Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars

saltedcaramelapplebutterbars

I recently started with a crossfit personal trainer to help me get my pre baby body back.  Crossfit is amazing.  It is one of the hardest most rewarding workouts that I have ever done.  There really is no way to not get results with crossfit.  I can already feel a difference in the short time that I have been doing it.  I feel so much better just getting back into an exercise routine.   I have been watching what I eat but I still believe in a little treat here and there.  I made these Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars last week and that tiny square was worth every single calorie that I burned that day!

I adapted these from the Salted Caramel Butter Bars recipe.  One of my favorites on the blog.   I know, I know, these aren’t going to help with the weight loss plan.   They are called butter bars.  But oh man are they incredible!  They start with a buttery shortbread crust.  The center is salted caramel apple and the top is more buttery shortbread goodness.  I love the hint of saltiness in these bars.  Everything combined in these bars were so amazing!  These are sure to be a hit with your family as well!

2.5 from 4 reviews
Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An amazing buttery shortbread crust with a caramel apple center!
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 medium apples, chopped (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1 14 oz bag caramels, unwrapped or 11 oz unwrapped Caramel Bits work great
  • ⅓ cup whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar, and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in the flour and combine until it forms a soft dough.
  3. Press half of the dough in the bottom of a 9×13 dish and place the other half of the dough into the refrigerator. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and melt the caramels, heavy cream and ½ tsp vanilla in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together until smooth. Stir in the chopped apples. Pour evenly over the hot crust. Lightly sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the crust. I didn’t end up using the entire T, just lightly sprinkle evenly on top. You don’t want them too salty.
  5. Take the remaining dough out of the refrigerator and crumble over the top of the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until filling is bubbly and the top is firm. Let them cool completely before cutting.

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Alyssa

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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Comments

  1. Wow! These look amazing! I bet they are wonderful, I’ll have to give them a try!

  2. These look wonderful, Alyssa. I wish I had one right now!

  3. shirley miller says:

    The recipes look so wonderful, Just good home cooking that we love.

  4. Wishing these were in my kitchen NOW. These look so good and that crust sounds amazing.

  5. Is this a mistake having 2 CUPS of butter? Was it supposed to be 2 sticks? I just made these and they are swimming in butter, haven’t tasted them yet, but looks like a gooey mess, not at all like your picture.

  6. Just genius! Caramel goes so well with apples, these bars are dreamy…

  7. Look amazing! Must to bake them.
    Can you tell me how much in gram is 4 cups of flour, and about the carmel, how can I make this?
    Thank,
    Shani

  8. Just made this recipe and I ended up with a pan full of butter soup 🙁

  9. I made this recipe last night and ended up with a big pan of butter soup 🙁

    Even after I dabbed the grease off the top, the bars were kind of inedible.

  10. Do they freeze well? If you can add this answer to all your recipes that would be great! Thanks

  11. Not a lot about this recipe that’s right. When she says use a large mixing bowl, she really means use kitchen aid or add 20 min to prep time. When she says prep time 15 min, she really means 1 hr 15 min and that was with using kitchen aid. It took 20 min of peeling caramel from the wrapper as 1/3 of them stuck quite badly. When she says melt caramel etc in microwave for 1 min, she really meant 3 min. When she said bake for 25-30 min at 325, she really meant bake for 50-60 min and probably at a higher temperature.
    It appeared that she used a glass pan also, so I didn’t lower the temp. When she said chop 2 apples, she meant peal then chop 2 apples. It lacked in the gooey caramel taste I was so anticipating, and when it completely cooled, the next day I could see a lot of congealed butter in the bottom of the pan. I was pretty disappointed and for the time involved, I won’t be making them again. The crust never browned, some of it still doughy. And the worse part? I might as well have eaten 1/8 of an apple with 3 caramels and 2 Tbsp of butter. I can’t imagine the calories and fat we’ll consume eating these bars.

  12. Wow, here are the comments my sister made after following your instructions:

    “Not a lot about this recipe that’s right. When she says use a large mixing bowl, she really means use kitchen aid or add 20 min to prep time. When she says prep time 15 min, she really means 1 hr 15 min and that was with using kitchen aid. It took 20 min of peeling caramel from the wrapper as 1/3 of them stuck quite badly. When she says melt caramel etc in microwave for 1 min, she really meant 3 min. When she said bake for 25-30 min at 325, she really meant bake for 50-60 min and probably at a higher temperature.

    It appeared that she used a glass pan also, so I didn’t lower the temp. When she said chop 2 apples, she meant peel then chop 2 apples. It lacked in the gooey caramel taste I was so anticipating, and when it completely cooled, the next day I could see a lot of congealed butter in the bottom of the pan. I was pretty disappointed and for the time involved, I won’t be making them again. The crust never browned, some of it still doughy. And the worse part? I might as well have eaten 1/8 of an apple with 3 caramels and 2 Tbsp of butter. I can’t imagine the calories and fat we’ll consume eating these bars.”

    Hope other people’s experiences are better than this. (Tried to rate it with one star, but it won’t go that low.)

  13. These were delicious!! Instead of the whipping cream and caramels, I substituted a can of Eagle Brand Dulce de Leche and they were melt in your mouth good 🙂

  14. I’ve made these two times in the last month and they turned out perfectly. I think it’s one of the best bar recipes I’ve made in a while actually. I don’t see what can really go wrong here, but I guess they didn’t work for everyone. Yes, peel the apples. I just used a hand mixer on the crust. I loved that the shortbread was very sweet. I used the caramel bits (Target) with the cream and it was perfect. I did microwave it a little longer than a minute (in 15 minute increments) until it looked like a caramel sauce. For the remaining dough, I didn’t crumble it on top, I just flat disks of the dough and put them on until it covered most of the caramel. I used almost a full Tablespoon of the salt and put it on top of the crust (pressed in a little) and popped it in the oven. Both times I made these they turned out about double the thickness of those in the photo, but seriously one of the best bars I’ve tasted. A definite staple.

    • Thanks for your feedback! I have been wondering why others haven’t been turning out. They were awesome for me too!

  15. Followed the instructions and ended up with butter soup. Not sure how the end result looked nothing like the picture. Stay away from tHis recipe.

    • Hilary here is a previous comment that was left that might help: I’ve made these two times in the last month and they turned out perfectly. I think it’s one of the best bar recipes I’ve made in a while actually. I don’t see what can really go wrong here, but I guess they didn’t work for everyone. Yes, peel the apples. I just used a hand mixer on the crust. I loved that the shortbread was very sweet. I used the caramel bits (Target) with the cream and it was perfect. I did microwave it a little longer than a minute (in 15 minute increments) until it looked like a caramel sauce. For the remaining dough, I didn’t crumble it on top, I just flat disks of the dough and put them on until it covered most of the caramel. I used almost a full Tablespoon of the salt and put it on top of the crust (pressed in a little) and popped it in the oven. Both times I made these they turned out about double the thickness of those in the photo, but seriously one of the best bars I’ve tasted. A definite staple.

  16. Kristin F says:

    This looks so good. I’m a caramel lover. I’d like to make these but I have a stupid question. Your recipe is called “Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars”, where do you use the apple butter in the recipe? Or are you using regular butter and apples only? Please clarify. Thanks. I came across your recipe while looking for uses for apple butter, saw this delicious looking recipe and others I will have to look into too.

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