Apple oat bars with dulce de leche


If you're like me and you like apple crisp but wish the crisp to apple ratio were a little bigger, try this recipe. Mostly crisp, then some apple on the side. Hehe. And the brown sugar/oats combo is awesome. Add in some dulce de leche for some caramelly goodness and you've got yourself a really really good dessert.

Makes ~32 bars

For the bars:

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (NOT instant oats)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dulce de leche or 1 cup from a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk (you can buy this in the store or you can make your own, I made my own so it's included in the recipe)

Peel the label off of the can of sweetened condensed milk. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the can, with about an inch between the top of the can and the water. Place the can in the water to check, then remove it and set it aside. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat, then reduce to simmering over medium to medium-low heat and add in the can.

Add in enough warm water to keep the water at the same level every 30 minutes or so (I did about 3/4 cup of water every 30 minutes). Simmer the can for a minimum of 3 hours. After 3 hours, turn off of the heat and place the pot on a different, cool burner. Do NOT remove the can from the water immediately, as the temperature change may cause the can to explode. Allow the can to sit in the water for 30-45 minutes, then carefully, with tongs, remove the can to another surface and allow it to sit for another 20 minutes or so, until it is cool enough to touch.

Use a can opener to open the can. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cream together the butter and brown sugar, until fluffy, about 3 minutes. In another bowl, combine 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, the oats, the cinnamon, the salt, and the baking soda. Set 2 cups of this oat mixture aside and press the remainder into a greased and/or lined 9×13 baking dish.

Core, peel, and dice your apples into thin, bite-sized pieces. Toss them with lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Spread the apples over the dough pressed into the dish. Take your set aside dulce de leche and drizzle it evenly over the apples (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Sprinkle the 2 cups of oat mixture that was previously set aside over the apples and dulce de leche, then press down to be sure that everything sticks together. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into small bars and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Recipe from Crepes of Wrath

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