Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

The time has come when mangoes and peaches have made their final descent and hot sweaty days of slaving in the kitchen are officially a distant memory.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

 I may have found it hard saying goodbye to my summer desserts but I am loving fall and everything it has bought with it.

The cool crisp air. The warm brown orange hues. The piles of beautiful autumn leaves on the pavement.  The early sunsets. Halloween!

Pumpkin muffins. Warm tea. And apples. Lots and lots of beautiful apples and with it an endless list of things to make.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel.  Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

I can’t think of a better way to welcome fall with open arms than with these warm cinnamon-ny apple pie bars.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel.

The perfect fall dessert!

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

These bars struck me in the middle of a caramel cinnamon autumnal daydream.

I was craving apple pie but had neither the patience nor an audience to feed an entire pie. This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction proved to be a Godsend!

A quick version of the classic apple pie without all the hassle.

These apple pie bars taste even better than the original and they’re much easier to make.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel.  Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

They richness from the shortbread crust, the sweetness of the apples, the nuttiness from the crumble and the saltiness of the caramel together create magic in your mouth.

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

These nutty apple pie bars consist of 4 delicious components:

  1. The shortbread crust is flaky and buttery and takes literally seconds to put together

  2. The apples are warm and gooey and they make your entire house smell of cinnamon a smell so deliriously good, it makes me want to bottle it up and wear it as perfume.

  3. The crumble is made up of oats, brown sugar, walnuts and more cinnamon. It has to be my favorite part of these bars. This crumble topping has infact been featured on the blog before. Remember this beautiful peach pie from last summer? Yup that’s the same crumble on top. The same bits of crumbly buttery deliciousness.

  4. The salted caramel to balance the richness and sweetness. You can skip it out completely but I mean why would you? Its salted caramel!! Edible molten gold! *swoooon*

You may think that all these layers and components would take a lot of time to put together but trust me when I tell you, this recipe is super quick. There’s no chilling or blind baking involved. It takes no more than 20 minutes to put the whole dish together and bang it into the oven.

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

A note about the original recipe:

Sally‘s version calls for 115g of butter and ¼ cup of sugar for the crust. I found the crust too greasy and sweet the first time I made this recipe and so I used less butter and also reduced the sugar the second time around. This ratio works out perfectly.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

 

Have it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and I guarantee they’ll become one of your favorite fall treats as soon as you take the first bite!

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

See you soon with some spooky treats. 😉

 

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

 

Ingredients:
Shortbread Crust
90g (6 Tablespoons) butter, melted
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Apple Filling
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick, makes 3-4 cups)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Crumble
1/2 cup quick cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped *optional
60g butter, cold and cubed
Salted Caramel
I use this recipe.
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
For the crust: In a bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add in the flour and stir until everything is well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes while you prepare the rest of the components.
For the apple filling: Combine everything in a large bowl, and mix until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
For the crumble: In a bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and flour. Cut in the chilled butter using two forks or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Assembling: Remove the crust from the oven. Evenly and tightly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. Press them down to make them fit. Sprinkle with the crumble topping and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown. Meanwhile prepare the salted caramel using this recipe.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20-30 minutes at room temperature before slicing. Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I cut them into 8 large bars for the pictures but usually cut them into bite size pieces since they are quite rich. Once cut, salted caramel sauce. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy.
These apple pie bars are best served warm but they taste amazing cold too. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

Advertisements

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

It may not feel like fall yet but summer is definitely over. College starts tomorrow and I am, needless to say, already heading towards depression.

Last year of college! Can you blame me?

Oh the jitters. Which would justify why I’ve been hankering down in the kitchen everyday all day long. Nothing like some good fall baking to make everything better.

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

 

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. Bursting with fall flavors, these muffins will make your house smell like the most glorious bakery in Italy.

 

Pumpkin and Chocolate were meant to be together and when that chocolate is in the form of luscious Nutella, you know the muffins are bound to be out-of-this-world good.

They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist.

.

.

.

You won’t be able to stop at one!

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

For my fellow Pakistani peeps who aren’t accustomed to the pumpkin ecstasy, let me tell you that it is d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s!

Pumpkin puree makes everything silky, soft and extremely moist. It doesn’t have a very distinct flavor which is why you add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to amplify it.

