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CARAMEL APPLE CRUMBLE BARS

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MAKES 16 SERVINGS

Filling:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large (or 5 medium) apples, peeled and sliced

3 tablespoons sugar

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash of grated nutmeg

Dough:

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup chopped nuts, optional

9 ounces caramel candies

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 9x9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.

To make filling, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in apple slices, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are golden brown and caramelized (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, prepare dough. In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; stir to blend. Add butter pieces and cut into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk and vanilla and stir with fork or knead very briefly just until crumbly dough comes together.

Transfer about 2/3 of dough mixture to prepared baking pan; press dough down into even layer. Bake until light golden (about 12 to 14 minutes).

While dough base is baking, unwrap caramels. Combine with and cream in medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt caramels, stirring occasionally, until mixture is totally smooth. Remove from heat.

Once base layer is baked, pour caramel mixture over top. Layer with cooked apple slices. Crumble remaining 1/3 of dough mixture over apple slices. If desired, sprinkle top evenly with chopped pecans or walnuts.

Bake until top is golden brown (22 to 25 minutes). Transfer pan to wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

GoBoldWithButter.com



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