This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Becky of Project Domestication: Burnt Sugar Ice Cream. I had already made this recipe a few years ago, so if you'd like to hear my thoughts about it (I loved it), you can read my post here.
What I bring to you today, though, is a recipe that would pair wonderfully with the burnt sugar ice cream. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was making some caramel apple oatmeal cookies from Cooking Light. I asked her for the recipe, and when she gave it to me she warned me that the dough came out really dry and crumbly. So, before setting out to make them, I read through the reviews on the website to see if this was a common problem and to check for any solutions. Indeed, it seemed like the vast majority of bakers found the dough too dry to work with. There were a few people who added an extra tablespoon or two of butter, but it didn't seem like there was any foolproof fix for this.
So, I decided to go about making my own recipe, using the general concept of a cookie with caramel, apples, and oats. Instead of using dried apples, I figured fresh caramelized apples would be better, and they would definitely add a little moisture to the recipe. So I browned some apples in some butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. As I was getting ready to scoop the cookies onto my baking sheet, my baby started crying, so instead of making individual cookies, I decided to just pour all the batter into a baking pan and make bars instead of cookies :)
These turned out quite well if I do say so myself :) They are definitely much better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld. I had a bite fresh out of the oven and was a little disappointed, but when I went to have another bar the next day, I loved them! Although this recipe is loosely adapted from Cooking Light, it's about as close as I ever get to making my own recipe, so I hope you'll give this one a try and let me know how you like it!
Also, don't forget to enter my $100 gift card giveaway while you're here :)
Caramel Apple Oatmeal Bars
from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats
For the apples:
1.5 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
2-2.5 cups diced Fuji apples (about 2 medium to large apples)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
For the bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups oats (quick or old fashioned)
1 cup Kraft caramel bits (you can substitute toffee bits if you'd like)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Melt 1.5 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, toss the diced apples in and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the apples with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and cook them, turning, just until coated, another minute or so. Transfer the apples to a small bowl and let cool while you make the cookie dough.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the vanilla.
Turn the mixer down to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they are incorporated.
Stir in the oats, caramel bits, and apples. Mix well.
Pour the dough into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If making cookies, bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.)
Let cool completely before cutting into bars. These taste best when wrapped well and served the following day.