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Robin Patchen's Apple Pie Bars with Caramel Drizzle

Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April, and its prequel, Chasing Amanda, released in July. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com

Robin's Latest Book Release: Finding Amanda

Chef and popular blogger Amanda Johnson hopes publishing her memoir will provide healing and justice. Her estranged husband, contractor and veteran soldier Mark Johnson, tries to talk her out of it, fearing the psychiatrist who seduced her when she was a teen might return to silence her. 

But Amanda doesn’t need advice, certainly not from her judgmental soon-to-be ex-husband. Her overconfidence makes her vulnerable when she travels out of town and runs into the abuser from her past. A kind stranger comes to her rescue and offers her protection. 

Now Mark must safeguard his wife both from the fiend who threatens her life and from the stranger who threatens their marriage. BUY THE BOOK HERE.


Robin's Apple Pie Bars with Caramel Drizzle

SHORTBREAD CRUST
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

APPLE FILLING
2 large, tart apples (I use Granny Smith), peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 -1/8 inch thick)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

TOPPING
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel or other caramel sauce
           
Preheat the oven to 300°. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Be sure to leave an overhang on two sides, which will make it easier to remove and slice the bars later.

To make the crust, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until all of the apples are evenly coated.

To make the topping, whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (I admit it—I used my hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

After the shortbread is removed from the oven, turn the oven to 350°F. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the Streusel is golden brown.

Let it cool at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then in the fridge for at least 2 hours. With the foil or parchment overhang, lift the bars out of the pan and cut into bars. Place them on a pretty serving dish, if you like, and drizzle some room temperature salted caramel sauce on top of each. (Tip: Put the caramel sauce in a squeeze bottle. If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, use a zipper bag and snip the corner and squeeze the sauce out. This will help you to drizzle it with style.)

*recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction, http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/07/03/salted-caramel-apple-pie-bars/