A cross between apple pie and cheesecake, these bars are two desserts rolled into one!
Caramel Apple Bars
Makes 12 to 16
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, melted
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 6 cups thinly sliced Gala or Golden Delicious apples (about 4 large)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1¼ cups apple butter
- Prepared caramel sauce*
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, letting excess extend over sides of pan. Spray with baking spray with flour.
- For crust: In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, oats, pecans, baking powder, and salt. Drizzle with melted butter; toss with a fork until moistened and crumbly. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture in a small bowl; press remaining oat mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven.
- For filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined.
- In a medium bowl, toss together apples, 1 tablespoon flour, apple pie spice, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Place remaining 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Add apple butter, and stir until combined. Arrange sliced apples in bottom of prepared crust. Spread cream cheese mixture over apples. Drop apple butter mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls over cream cheese mixture. Crumble reserved 2 cups oat mixture on top.
- Bake until top is golden brown and mixture is set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 8 hours. Using excess foil as handles, remove from pan. Gently peel foil from sides. Cut into bars, and drizzle with caramel.
*We used Smucker’s Hot Caramel Sauce.
There’s more where that came from. Find more delicious desserts in our newest issue of Taste of the South.