Time consuming: Nope
Thursday was parent-teacher conferences. From 8 in the morning til 7 at night. It was exhausting! I whipped up these treats for the special ed team meeting but then we decided to go off campus to Cracker Barrel. These bars were great snacks for our long day since we didn't have them in the morning.
The oat crust layer was crunchy and just hefty enough to hold the tart apples and caramel. The topping reminded me of an apple crisp - sweet and crunchy and just a little crumbly. Eat these quickly though because after a day or two the topping starts to get soggy - although I doubt they'll last that long!
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
1/4 c shortening
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c quick-cooking oats
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
4 1/2 c coarsely chopped peeled tart apples (I used 5-6 small granny smith apples)
3 T all-purpose flour
1 bag (12-14 ounces) caramels (I used kraft brand)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil and set aside.
2. Start melting caramel over low heat. Keep an eye on it while preparing the recipe, stir occasionally.
2. Mix brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl using an electric mixer. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda (I used my hands to crumble everything together). The mixture will seem loose but that's ok. Set aside 2 cups oat mixture and press remaining oat mixture in pan.
3. Toss apples with 3 tablespoons flour and spread evenly over pan.
4. When caramel is completely melted and smooth, pour evenly over the apples (work quickly because the caramel will start to harden - just smoosh it around as best you can).
5. Top with reserved oat mixture and press down lightly.
6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
For 36 bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows while warm (I waited for about an hour after they came out of the oven). Store covered in refrigerator
Recipe from Betty Crocker