These Salted Caramel Apple Bars are everything! Shortbread crust + apple slices + homemade salted caramel + streusel crumbly topping = best fall dessert!
Shortbread crust + apple slices + homemade salted caramel + streusel crumbly topping = Jennifer’s fall heaven.
Like. I can’t even tell you how much I love these apple bars, because there aren’t enough words in the dictionary.
That’s how yummy and delicious these bites of heaven are.
Like I told you in my Caramel Apple Dessert Pizza post, I’ve been crazy for apples lately. Because I’m constantly stocking up on apples, I’ve been having so much fun playing around with different types of apple desserts.
So today, I have for you, the BEST Salted Caramel Apple Bars.
Now let me be honest for a second, I typically am not a huge fan of fruit-y desserts, but you guys know that. You know I’d take chocolate peanut butter or chocolate mint over anything any day.
These salted caramel apple bars maaaay have just changed my mind.
It starts with a buttery, brown sugary shortbread crust. That alone is killer.
After the crust has baked and cooled, it gets topped with super, super thin sliced apples. Tart, sweet, crunchy. Ugh. Fall at it’s finest, really.
My two ultra favorite parts: the salted caramel and the streusel topping come into play.
The salted caramel. It goes a little something like this: brown sugar and butter get all melty together, and then half-and-half (or heavy cream) and vanilla get whisked into the mix. This gets thick and delicious and then to contrast all that yummy sweetness, salt gets whisked in… and literally it’s the best thing ever.
This caramel gets smothered over the tart apples and then it’s topped…with STREUSEL.
Like, come oooooooon! This is just too good.
The streusel is a combination of brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and butter. Now, I like a LOT of streusel, so feel free to halve the ingredients for the streusel if you’re not a streusel freak like I am, but I wouldn’t, because really, one can never have too much crumbly, crunchy cinnamon-y streusel.
Shortbread crust –> apples –> caramel –> streusel all baked together in an 8×8 inch baking pan that becomes a warm, buttery, tart, sweet, caramel-y, slightly salty, chewy perfection of a dessert.
Like I said.
These Salted Caramel Apple Bars are everything.
If you’re digging these glorious fall apples, be sure to check out my other apple recipes:
Salted Caramel Apple Bars
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 large honey crisp apples thinly sliced
Salted Caramel Filling
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter cubed
- 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Streusel Topping (you can halve if you want, but I like a lot of topping)
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 x 8 nonstick baking pan.
- Using your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Now mix in flour, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
- Place dough in baking pan and press down until it fits evenly in the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes, while you make the filling.
- Slice apples thinly. Place over cooled crust.
- Mix the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for about 3-5 minutes, until it gets thicker.
- Slowly add in half-and-half and vanilla. Continue to whisk.
- Raise the heat to medium/medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Boil for 60 seconds.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt.
- Let cool slightly before pouring over apples.
- Whisk together dry ingredients and then cut in the butter, using your hands or a fork, until it resembles coarse crumbles.
- Sprinkle evenly over the caramel.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until apples are tender and streusel is bubbly.
- Let cool before slicing and serving!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.