Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel – Indulge, in the warmth and comfort of autumn with these Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Apple Pie Bars, a twist on the classic pie. These bars feature a crust made with oats, a layer of tender apples infused with cinnamon, and a generous drizzle of homemade salted peanut butter caramel. Each square is like taking a bite out of fall happiness making it the perfect dessert for those who prefer gluten-free options without compromising on taste.
I can still vividly recall the aroma of apples and cinnamon that filled our kitchen when I first baked these bars. It was an October afternoon. As they were baking their irresistible scent hinted at something truly special. My husband’s eyes lit up upon his first bite and even our picky little one couldn’t resist asking for seconds. The luscious peanut butter caramel was a hit adding a nutty dimension that transformed these bars into more than just a treat; they became an instant family favorite for cozy evenings.
What makes these Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel truly special?
The Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel revolutionize the dessert table by combining a gluten-free oat crust with layers of perfectly spiced Honeycrisp apples. The innovative addition of salted peanut butter caramel cascading over each bar creates a complex flavor profile that will leave your taste buds wanting more. The combination of textures, in these bars ranging from the tender apple filling to the crumble topping, makes them not just a convenient option for gatherings but also a delightful variation of the traditional apple pie. What sets these bars apart is their dedication, to accommodating needs allowing everyone to savor a flavorful and comforting treat that evokes feelings of home.
What You Need To Make This Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Recipe?
Gluten-Free Oat Flour: Our crust is made with this flour to provide a flavor and a tender texture ensuring that even those, on a gluten-free diet can enjoy the classic shortbread experience.
Traditional Rolled Oats: These oats add a wholesome chewiness to our bars, of the comforting taste of traditional oatmeal cookies.
Brown Sugar: This sweetener adds a touch of molasses to the mix enriching the crust and crumble with a caramelized depth.
Cinnamon, Baking Soda, Salt: These essential ingredients provide a warmth light lift and flavorful base notes that come together harmoniously in our recipe.
Butter: Whether you prefer dairy or vegan options melted butter is what brings all the elements of our crumble together. It creates a cohesive melody that resonates in every crumb.
Honeycrisp Apples: The shining star of our filling. These apples contribute their texture and balanced sweet-tart flavors which cook down into a jammy layer that forms the heart of these bars.
Pure Maple Syrup: We use this sweetener to infuse the filling, with the woodsy sweetness of those crisp autumn mornings.
Cornstarch: The thickening ingredient we use helps our apple mixture settle perfectly between the layers like the center of a quilt.
Allspice, Nutmeg, Vanilla: A combination of allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla dances, through the apples leaving behind complex flavors. The floral tones of vanilla provide a foundation.
Creamy Peanut Butter: Creamy peanut butter takes the caramel to another level giving it a nutty drizzle that’s both familiar and pleasantly surprising.
Coconut Oil: Incorporating coconut oil gives the caramel a velvety texture with tropical hints. It pours over the bars like a ribbon.
Sea Salt: Adding a sprinkle of sea salt at the end isn’t, for decoration; it’s a contrast that awakens your taste buds making every sweet flavor burst and harmonize together.
Steps To Make Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel:
Step 1: First things first, let’s tackle those caramels. Unwrap them like the little presents they are, roll them into cute little balls (think marble-sized), and pop them onto a plate. Slide that plate into the freezer. Why? Because we want them to keep their cool when things heat up in the oven later. Give them a good 20-minute chill session.
Step 2: Crank up your oven to a cozy 350 degrees F, and dress up your 8×8 inch pan in its parchment paper best. Give it a little spritz of non-stick spray — think of it as the pan’s perfume.
Step 3: Grab a big ol’ bowl and let’s get messy. Fork-mix the gluten-free oat flour, the trusty oats, brown sugar (for that caramel kiss), a whisper of cinnamon, a pinch of baking soda, and salt. Now, pour in the melted butter (or vegan alternative if you’re into that) and a splash of vanilla. Stir it around until it feels like wet sand on the best beach day ever. Scoop out about 1 2/3 cups of this sandy mixture, press it into the bottom of your pan like you’re patting down a sandcastle, and chuck the rest in the fridge.
Step 4: In your favorite skillet, melt a little butter and toss in those apple slices. We want them coated like they’re prepping for a cinnamon spa day. Drizzle in the maple syrup and sprinkle the spice squad — cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg — and let them get cozy until the apples soften up. Then, stir in the vanilla, a pinch of salt, and the cornstarch to thicken their saucy hot tub. Once it’s got that thick apple pie filling vibe, spread it over your patiently waiting crust.
Step 5: Retrieve the remaining crumble from its fridge retreat. It should be clumpy now, like it’s been thinking about life and sticking together. Scatter those clumps over the apple layer like a blanket of deliciousness.
Step 6: Now, here’s where the magic happens. Slide your pan into the oven, dial the heat back to 300 degrees F (we’re just giving them a warm hug, not a bear squeeze), and bake for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they look like a golden autumn day.
Step 7: While the bars are cooling and feeling proud of themselves, whip up that peanut butter caramel. In a bowl, mix peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and a pinch of that fancy sea salt. Zap it in the microwave just until it’s warm and runny like a velvety river.
Step 8: Drizzle that golden caramel over your cooled bars with the flourish of a painter, then slice them into 16 perfect squares. These bars are like little edible squares of joy, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top if you’re feeling extra.
For that irresistible crumble topping that perfectly complements the soft apple filling, the key is in the chill. After mixing your crumble ingredients, let the mixture sit in the fridge while your apples cook. This rest period allows the butter to firm up, which, when baked, results in delightfully buttery, crisp clusters. And when you’re layering the crumble over the apple filling, don’t press it down—let it sit loosely on top. This way, the heat circulates around those buttery bits, baking them into golden nuggets of joy that offer a satisfying contrast to the lush apples beneath. Remember, it’s this interplay of textures that makes each bite of your Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel an exquisite experience.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I use regular flour instead of oat flour?
Of course! You can definitely use flour as a substitute, in a 1:1 ratio if you’re not concerned, about gluten-free options.
How do I store these bars to keep them fresh?
To keep these bars fresh simply store them in an airtight container at room temperature for soft bars. If you prefer them chilled you can also keep them in the fridge.
Can I make these bars vegan?
Absolutely! Just make sure to use vegan butter and check that your chocolate chips are dairy-free. That way you can enjoy these treats while sticking to a vegan diet.
My name is Natasha and I am the owner of nodashofgluten.com, a blog dedicated to all kinds of recipes. On my website, you can find classic dishes, vegetarian delights, creative snacks, Gluten-free recipes, and desserts – all proving that cooking isn’t as hard as it seems! With easy-to-follow instructions and tips on how to make your meals even better, I strive to help everyone become master chefs in their own kitchen. Come join me at nodashofgluten.com for some delicious fun!