Apple Bars with Caramel Sauce
Apple Bars with Caramel Sauce with a drizzle of caramel, these delicious bars that are simple to create taste just like apple pie.
In the years since we first published this recipe in 2013, many changes have been made. We quadrupled the shortbread crust, improved the oaty crumble topping, and enhanced the apple filling. The addition of bourbon is now optional (but definitely recommended). It’s almost like a new recipe!
It was tasty in the past, but it’s even better now, so you should add it to your list of apple desserts you really must prepare.
Apple Bars with Caramel Sauce Ingredients
The topping for Apple Bars:
- Old-fashioned oats, 1 cup (80g)
- 2.3 cups of all-purpose flour (85g)
- half a cup of light brown sugar (112g)
- 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
- 8 g of baking soda
- 8 grains of salt
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter (113g or 8 tablespoons)
For the crust:
- Unsalted butter, 1 cup, at room temperature (226g)
- granulated sugar, half a cup (110g)
- two cups of all-purpose flour (252g)
- Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the apple filling:
- 4 thinly sliced, cored, and peeled Granny Smith apples (about 2 lbs)
- lemon juice from one
- Unsalted butter, two teaspoons
- 3 teaspoons of packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water or apple cider (not vinegar)
- nutmeg and one teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of whiskey (optional)
- 1 cup of caramel sauce, either handmade or purchased.
- The caramel sauce was bourbon-infused with 1 tbsp (optional)
- Vanilla ice cream.
- Turn the oven on to 350°F.Grease a 9-inch square baking pan lightly. A piece of parchment paper should be used to line the pan so that the excess hangs over the sides like a sling. Place aside.
Prepare the topping for Apple Bars
- Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly combined. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Prepare the crust
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt and vanilla and blend until a delicate mixture structures. The dough should be evenly pressed into the baking pan’s bottom. The crust should be just set but not brown after 13 to 16 minutes of baking.
- Set aside to cool while the apples are being made.
Prepare the apples
- Place the apples in a large bowl after being peeled, cored, and sliced. Toss the apples with the juice of one lemon and toss to coat.
- The brown sugar and butter should be melted in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the apples, stirring frequently, until they are soft. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the apples are caramelized, tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, then stir in the apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bourbon, if using.
Assemble the apple bars
- Over the crust, distribute the apples evenly. Sprinkle the topping over the apples by breaking it up into clumps with a spoon. Press the topping down lightly to form an even layer. Bake the topping for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. After cooling completely, cut into nine bars. You can also make 18 bars by cutting each square diagonally into wedges.
- If using, stir the bourbon into the caramel sauce. Serve the bars with the caramel drizzled over them. If desired, top with an ice cream scoop and, of course, additional caramel sauce!