Caramel Apple Bars
Yesterday was the monthly meet & greet for DVP, and we’re still trying out the new venue – we’ve had it at The Mystic Dream the last few times, and it’s really been very cool to hang out at – despite my initial skepticism of the venue. They have a huge meeting room in the back, and you can actually fit a fair number of people there. Although so far the turn out has been small – I think people are still getting used to the new location. We’ll see how things fare in the coming months, but I got to say that it’s lovely to find a local business who’s so interested in being involved in the community. So the downside is – because it’s a store and not a restaurant, we have to bring our own food/drinks. However, the upside (for me anyways) is an excuse to make yummies to share, like these Caramel Apple Bars.
For the last month or so in my weekly FFTY box I’ve been getting anywhere from between 2 and 4 pounds of apples each week, and quite frankly – we just don’t eat apples that quickly. So I’ve ended up with quite the surplus of apples. When I started thinking about something to make for the meet & greet, I knew I had to use the apples in it. Mr. Man was like “why don’t you make caramel apples!” And yes, thank you – I did give him a dirty look for that, but it did inspire me to make this dish, so I guess it wasn’t a bad suggestion… But whole Caramel Apples would have just been too messy.
Anyhow – At first I was a little worried, because I was afraid that the apples might leach out too much moisture and make them soggy, but it actually didn’t work out that way – the bars set up beautifully in the oven and they came out so delicious. Mr. Man and Miss Thing both gave them their stamp of approval – and everyone at the Meet & Greet liked them, too.
I actually looked around for a while before I made this – trying to find some kind of bar or cookie recipe that used apples, and finally decided that I would just improvise. Making the bars is a bit of a multi-step process, so I recommend just completing one part and then moving on to the next part – which is how I’ve laid out the recipe. It may seem complex – but honest, it isn’t. This recipe is actually fairly simple. I’ve laid it out in the steps that I completed it in, but I can’t imagine the results would be any different if you chose to say – make the crust before the apples or whatever.
Caramel Apple Bars:
- 1 Batch Caramel Sauce
- 1 Batch Brandied Apples
- 1 batch Streusel
- 1 batch Crust
- (Recipes following Assembly instructions)
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Line a 9″x13″ pan with Parchment Paper
- Press the crust mixture evenly in to the bottom of the parchment lined pan
- Spread the Brandied Apple Mixture evenly over the crust
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the Caramel sauce for drizzling on finished bars, then pour remaining sauce on top of the apple mixture.
- Sprinkle streusel on top of the caramel
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until bars are set and golden.
- Cool in pan completely
- Cut in to squares and drizzle with remaining caramel sauce
Ingredients for Caramel Sauce:
- 1 and 1/2 cups Sugar
- 1 stick Butter; room temperature
- 1 cup Sour Cream; room temperature
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- Place the sugar in a heavy saucepan, over medium heat.
- The sugar should begin to melt, liquify and carmelize – shake pan (or gently stir with a non-conductive spoon) if it appears to be getting too hot in places.
- Once the sugar has completely liquified and carmelized, stir in the butter
- Once the butter is completely incorporated, add the sour cream and salt, stir to combine
- Remove from heat and allow to cool
Ingredients For the Brandied Apple Filling:
- 6 apples (about 2 pounds – I used Gold Blush); cored and sliced
- 1 lemon; juiced
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 2 tbs Brandy
- 1 tbs Butter
- 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the apples and stir to coat in butter
- Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until apples are tender
- Add the sugar, and stir to combine
- Add the brandy, lemon juice and salt
- Increase heat and cook until liquid is reduced by 1/2
- Set aside to cool
Ingredients for Streusel:
- 1 cup Pecans
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 stick Butter; softened
- 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined
Ingredients for Crust:
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 sticks Butter; softened
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until a soft dough forms