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Chocolate Caramel Apple Crumb Bars

Servings 12 to 24 bars depending on size

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 cups Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced (about 4 to 5 large apples)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into Tablespoons (16 pieces)
  • 1 large egg
  • 24 soft caramels, quartered (I used Lancaster Caramel Soft Crémes; about 3/4 cup of quartered pieces)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer Guittard chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp course sea salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, toss the diced apples in brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Let macerate (release juices) for 5 minutes.
  • Melt 6 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan, add the apples with their juices, and cook for 10 minutes or until desired softness. Allow to cool slightly.
  • While the apples cook, prepare the crust: Using the paddle attachment fitted on a KitchenAid mixer, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Add cold butter one Tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is running, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg and mix until the dough comes together, in large crumbs.
  • Press ⅔ of the crust onto the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Spread the cooked apples on top of the crust. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb dough.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden on top.
  • Meanwhile, cut up 24 soft caramels into fourths, and measure ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1 tsp sea salt.
  • Once the crust is golden, sprinkle the cut-up caramels and chocolate chips on top.
  • Return pan to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes more until the chocolate and caramels are melty.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Allow to cool slightly before cutting and consuming.

Notes

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