Caramel Apple Bars – #CreativeCookieExchange

These Caramel Apple Bars are perfect for fall. Easy to make with a base of cinnamon oatmeal crunch and topped with fresh apples that taste just like mom’s homemade apple pie. Of course, we had to add a caramel drizzle that really puts these cookie bars on a whole ‘nother level!

Cut apple pie bars with apples and powdered sugar in background.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Our assignment this month for Creative Cookie Exchange is layered bar cookies. Don’t you just love bar cookies? They’re so easy to make and so yummy! You don’t have to make individual cookies, just plop the batter in a pan and bake. And, since it’s fall, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than these caramel apple bars.

I can remember, as a child, how exited I was when we traveled to the cider mill about an hour from our house in northern New Jersey. It was always such a thrill to watch them bring the apples from the orchard and press them into fresh and delicious apple cider. And you got free tastes too! Now whenever autumn rolls around I always think of the crisp cool air and the smell of apples. And of course all the happy memories of family outings that centered around our trips into the country.

Caramel Apple Bars drizzled

I’ve made some delicious bar cookies before, like my Chocolate Mint Cookie Bars and Pumpkin Chocolate Spice Bars, but being fall, I wanted to make something that used one of my favorite fruits, apples. Boy am I glad I did! These sweet treats are like a little apple pie that you can hold in your hand, with the added touch of caramel to put them over the top. And they’re so easy!

How to Make Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Making the crumb topping.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Take 3/4 cup and place in a smaller bowl, add pecans, and set aside. This will be your crumb topping.

Prep steps for making apple pie bars.

  1. To the original mixture add the vanilla extract and mix well. This will be the cookie base. Pour into the prepared square baking dish and pat evenly into bottom. (photo 1)
  2. Bake for 15 minutes. (photo 2)
  3. While cookie base is baking make the apple layer. Mix all apple layer ingredients together. As soon as cookie base is done, remove from oven and cover with apple mixture. Pat gently into place. (photo 3)
  4. Sprinkle crumb pecan topping over apples and return to oven. (photo 4)
  5. Bake 30 minutes. Cool then place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (photo 5)
  6. Remove bars from refrigerator. Lift carefully from pan and place on wooden cutting board. Cut into 16 small squares. (photo 6)

Caramel Apple Bars closeup square

  1. Sprinkle with powdered sugar then drizzle with melted caramel. Place in airtight container and store in refrigerator.

Caramel Apple Bars 2

These caramel apple bars are my little piece of fall here in Florida since we won’t get any cool weather for another couple months. (OK, update, now I’m in Georgia and I’m still enjoying them. 🙂 ) Each bite is like a reminder fall is finally here. These caramel apple bars offer up sweet apples, topping an oatmeal cookie base, then sweetened some more with a boatload of crumbs and an extra drizzle of caramel. The perfect after school snack or a great pic-me-up for mom.   

And don’t forget to check out more sweet treats from our cookie exchange members below. Hope you enjoy!

More Fall Favorites That You Won’t Want to Miss

Easy One Bowl Apple Cake by yours truly (2CM)

Maple Pecan Sticky Buns by 2CM

Easy Apple Crisp by The Forked Spoon

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies by 2CM

Love quick & easy recipes? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter for all the latest recipe inspiration! Plus join my email list here and receive a free e-book.

5 from 2 votes
CARAMEL APPLE BARS
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

Perfect for fall, these apple pie bars are easy to make and taste like mom's apple pie. A caramel drizzle puts these cookies in the over the top delicious column!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: apple pie bars, caramel apple dessert bars, caramel apple pie bars
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 163 kcal
Author: Linda Warren
Ingredients
Cookie Base & Crumb Layer
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons butter, cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Apple Layer
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored & cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Powdered Sugar & Caramel Drizzle
  • Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Kraft caramel bits, melted
  • 2 teaspoons water
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. The parchment paper should come up and over the sides. This will allow you to lift the cooked bars out of the dish so they can be cut.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Take 3/4 cup and place in a smaller bowl, add pecans, and set aside. This is your crumb topping.

