Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

On this (barely) sunny Memorial Day, we celebrated by having a BBQ with our neighbors.  Hubs was in full swing, smoking some pork butt for pulled-pork sandwiches while our neighbors prepared some brisket (which I honestly have no idea what it is — besides some sort of meat).

Anyways, I wanted to contribute to this all-American meal with an apple pie – but that just looked a bit too time consuming.  So I went searching through my favorite baking blogs and found this lovely recipe by Geni on Sweet and Crumby.  It also might have caught my attention because these words following it on Geni’s recipe list were: “Totally AMAZING and EASY”  (Yes, those words were in all caps.)

Well, then, if it’s amazing and easy, I decided I MUST give it a try.

The Recipe:

Apple Crumb Bars adapted from Sweet and Crumby, who took it from Nancy Baggett’s All-American Cookie Book

Crumb Mixture
2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 2/3 c quick-cooking oats (not instant oats)
2/3 c light brown sugar, packed
1/4 t salt
1 c butter, melted
2 c peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (4 medium)

Caramel Sauce
1 c heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 c light corn syrup
3/4 c light brown sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t vanilla extract

For the crumb mixture: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray coat a 9×13 pan, preferably glass, on the bottom and sides. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and butter with a rubber spatula or best yet, with your hands. The mixture should end up as coarse crumbles.

crumbly love

Press 1/2 of the crumbly mixture firmly in the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes and then set on a wire rack.

mmm...crust

While the crumb mixture is baking, make your caramel sauce: In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Adjust the heat so the mixture boils mildly briskly.  It should boil about 6-8 minutes, until it reaches 244 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Immediately, remove the pot from the heat when it reaches the desired temperature. Stir in the flour and mix until evenly combined.  Stir in the vanilla.

Peel and chop your apples into a 1/2 inch or so dice.  Sprinkle your apples evenly over the pan and then pour the caramel sauce over the apples, trying to disperse the caramel in equal amounts.  

apples and caramel? what could be better?

Top the apples with the last half of the crumb mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges turn a little darker than the center.  Transfer to a wire rack and carefully run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the caramel from around the sides.  Let stand until completely cooled and then cut into bars.

The Results:

This went so slick without a problem or misadventure to be had. 

Am I boring now, or what?

I did have a hard time staying with caramel sauce throughout the whole stirring process… I kept wanting to leave it to prep other items or do the dishes or wipe the counters.  That’s my own personal problem, though.

And it took about 12 minutes more to cook than suggested.  Just an FYI.

Anyways, everyone loved it, though heads-up, it is really sweet (another dessert for breakfast with coffee, anyone?)

Edited to Add:  Of course, I had to brag that things went too well – later this evening, as I was cutting up bars , I sliced my knuckle open (with a serrated pie server).  Good news: I stopped the bleeding before it reached the bars.  Bad news: it needed two, yes two, large band-aids.

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13 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

  1. I am so glad it didn’t need two large stitches! Yes, these guys are SWEET but so yummy and I am so glad you liked it. Maybe your stove cooks isn’t as hot…not sure…mine did take the right amount of time so if you ever make them again…maybe turn knob up a smidge and see if that helps. Yours look delish and thanks again for linking up and reviewing my recipe. Have a great day!

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  2. Courtney, I’m sorry you had such bad luck with the knife. Your apple crumble bars look and sound delicious. I’m new to your blog and don’t often comment. I just wanted you to know I’m here and enjoy the food and recipes you share with your readers. You’ve created a lovely spot to visit and I always enjoy the time I spend on your blog. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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