We were up in Big Bear a couple of weeks ago and we checked out a local bakery, which seems to be one of my favorite things to do whenever we take vacations. I think when I grow up, I’d love to own a bakery 🙂 One of the items we got was an apple pie bar. Our version was quite a bit different than the one we got in Big Bear, but still totally delicious. We started out with our Raspberry Bar recipe and just modified it a bit. We added cinnamon to the crust, substituted apples for the the raspberry preserves, and topped it off with caramel sauce. The result was delicious and very messy!
Apple Pie Bars with Caramel Sauce
For the crust and topping:
2 sticks butter, softened
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup old fashioned oats, or rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
For the apple filling:
about 3 apples
2 T flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. apple pie spice
Sliced almonds, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. I just used the excess butter leftover on the butter wrapping, and smeared it around.
Add the flour, both sugars, oats, cinnamon and salt to a bowl in your stand mixer. Add in the butter and egg and beat at low speed. Stop the machine and scrape the bowl down a couple of times. Keep processing until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Keep 2 cups crumb mixture aside.
Press the remaining crumb mixture on the bottom the prepared pan. Spread the prepared apple pie filling (see below) over the top of the crust. Crumble the rest of the oat mixture over the apples and then sprinkle approximately 1/4 cup of sliced almonds over the top of that. I loved the addition of the almonds. They gave the bars a yummy extra texture and looked really pretty.
Bake until lightly browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely and drizzle with caramel sauce before cutting into bars.
For apple pie filling: Peel and slice the apples, mix in flour, sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spice.