Apple-Raisin-Caramel Bars

Here is the Midwest, Fall is definitely in the air.  The crisp, cooler weather always makes me more in the mood to cook and bake.  I'll bet you feel the same way.

I found this recipe recently while paging through a magazine in my dentist's office.  I promise that I didn't rip it out of the magazine (as so many others do), I took it to the receptionst's desk and asked for a piece of paper so I could write it down.  Kindy, she offered to photocopy it for me.

These cookie bars have all the flavors you'd expect in a great Fall dessert. Tart apples, spicy and comforting cinnamon and sweet, plump raisins.  I also made a few of my own flavor additions (nutmeg, nuts and the caramel drizzle). The results were quite delicious:  moist, chewy and packed with Autumn flavor.

Apple Raisin Caramel Bar Recipe


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1+1/2 cups peeled, diced Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cups chopped pecans
1/2 bag of Kraft caramels
1/4 cup half and half

-Heat oven to 350 degrees
-Liberally coat a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
-In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
-In a large bowl, with an electric mixer (or stand mixer), blend together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed.
-To the butter and sugar mixture, add the eggs and vanilla. 
-Continue to blend for approximately 3 minutes or until completely smooth.
-Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in increments, blending after each addition.
-Continue to blend until all the flour is very well incorporated.
-Gently stir in the diced apples, chopped pecans and raisins until completely blended.
-Spoon the mixture into your prepared pan and smooth it evenly.
-Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
-Cool completely.
-Unwrap the individual caramel squares and add them to a microwave safe bowl.
-Add the half and half 
-Microwave the mixture on medium-low power 1 minute at a time, stirring in-between each microwave session.  Stir until the caramel mixture is smooth and creamy.
-Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cooled, pre-sliced cookie bars.
-Lightly sprinkle the freshly drizzled caramel with kosher salt (optional)

Apple Raisin Caramel Bar Recipe

Apple Raisin Caramel Bar Recipe

Don't you just love the Fall?  Enjoy!!!

Until we bake again,

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