I am so excited to share another wonderful guest post with you today! Rachel is a blog friend turned real-life friend and she is here to share her recipe for Chocolate Caramel Apple Bars (how good does that sound?!). This is a huge help to me because I am in the process of moving apartments. I’m so excited for our new place but wow is it a lot of work. In the meantime, enjoy Rachel’s post and be sure to check out her blog for other delicious recipes like Pizza Dip, Layered Oreo Cake Bars, and her Banana Bread Smoothie.
Hi Keep it Sweet readers! I’m Rachel! I blog about all things food over at The Avid Appetite and all things life over at The Peach & The Pit. I am so excited to be guest posting here today. Lauren was one of my first real ‘blog’ friends and I am so happy that we found each other! She keeps my stomach rumbling with her amazing and super creative dessert recipes and I always look forward to her posts each week.
When I first thought about guesting over here on Keep it Sweet, I knew that I would have to come up with a delicious and decadent dessert recipe that would be worthy of standing next to Lauren’s delectable creations. And since I know she loves chocolate, that obviously had to be a key ingredient.
I have long had a love affair with appley things. For as long as I can remember, anything with apples was instantly my favorite dessert. Pies, tarts, coffee cakes, crumbles, you name it. When I started thinking about a recipe to share with you, I knew that combining my love of apple, cinnamon and caramel with Lauren’s love of chocolate would surely be a winner. Right?
Well let me tell you about them and perhaps you’ll agree. Ooey gooey apple and caramel scattered atop a layer of semisweet chocolate, then sandwiched between crumbly oat goodness and topped with even more sticky caramel sauce is what these bars are all about. And if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. You won’t either; trust me on this one.
*bar base adapted from Betty Crocker Cooky Book’s Date Bars
3/4 C shortening, such as Crisco
1 C brown sugar
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 C old fashioned oats
1 C semisweet chocolate chips
2 tart baking apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and diced
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ C caramel topping or sauce (such as 1 jar Smucker’s caramel flavored ice cream topping)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 13×9″ pan with foil (one strip lengthwise, one strip widthwise), letting the foil hang over the edges. Grease well. Mix the shortening and sugar together in a bowl. I used my stand mixer, but a hand mixer (or even by hand) would work too.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat into the shortening & sugar mixture. Stir in the oats. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the greased, foil-lined pan.
Next, peel, core and chop the apples. Mix with the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Then, melt the chocolate (I do it via microwave) and carefully spread over the oat dough. It won’t be perfect, and that’s ok! Pour the apples evenly over the chocolate. Drizzle 1 cup of the caramel sauce all over the apples. Gooeyness!
Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over top and drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over that.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and set. To cut up, remove from pan by using the foil as handles. Peel away and cut into bars. Gooey, decadent, stretchy pants-inducing bars.
I hope you enjoy these! I can’t wait to make them again and again!
News on the next blog party: The theme is CHEESECAKE! and it will be posted on Tuesday, November 29th. Send me your links by the 28th to keepitsweetlcl at gmail dot com.