Caramel Apple Butter Bars

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  This means that the fall baking season is coming to an end.  It’s time to put away the pumpkin and apples and break out the gingerbread and peppermint.  I need to somehow squeeze in all the pumpkin and apple desserts I want to make in a week.  Or just make Thanksgiving dinner all desserts.

I had a rare moment this week where Luke took a nap when I got home from work.  I took advantage of this and made Caramel Apple Butter Bars.  I originally got a jar of Stonewall Kitchen Caramel Apple Butter to make frosting for this cake.  I didn’t want it to go bad or to waste so I have been looking for an opportunity to use it up.  About a month ago, I came across a recipe for Creamy Pumpkin Butter Pie Bars from Sweet Simple Stuff and thought this would be perfect to adapt with the caramel apple butter.

The original recipe calls for a 9×13 pan so that is what I started with.  I made the crust and it was about half way done baking when I started working on the filling.  I realized that I did not have enough apple butter, of course!  I wasn’t short by much but I didn’t like it.  I was racking my brain trying to think of what I could add to this.  I was afraid there would not be enough filling to give a thick enough layer over the crust.  This is where I wish I could easily just come up with some creation or have a baking epiphany!  I did not have such a thing, so I decided to start over and cut the recipe in half.  This worked out perfect!

Caramel Apple Butter Bars Recipe (Source: adapted from Sweet Simple Stuff which adapted from Crazy for Crust)

Crust:

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar

Filling:

  • about ¾ cup caramel apple butter (I used Stonewall Kitchen)  (I had just a little over ¾ cup)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Topping:

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup quick cooking oats
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Line a 9×9 square pan (8×8 would work too) with foil and spray non-stick baking spray and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients.  Using a hand mixer, mix until it all begins to get crumbly.  Finish crumbling by using your fingertips the blend the butter with other ingredients.  You could use the mixer the whole time, but I thought it worked better by using my hands to complete this (great tip from Joy the Baker-see it in this recipe).  Press on the bottom of the pan.  I used the bottom of a small dry measuring cup to tamp it down evenly.  Bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until the edges begin to golden.

Prepare the filling by blending the caramel apple butter and cream cheese together.  Spread evenly over the crust.

Make the topping by mixing all ingredients with a hand mixer until it becomes crumbly.  Again, I finished this by using my fingertips to blend the butter with the other ingredients.  Sprinkle evenly on the top.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until you see the topping begin to brown.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.   Cut into bars.

I found that when I cut the bars, they were very soft.  I think these are best if chilled, at least to cut (but still ok if not).

These Caramel Apple Butter Bars are absolutely delicious and are so quick and easy to make.  This is the perfect go-to recipe if you need a quick dessert for a last minute get together!

2 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Butter Bars

  1. Pingback: Fall Dessert Round-Up | I Need to Bake

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