If apple pie and blondies got together to have a child, these caramel apple cookie bars would be that child. Filled with Goetze’s Vanilla Caramel Creams® caramel sauce, these caramel apple cookies pair perfectly with hot apple topping and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Caramel Apple Cookie Bars
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease the bottom of a 9x13-inch cake pan (optional: line with parchment paper) and set aside.
Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and spices) and set aside.
Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until combined. Stir in the vanilla and the eggs.
While stirring, add the flour mixture to the brown sugar mixture, about 1/4 a cup at a time.
When combined, fold the apple pieces into the mix and set aside.
To make the caramel sauce, melt the butter and Vanilla Caramel Creams® over a medium-low heat. Although it will be thick, constantly stir the caramel for an even melt and to prevent burning. Stir in the condensed milk. When the sauce is smooth, remove it from the heat. Set aside. Tip: Keep the caramel warm so it easily pours onto the pan. If it is cooked too long, it will thicken. If that happens, add condensed milk—one tablespoon at a time—until it pours smoothly.
Pour half of the cookie mixture into the pan and bake it for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven. Spread the caramel sauce over the cooked batter, followed by the remaining cookie mix. Bake it an additional 25-30 minutes at 350°. Allow it to cool in the pan before removing.
Serve with fresh, warm apple topping and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Warm Apple Topping
Melt butter over a medium-low heat. Stir in the sugar, spices, and salt followed by the apples and 1/4 cup of water.
Stirring occasionally, cook the apples, uncovered, on medium-high for 5-10 minutes.
When the apples soften and settle into the pan, stir in the corn starch. Tip: To prevent the corn starch from clumping, mix it with 2 tablespoons of water before adding it to the apples.
Reduce the apples to low heat and stir until the apples are soft and the sauce thickens.
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