Apple Pie Crumb Bars: Rich caramel apple pie filling sandwiched between an oatmeal cookie crust. How could you go wrong?
After making my lemon blueberry scones, I got a real craving for fall the other day. I was in shorts, sandals, and sitting under a fan, yet I got that fall feeling. You know, that anticipatory feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something exciting is coming or about to happen? Yeah, I still get that feeling about fall because that means my favorite holidays (and time of the year) is just around the corner.
This also is the time of the season when the treadmill becomes my closest friend. With all the baked goods sitting around every corner and the amazing comfort food–yeah, hello, treadmill, my old friend.
Anyway, after I made these festive and amazing bars, I felt like the only thing missing was some rain trickling down the windows and a fire in the fireplace. But, it’s August and rain typically isn’t in the forecast around my parts.
And then, later that night, I was awoken to the biggest thunder and lightning storm I have ever witnessed–the perfect occasion to grab an apple pie crumb bar and a cup of hot chocolate and watch the fascinating storm.
God smiled on me and my silly association of rain with fall flavors.
These bars start with a basic oatmeal cookie base. Beat butter, brown sugar, oats, flour, all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking soda together until well mixed. A cup of the mixture is set aside for the topping, and the rest is used for the bottom crust.
Next, for the caramel part of the recipe, you can definitely used store-bought caramel sauce or melt caramels down with a bit of milk to make the sauce, but I opted to make my own caramel sauce.
Not because I’m an overachiever. Because I didn’t have caramel sauce and I didn’t feel like going to the store. 🙂
Anyway, this caramel sauce is simple. All you need is butter, brown sugar, heavy cream (or milk or half-n-half), a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla extract. Melt together, bring to a boil, and viola, you’re done.
Mix the sauce with sliced apples, add some a little more brown sugar to the apple mix along with some cinnamon and cornstarch, and let it sit together for a couple of minutes.
In a an 8×11 foil lined pan, press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Layer the apple mix evenly over the crust. Take the 1 c of remaining crust and sprinkle it over the apples. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
And a little bit of Heaven is soon to be in your mouth.
- 1 c butter, softened
- 2 c old-fashioned oats
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp butter
- pinch of salt
- dash of vanilla
- 2 c sliced apples
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8x11 baking pan with foil.
- For the crust, beat together brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in oats; mix. Add in flour; mix. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and baking soda; mix until combined. Set aside 1 cup for the topping.
- For the caramel, in a small saucepan over medium heat, mix all ingredients together, continually stirring the ingredients until they come to a boil. Pull off heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, mix apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Pour caramel sauce over apple mix and stir until everything is coated. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
- Press the crust mix in an even layer into the bottom of the pan. Pour apple mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crust mix over the apple layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool entirely before slicing (it's just easier).