I’m on cloud nine. Almost.
I’m definitely experiencing a very exciting moment, if anything!
Last week, Geni from Sweet and Crumby (one of the blogs that I check almost daily) announced that she would be hosting a McCormick giveaway! Now I’m not usually the type of person to enter a lot of giveaways because I have never won anything significant in my life before, but I figured what the heck, I may as well try for this one.
And this morning, as I was eating my morning toast getting ready for another long day of studying for my final exams, I checked my email and saw an email from Geni herself (!!!) telling me I had won!!!
I was so excited. I still am very excited. And I’m really sorry if I sound like I am bragging or shoving this in anyways face, because I’m really not!! The only thing I can ever remember winning is a puzzle from a birthday party in grade 5. And I don’t even like puzzles.
Anyways, now that I am finished my happy dance (for now anyways, there will probably be several throughout the day), I’m going to share a recipe with you from Sweet and Crumby 🙂
Geni posted this recipe for caramel apple crumb bars about two weeks ago, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it out. These bars were not hard to make, and were absolutely delicious. They tasted amazing straight out of the oven, and my housemates found that microwaving the remaining bars in the following days made them taste almost as if they had come out of the oven. Yum!
Caramel Apple Crumb Bars
For the Crumb Mixture:
2 2/3 cup all-purpose white flour
1 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant oats)
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups peeled and chopped Granny Smith or other tart apples (4 medium or 2 large)
For the caramel sauce:
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup all purpose white flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the crumb mixture: Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray coat a 9×13 pan, preferably glass, on the bottom and sides. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and butter with a rubber spatula or best yet, with your hands. The mixture should end up as course crumbles.
Press 1/2 of the crumbly mixture firmly in the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes and then set on a wire rack.
While the crumb mixture is baking, make your caramel sauce: In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. DO NOT LEAVE THE POT! Adjust the heat so the mixture boils mildly briskly. It should boil about 6-8 minutes, until it reaches 244 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Immediately, remove the pot from the heat when it reaches the desired temperature. Stir in the flour and mix until evenly combined. Stir in the vanilla.
Peel and chop your apples into a 1/2 inch or so dice. Sprinkle your apples evenly over the pan and then pour the caramel sauce over the apples, trying to disperse the caramel in equal amounts. Top the apples with the last half of the crumb mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges turn a little darker than the center. Transfer to a wire rack and carefully run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the caramel from around the sides. Let stand until completely cooled and then cut into bars.
Source: Sweet and Crumby, from Nancy Baggett’s All-American Cookbook