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Caramel Apple Crumble Bars via @forkknifeswoon | forkknifeswoon.com

Caramel Apple Crumble Bars


Description

Easy homemade caramel apple crumble bars. They’re filled with everything to love about a classic apple crisp – sweet apples and luscious caramel nestled between a buttery brown sugar and oat crust and walnut crumb topping – but in convenient hand held form! Made with simple pantry ingredients, easily adaptable, and perfect for Fall baking.


Ingredients

Scale

Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

  • 2 cups (180g) rolled oats
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (160g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp apple or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large apple, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1/22/3 cup caramel sauce, room-temperature
  • optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Simple Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of Kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

  1. Make the caramel (see recipe below). Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about an inch overhang on two sides. Set aside.
  3. Make the crumble: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, sugars, baking soda, and spices until well-combined.
  4. Cut the butter into cubes, then use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Once it’s mostly combined, switch to using your fingers and knead until completely incorporated. You should form a shaggy, crumbly dough, that easily sticks together when pinched. This may take a few minutes.
  5. Prep the filling: Using a mandolin, or a very sharp knife, (carefully) cut the apples into slices, as thin as you can manage.
  6. Assemble: Scoop about two thirds of the crumble dough into the baking pan, and press into an even layer along the bottom. Layer the apples across the bottom crust.
  7. Drizzle the (room-temperature) caramel sauce across the apples, adjusting the amount to taste. Top with the remaining crumble mixture, from edge to edge. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts, if using. Press the crumb topping down gently.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the crumble topping is golden brown and has puffed up a bit. The caramel may be starting to bubble up through the crumbs. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars. Enjoy!!

Simple Caramel Sauce

  1. Melt the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed pot (preferably with high sides) over medium heat, stirring constantly. The sugar will begin to form clumps, then melt into a deep amber-colored liquid as you stir. Be careful not to let the sugar burn.
  2. Add the cubed butter as soon as the sugar is completely melted, and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the cream. The mixture will foam and bubble up. Keep whisking until the caramel is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a heat-proof jar and let cool to room-temperature. Will keep for up to two weeks, stored in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator. Warm before serving.

Notes

Make it gluten free by substituting all-purpose gluten free flour and making sure your rolled oats are also GF.

Make it vegan by using vegan butter (such as Earth Balance buttery baking sticks) and your favorite plant based caramel sauce.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: caramel apple crumble bars, apple crumb bars, caramel apple crisp, homemade caramel, easy apple dessert, walnut, gluten free