Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

makes about 16 bars


Filling:

2 TB unsalted butter

4 large (or 5 med.) apples, peeled and sliced

3 TB sugar

3/4 tsp cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

9 oz. caramel candies, unwrapped

2 TB heavy cream


Dough:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

12 TB cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 lg. egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375. Line a 9x9 in. baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Grease.


To make the filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the apple slices, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden brown and caramelized, about 15 min. Remove from heat.


Meanwhile, prepare the dough. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and stir to blend. Add in the butter and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add in the egg yolk and vanilla and stir with a fork just until a crumbly dough begins to form. Transfer about two thirds of the dough to the foil lined pan and press down into an even layer. Bake until light golden, about 12-14 min.


While the base is baking, combine the caramels and cream in a saucepan set over medium heat. Melt the caramels, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is totally smooth. Remove from heat. Once the base layer is baked, pour the caramel over the top. Layer with the cooked apple slices. Crumble the remaining dough over the apple slices.


Bake 22-25 min. or until the top is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.  Let cool completely before slicing and serving.


Recipe Courtesy of KitchenJoyBlog.blogspot.com