Friday, November 11, 2011

Caramel Apple Cider Bars

I know, that isn't the greatest picture, but by the time I got around to taking a photo of these cookie bars there were only some sad looking edge pieces left, I had to scramble and take this picture before I lost my light, and my four-year-old was "helping," so this is what you get.  Sorry about that.

So some of you may have seen these cookies floating around on Pinterest.  I have become slightly addicted to Pinterest, and when I saw these I knew that I had to try them.  I did, and they were delicious, but please forgive me, but I couldn't leave well enough alone.  You see, when it's fall, I want something I can really sink my teeth into,  I want some texture.  So I decided to take the main principles of the original caramel apple cider cookies (apple cider mixed in, lots of caramely goodness) and put them in oatmeal bar cookie form.  I did, and ooh de lally!

Oh mama, just look at that caramel.  I used a whole bag which was about 50 caramels, and you don't have to use quite that many--you can adjust for your personal preferences.  Bake a batch of these on the next blustery day that comes your way.  They'll warm you up from the outside in.

Caramel Apple Cider Bars
Printable version

1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 box (7.4 oz.) Alpine brand Spiced Apple Cider Original Instant Drink Mix (not sugar free)--yes, you use all 10 packets
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. quick oats
1 bag Kraft caramels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Unwrap caramels (I would go with about 3/4 of the bag, but you can add more or less depending on your personal preferences), and chop them into fourths.  Set aside.
In a small bowl combine flour, soda, slat, and cinnamon; set aside. 
In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, and all then packets of apple cider mix.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix in well.  Gradually add flour mixture.  Stir in oats and caramel bits.  Spread into greased 9x13" pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until top is good and golden.  Don't panic if the top seems to slip around a bit as you remove it from the oven--the center is probably done, the top is just sliding around on all that liquid caramel.  Allow to cool for about an hour (or just as long as you can stand it) before serving.

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