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STS Cookin’: Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

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It is finally game week. We’ve waited awhile for this, but football is finally here. To kick things off we are starting game week off with an STS Cookin’ article. The plan this year is to do a themed recipe for each opponent.

Some weeks this will be fantastic, other times, like this week, I’m just making tenuous connections. Auburn doesn’t have any go to dishes apparently so I’m going with some Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars. It is almost fall and apples are in season. Plus, apple trees can be related to Toomer’s Corner, or something.

Anyway, this recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction once again. And it is a winner. The best part is the homemade caramel sauce. If you think it is a little too risky for you, go ahead and use some store bought stuff. But if you’re willing to step up to the challenge, the homemade stuff is so much better. Also, double the recipe and cook for 45 minutes if you want to fill a 9x13 dish.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Apple Filling

2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Caramel Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons salted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300 and coat your 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Or line with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • To make the crust, melt the butter and combine with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add in the flour and mix until just combined.
  • Pour the crust into the pan and press firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and then remove. Prepare the filling while the crust bakes.
  • Slice the apples into small slices and then combine with the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Ensure the dry ingredients coat the apples completely.
  • In a separate bowl make the streusel by combining the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together.
  • Cut up the cold butter and add to the dry ingredients. Cut with a pastry blender, 2 forks, or your hands until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is evenly distributed.
  • When the crust is done, remove it from the oven and turn the oven to 350. Place the apple mixture into the pan, press down evenly if the apples seem like they wont fit. Sprinkle streusel mixture on top of the apples.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool and then place in the fridge for several hours. Cut into bars.
  • Make the caramel sauce by putting sugar into a saucepan on medium heat. STIR CONSTANTLY
  • Sugar will clump and eventually melt. When it clumps it will QUICKLY melt into an amber liquid, be vigilant.
  • Cut up the butter and add it to the pot as soon as the sugar has melted. Note the mixture will bubble up. Stir until the butter is melted.
  • Slowly drizzle the heavy cream in, mixture will bubble and rise.
  • Cook for 1 minute after cream is added, then mix in 1 tsp of salt and remove from heat.
  • After cutting the bars and the caramel has cooled a bit, drizzle caramel over the bars.