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Gooey Caramel Apple Bars

Instead of preparing plenty of pies when feeding a crowd at Thanksgiving, we suggest you bake of batch of these caramel apple bars.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/4 cups butter-flavored shortening
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 10-1/2 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 12 medium)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, water and vinegar; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
  • Divide dough in half so that one portion is slightly larger than the other; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • Roll out larger portion of dough between two sheets of waxed paper into a 17x12-in. rectangle. Transfer to an ungreased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Press pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of pan; trim pastry even with top edges of pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugars, flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Stir in cream.
  • In a Dutch oven, melt butter. Add apple mixture; cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until apples are slightly tender. Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Spoon into crust.
  • Roll out remaining pastry; place over filling. Trim and seal edges. Cut slits in top. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 362 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 204mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • shecooksalot
    Dec 7, 2011

    I made this recipe for a group meeting. All the ladies in the group really liked it, one even said that the filling was better than her mom's apple pie filling. However, I thought it was a lot of work for what essentially tasted like apple pie. I was expecting more of a caramel taste. I also had problems with the crust, but crust and I do not get along ever, so it really could've just been me. They did turn out fine, but will probably only be made once in a while because of the amount of work it takes to make these.

  • wingsgirl02
    Oct 17, 2010

    No comment left

  • ranger3470
    Oct 9, 2010

    It sounded so good. I made this last night. PLEASE keep reading because I started with the downfalls first but it DOES get better! I have no idea where the 30 min of prep number came from. I spent at least that just peeling/slicing the apples. I had alot of trouble with the pastry crust, but I did get the crust to work. At least problems with rolling it out and transferring it to the pan. To me, it doesn't taste anything like caramel apples. Now the good parts... it reminds me of something like an apple crisp in bar form. The crust was nice and flaky. The filling was delicous. Everyone seemed to like it. I would make this again, but perhaps just for a special treat.

  • kimjess2588
    Sep 30, 2010

    How about writing your review AFTER you've tried it. That would help a lot! Telling us they just came out of the oven does nothing. But thanks for sharing! What a huge help!

  • ladeanad
    Sep 28, 2010

    I thought this recipe looked so good, that I came home tonight and tried it.. it just came out of the oven so i haven't tried it but it looks wonderful.. i did have a little trouble with the crust.. next time i make it i won't use the full 5 cups of flour..