recipe

October 27, 2022

Salted Caramel Apple Bars

Salted Caramel Apple Bars next to a knife and a jar of caramel sauce

Are bars cookies? We could discuss this topic at length in any Minnesota kitchen. This salted caramel apple bars recipe takes the shortbread cookie base and tops it with chopped apples and a streusel made with granola or oats. I used Cocoa Bee and Nut grain-free Maple Ginger as that’s what I had in the cupboard, and it worked great. (If you are curious about the company you can check out the Makers of Minnesota podcast I did with them here).

Salted Caramel Apple Bars

Salted Caramel Apple Bars

Yield: 12

These bars are the perfect Halloween or Fall treat

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup, melted)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour

Filling

  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Salted Caramel* (Store bought or recipe in the notes)

Topping

  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed into pea-size pieces
  • Salted caramel* for finishing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside
  2. Make the crust by stirring the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour in a medium bowl. Stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove from the oven.
  3. Prepare the filling layer by mixing the chopped apples with the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salted caramel* Pour onto the par-baked crust and evenly spread the filling.
  4. Make the topping by mixing the granola, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Mix in the chilled butter with with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Top the filling layer with the topping evenly
  6. Turn the oven up to 350° and bake for 35 minutes or until the top layer is golden brown.
  7. Cool for 30 minutes on the counter and refrigerate in the freezer overnight
  8. Pull bars out of the freezer, drizzle additional caramel as a garnish with a fork (optional) and top with some kosher salt or Maldon sea salt flakes
  9. Cut into bars

Notes

This recipe used my instant pot salted caramel recipe here

A row of Salted Caramel Apple Bars

I finished these with a drizzle of caramel that I made a few days back in my instant pot but you could use store-bought caramel or salted caramel too.

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