I planned to share a savory roasted winter squash recipe with you today, to begin the week with some healthy Fall goodness. But then I went and made these gooey, decadent, caramel apple crumble bars on a whim over the weekend. And… the veggies can wait.
You may remember the raspberry jam crumble bars that we made earlier this year. The recipes share the same foundation – but we’re using apples, and caramel, because, ’tis the season!
Apples are abundant, cinnamon and cloves have been purchased in bulk, and this is just the sort of baking I love to do on a chilly afternoon. Sunday was gloomy as all get out, drizzling most of the day, and I had a hankering for something sweet. The aroma of apples and brown sugar and cinnamon wafting through the house alone was worth it, but bite into one of these warm-from-the-oven apple crumble bars, and suddenly, all is right with the world.
The crust and crumble topping are one and the same, filled with whole oats, brown sugar, and warming spices, and sandwiched around layers of paper-thin apple slices and a homemade caramel filling, which all melts together into a sweet, gooey, crumbly, delicious bar.
If you’re feeling up to it, the homemade caramel is wonderful, and simple to make, though I would never fault you for using your favorite store-bought variety, which would speed up the preparation time a bit.
Still warm from the oven, the bars are a marriage between apple pie and an apple crisp, the apple slices crumpling into a velvety layer beneath the sweet brown sugar crumble topping, the caramel melding into the bottom crust and saturating the whole mess with flavor. All that’s needed is a spoon.
If you have the willpower to hold out until the bars have fully cooled, they become more solidified, the caramel and apples congealing a bit, which makes the bars easier to slice, and/or share, if you’re into that sort of thing…