I have yet to see pumpkin puree being sold here in the supermarkets of Islamabad, which is why I made my own pumpkin puree from scratch. I’ll do a step by step post on it if you like. It’s very simple, just slice a pumpkin up, de-seed it, and roast in the oven till fork-tender. Cool and then scoop out all the soft bits. Chopperize or blend till smooth. Fill up disposable Ziploc bags with it and freeze. It lasts for up to a year.

Be it the classic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread or Pumpkin Fettuccine, homemade pumpkin puree can be used for all sorts of things; both sweet and savory.

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

Give pumpkin a try. You won’t regret it. 🙂

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: 18 muffins
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (read description above)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Nutella spread
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease the tray well with cooking oil.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, and oil until well-combined. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon powder, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture and milk to the pumpkin mixture alternatively, starting and ending with the flour, until everything is just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
Spoon batter into the muffin tray cavities, filling about 3/4 of the way full.
Place the Nutella into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds or until it thins out. Using a teaspoon, drop a spoonful or two of Nutella onto the top of each muffin and swirl with a knife.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set and golden brown. Best served warm!
*Store leftovers in an airtight container. Warm in microwave before serving.
Recipe source: Inside BruCrew Life

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

Apple Hand Pies

*This post was intended for the week after exams. But then Karachi happened…

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

The air may not be as crisp and the leaves may not be as brown as the rest of the world, but that does not mean that us Pakistanis don’t love fall. And now that winter is almost here, it’s the perfect time to put to use all those pie recipes safely hidden away in your recipe box. What could be better than gooey flaky just-out-of-the-oven apple pies on these cold dreary days.

The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

 

I whipped these up in fifteen minutes flat after coming home from a relax- after-Exam-From-Hell hike in the Margalla Hills. The weather was beautiful and my legs were dead.

off to the hills!water-3

And so these mini apple pies were the perfect pick-me-up, although I do prefer chocolate but these were next to best.

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

These beautiful little treats are the perfect thing to make this fall cum winter. To impress your guests with at your next tea party. And with Christmas just around the corner, they can make for a perfect gift for your friends and family, just fill em in a cute lil box, tie a ribbon around it and voila….DIY Christmas gifts in a jiffy. Who wouldn’t love a box of lil apple pies?

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

Don’t let the pie crust scare you. I will do a detailed post on it later. It’s very easy. Just follow all the steps and you’ll get perfect results every single time. This was my first try at pie crust and it turned out beyond my expectations.

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

>>Oh and in case you guys missed my post on Instagram, Spatula in My Pocket is now on Snapchat! {Add me at: noora559} I’m trying to make a habit of sharing more and on a regular basis but, boy, cooking and taking pictures at the same time is hard  o.o<<

Apple Hand Pies

Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time                                               Yields: 8-10 hand pies
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Ingredients:
FOR THE CRUST
1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon (45g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoon vegetable shortening, chilled
¼ cup ice water
FOR THE FILLING
2 cups small diced and peeled apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
FOR TOPPING
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
Granulated sugar, optional
Directions:
For the Crust
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, or two forks, or with the help of our fingertips, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal (pea-sized bits of butter are totally fine)
Drizzle in the icy cold water little by little, stirring with a wooden spoon in between. When the dough begins to form large clumps, do not add more water.
Flour a work surface and transfer dough on it. Using floured hands, fold dough into itself till it comes together, and the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form a ball. Flatten it and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours
For the Filling
In a small bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Assemble the Pies
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before rolling, for about 15 minutes. Then, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, roll into a square about 1/8 inch thick and 14×14 inch sides.
Using a cookie cutter or a cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Reroll dough as needed.
Place six of the circles on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon apple filling in the center, leaving space around the border. Place second dough circle on top of each filled circle. Use a fork to crimp the edges together to seal each pie.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water.
Brush the top of each pie with the prepared egg wash. Using a sharp knife, cut two to three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let pies rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
I use and recommend Crisco as the vegetable shortening. It is easily available in all large superstores.
Cubed apples should be very very tiny so as to make sure they cook inside the oven.
The sugar in the filling can be replaced with brown sugar for a more caramel-like flavor.