Friday, October 02, 2015

Caramel Apple Bars 'cause it's Fall Y'all!

 There is something about the first few days of Autumn that cause an almost uncontrollable urge to eat apples. I know for some people Fall  is the time of pumpkin spice but for me the sweet, crisp tang of the new apple crop is infinitely more appealing.

These bars have a crisp, buttery shortbread base topped off with a caramel, creamy apple filling finished with a layer of crumbly streussel. Oh my!

They are amazing still warm from the oven but if you have the patience to wait until they've fully cooled you will be rewarded. The crust will firm up giving the bars a good crunch and the caramel apple filling will mellow and set.

Shortbread Base
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Lightl butter a 9x13 baking pan.

 In a blender or food processor grind the oats into a fine(ish) flour. In a bowl mix the oats, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla and butter together to form a dough. Press into the bottom of a prepared 9x13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

 In the meantime prepare:

Caramel Apple Filling
2 peeled, sliced into wedges and thinly sliced. (I used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Pink Lady)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt.

 Mix the milk, brown sugar, butter and salt together, stir in the sliced apples and pour mixture over the partially baked crust.

Sprinkle evenly with:

Streussel Topping
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small cubes.

 Mix all ingredients together using a pastry blender fork until butter is thoroughly distributed. Sprinkle mixture over apple filling. Return pan to oven and continue baking for 45-55 minutes until streussel is crisped and brown

 Allow to cool and cut into 16-20 squares.
Take an artfully arranged picture and then nom, nom, nom!

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