1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
4-1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled tart apples
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 package (11 ounces) caramels
3 tablespoons butter
1. In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add flour, oats, salt and baking soda; mix well. If desired, stir in pecans. Set aside 2 cups. Press remaining oat mixture into an ungreased 13x9-in. baking pan.
2. For filling, toss apples with flour; spoon over the crust. In a saucepan, melt the caramels and butter over low heat; drizzle over apples. Top with the reserved oat mixture.
3. Bake at 400° until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before cutting into bars.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
YIELD: 20 servings.
These bars make an excellent fall dessert. We like to warm individual servings in the microwave and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It quickly became a family favorite; maybe it'll become one of your family's, too.
1 bar: 250 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 241mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.