  3. To the original mixture add the vanilla extract and mix well. Pour into the prepared square baking dish and pat evenly into bottom. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. While cookie base is baking make the apple layer. Mix all apple layer ingredients together. As soon as cookie base is done, remove from oven and cover with apple mixture. Pat gently into place.
  5. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples and return to oven. Bake 30 minutes.
  6. Cool on wire rack for 30-45 minutes then place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  7. Melt caramel bits and water in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment. Usually takes about 1 minute.
  8. Remove bars from refrigerator. Lift carefully from pan and place on wooden cutting board. Cut into 16 small squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar then drizzle with melted caramel. Place in airtight container and store in refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

The best apples to use for this are Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Jonathan or Winesap.

Nutrition Facts
CARAMEL APPLE BARS
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 61mg3%
Potassium 60mg2%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 190IU4%
Vitamin C 1.1mg1%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post has been updated with step-by-step instructions for easier baking. It was first published on September 22, 2015.

 

Creative-Cookie-Exchange-2014

The theme this month is Layered Bar Cookies–if you like crispy, crunchy, chewy, creamy or gooey layers packed into one cookie you have come to the right place!! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife@gmail.com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of our bloggers have made this month:

 

 

A bar cookie that tastes just like mom\'s apple pie! An oatmeal cookie base, piled high with cinnamon apples, then topped with piles of crumbs and a drizzle of caramel. It\'s the perfect fall recipe for a sweet treat. Don\'t wait! Make it today! #recipe #fall #apples #cookies #bars #dessert #easy #caramel

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel
    10/30/2019 at 5:47 pm

    Could this recipe be easily doubled in to a 9×13 pan?

    • Reply
      Linda Warren
      10/30/2019 at 7:39 pm

      I don’t see why not! And making double is an excellent idea!

  • Reply
    Emilie
    08/13/2018 at 6:37 pm

    5 stars
    You had me at apple and caramel drizzle. Yum! Thank you so much for this delicious apple dessert recipe!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    08/13/2018 at 2:57 pm

    5 stars
    Hellooooo Fall! I cannot wait to faceplant into a tray of these caramel apple bars – YUM!

  • Reply
    Laura T (@TheSpicedLife)
    09/28/2015 at 10:50 pm

    These look awesome–I love streusel-y apple bars. Thanks for participating!

  • Reply
    thespeckledpalate
    09/25/2015 at 5:16 pm

    YUM! These sound delightful and like they are the perfect bar for fall. It doesn’t feel like autumn yet in Texas, but I’ll make some of these to make myself feel like it’s not that far off! Apples and caramel are just SO tasty together.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    09/23/2015 at 3:41 pm

    What could be more perfect for a fall sweet treat than these caramel apple bar cookies? NOTHING! Nothing at all!

    Seriously, these are going on my to-make list ASAP! They sound delish!

    • Reply
      Linda Warren
      09/23/2015 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks Kimberly! They really do make me think of fall. Hope you get to make them soon!

  • Reply
    Robin @ A Shaggy Dough Story
    09/23/2015 at 2:45 pm

    I agree that nothing says “fall” better than apples so as a lover of fall (my favorite season), I say bring it on! These look soooo good and I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Linda Warren
      09/23/2015 at 3:50 pm

      They made my house smell so good too! I sent them into work with my husband so that I wouldn’t eat them all and he said they devoured them in about 30 minutes! Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories
    09/23/2015 at 1:30 am

    Those look sooooo good! Very nice! Pie in a bar!

  • Reply
    Spiceroots
    09/22/2015 at 8:32 pm

    We are not really looking forward to fall or winter.. but apples I will take any day! Since it has apples let’s call them healthy apple bars 😉 coz then there would be no limit on how many we can eat.. right?

    • Reply
      Linda Warren
      09/22/2015 at 10:05 pm

      Well, my only excuse is that our winter here in Florida is our best season. But I heartily agree with you on calling them healthy then I don’t have to feel guilty eating one or two. I like the way you think!

  • Reply
    abakershouse
    09/22/2015 at 11:44 am

    Oh I would love these! To have apple pie in a portable, cut-able, serving size to share is brilliant! I will make these for one of our teacher luncheons at school, they will be a hit! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Linda Warren
      09/22/2015 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks! If you love apple pie I think you’ll love them!

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