If there is one food that screams fall it's Apple Pie. There is nothing quite like a warm apple pie served with a scoop of ice cream to make me wish for fall. While I love making and eating apple pie, sometimes I don't want to make an entire pie for my husband and I.
That's where these Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars come in. Not only do they sound awesome, they are so scrumptious. I wanted to make something smaller and portable because I made these just 3 days before my due date. I knew that if we had to go to the hospital suddenly I could pack these bars up and take them with us where there is no way I could pack up a pie to go.
Plus, these bars are pretty easy to make and the recipe only makes an 8 x 8 pan of them so there isn't way too much for us to eat. The base of these bars is a delicious shortbread cookie layer. On top of that goes layers of apples and then a crumble topping.
Once the bars are baked they need to cool. They smelled so good when they were in the oven. It smelled just like a fresh apple pie. I could barely keep my hands off the bars when they came out of the oven and actually decided to go to the store so that I wouldn't touch them.
When I was ready to serve the bars I cut them up and then drizzled them with caramel sauce. Then I sprinkled them with a little sea salt. It tasted like apple pie drizzled with caramel. They were delicious, easy to eat on the go (without the caramel sauce), and would be great for taking to a cookout or a party.
For the crust:
- ½ c. butter, softened
- ¼ c. sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 c. flour
For the filling:
- 2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
- ½ c. oats
- ⅓ c. brown sugar
- ¼ c. flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ c. butter, softened
- 2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ¼ c. caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour. Mix until it forms a dough.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl toss the apples with the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Layer the apple slices on top of the baked shortbread crust.
- In a small bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix until a crumble forms. Sprinkle over top of the apples.
- Place the bars back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve use the foil to help remove the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into 12 bars.
- Serve with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt. Store remaining bars without the caramel sauce in an air tight container for 3-4 days.
Recipe adapted from Love to Be in the Kitchen