour in a medium bowl.  Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.  

Prepare the apple filling.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside. 

Prepare the streusel.  In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour.  Cut in the cold butter until you have a crumbly mixture about the size of peas.  

Remove the shortbread crust from the oven.  Turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees. 

Spread the apples evenly on top of the shortbread.  Sprinkle the streusel evenly over all.  Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden.  

Meanwhile, make the salted caramel sauce.  Place the sugar in a medium pan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently.  (The sugar will turn into hard clumps and then melt down)  Continue to stir frequently until the sugar is melted and smooth.  Carefully whisk in the butter, being careful to not allow the mixture to bubble over or splatter.  Continue to whisk for about 2 minutes, until the butter is well incorporated.  Gradually whisk in the cream, again being careful to not allow the mixture to bubble over or splatter.  Allow the sauce to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in the salt.  Set aside and allow the sauce to cool.  (Caramel sauce can be stored in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator)

Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  

When ready to serve, cut into bars.  I make 16 bars, but you can slice yours larger or smaller.  Drizzle the salted caramel sauce over all.  You may need to warm the caramel sauce up before drizzling.  

Enjoy! 

Featured in: