Apple Pie Caramel Bars Recipe

Count me in for any dessert that tastes like apple pie, with a fraction of the effort. These loaded caramel apple pie bars are so, so good and the perfect for whatever holiday celebration you’re having this year.

As a registered dietitian, I often get asked on my feelings regarding dessert. Can I have dessert everyday? Should I choose the healthier dessert option if I’ve craving sweets? As someone who loves chocolate and buttercream frosting as much as I do broccoli, I understand the desire to make treats part of a healthy lifestyle.

It may surprise you that even as a nutritionist, I don’t always recommend the healthier option. Yes, there are ways to make treats a little more wholesome: subbing in whole-wheat pastry flour, switching to natural sweeteners, and so on. However, it’s also completely OK to enjoy the real thing. Real sugar, regular flour, butter and all.

Ready to slice sheet of Apple Pie Caramel Bars

These caramel apple pie bars are a happy marriage of both philosophies. A flour, oat and walnut crust stuffed with rich, caramel apple filling and baked to golden perfection. For an extra layer of delicious decadence, warm Litehouse’s Old Fashioned Caramel Dip to drizzle on top.

If you’re a fan of caramel apples, then you’re going to love this sweet combo. Litehouse® Old Fashioned Caramel dip has a rich, creamy flavor that’s perfect on these apple pie bars. Enjoy leftovers drizzled on ice cream or as a dip for fresh apples and pears.

To take full advantage of the creamy texture of the caramel dip, make sure to dip before drizzling. Place caramel into a microwave-safe container, then heat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, stirring halfway through. Scoop warmed caramel dip with a spoon, then hover over the bars and drizzle on. Let cool slightly, then slice and enjoy!

I hope you love these caramel apple pie bars as much as my family does! They are the perfect sweet treat to end the day with, yet fancy enough to be served at a family holiday gathering. These bars also freeze well; place cut bars on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then freeze until hardened. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container where they will keep for 3-4 months.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars Recipe

Serves 12 Bars | Finish in 1 hour 15 minutes
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Apple Pie Caramel Bars! These bars taste just like apple pie, but with a fraction of the work. Homemade flour, oat and walnut crust stuffed with a caramel apple filling. Delicious and decadent, with an additional drizzle of Litehouse’s Old Fashioned Caramel Dip.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 medium apples, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Litehouse® Old Fashioned Caramel Dip, warmed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a 8×8″ baking dish with cooking spray or overlapping parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Whisk together flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon in the base of a food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl.
  3. Add in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, either pulsing the butter into the food processor or cutting the butter into the dough using a dough cutter until crumbly.
  4. Add in the water and pulse or stir until the dough comes together.
  5. Remove ¾ cup of the dough and set aside.
  6. Press the rest of the dough into the prepared pan.
  7. Stir together the chopped apples, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cornstarch, nutmeg and 1 tablespoon of caramel dip until well combined and place in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until apples are soft and mixture has come together, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly then pour on the prepared crust.
  8. Mix together the remaining dough with chopped walnuts and sprinkle on top.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool completely. The bars need to cool completely for the filling to set.
  11. Warm the remaining caramel dip and drizzle over cooled bars; let harden for 15 minutes, then slice into 12 bars and serve. 
  12. These bars can be enjoyed now or frozen for later! To freeze, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until hardened, then place into a freezer-safe bag or container.

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