Sunday, October 08, 2006

Caramel Apple Bars

Tonight for dinner I made some Vegetable and Chickpea Curry and it was delicious and provided me with lots of leftovers for the week.

I also made some Caramel Apple Bars that Exa posted on her blog, that she found on DesertCulinary. It was time-consuming to make the caramel, but at least now I understand what "soft-ball stage" means and I know I am capable of making it again. I really like the bars, but they got stuck to the aluminum foil during baking and now they don't want to come off so I'm just scooping them out with a spoon. Next time I would not line the pan with foil. I usually don't, so I don't know why I followed that direction this time. Oh well! Anyway these are good. I would make these again.

Oh, and my changes! I used fat-free half and half instead of heavy cream. And I used pre-sliced fresh apples from Trader Joe's because I'm lazy.

Caramel Apple Bars
For the Crust:
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup ground pecans
2 cups rolled oats

For the Filling:
3 1/2 cups sliced apples (about 24 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Homemade Caramel* (recipe follows)

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9X13 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, beat the brown sugar and the next 4 ingredients (through baking soda) until thoroughly combined. Mix in the flour, ground pecans and oats until crumbly. Scoop out 1 cup and set aside.

3) Place the remaining crumbs into your prepared pan and press down firmly to coat the bottom. Toss the apples in a large bowl with the salt and cinnamon. Arrange them over the crust. Drizzle the warm homemade caramel over the top and then sprinkle with the remaining crumbs you set aside.

4) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until bubbly and the apples are just tender. Remove and let cool until they are just warm to the touch. Cut into squares. Try and let the bars rest until the caramel has set before serving.

Homemade Caramel:
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

1) Mix all of the above ingredients into a 2 quart saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until it reaches soft-ball stage (230-234 degrees). Remove and gently pour your 1 cup over the apple mixture.This recipes makes more than you will use so pour the rest into a 8X8 pan lined with foil and let cool. Cut into squares and you have your own homemade caramel squares!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i'm glad you made the caramel apple bars and used fat-free half-and-half too! you really can't taste the difference; at least, i don't think you can. i kind of had the same problem with everything getting stuck to the aluminum foil, but with so many people in my house, the bars were almost completely gone before they had cooled!