These apple bars have a layer of dulce de leche sandwiched between streusel and apples!
A group of food bloggers has gotten together today to help bring some attention to the fight against hunger in the US. I think a lot of us take for granted that we have the money to go to the grocery store and generally, buy whatever we want to eat.
This is especially true during the holiday season. While we eat our huge and most likely excessive meals, other people won’t be that lucky. 1 in 6 Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
So please consider donating to your kid’s school or church’s food drive, or volunteer at Feeding America or another local food bank.
If you want to help monetarily, check out Feeding America. Every $1 you donate means 9 meals for a family in need. Or you can even launch your own virtual food drive, like my friend, Mary, is doing right now! She has a great post up right now over at Barefeet in the Kitchen.
Now, for the bars!
I don’t normally get this decadent but sometimes I just just feel like drowning stuff in homemade dulce de leche. It seriously only takes 3 minutes of preparation – you empty two cans of sweetened condensed milk into a pan and let it go for 1 1/2 hours in the oven. Stir until smooth. That’s it!
Since these are for a Thanksgiving potluck, I made them in a 9″ x 13″ pan instead of my usual 8″ x 8″ or even a loaf pan! But be warned – these are terribly addictive. Even Mr. T., who prefers his veggies to sweets, couldn’t keep his hands off these. We eventually just had to give them away. It was an act of preservation. ;)
Although these apple streusel bars are super sinful, I did do what I could to make them slightly healthier! They’re 100% whole wheat (you can’t taste it though!) and I used coconut sugar, coconut oil and honey. These apple bars definitely aren’t a low-calorie or low-sugar treat but trust me – it’s worth it!
These are pretty simple to make, too. You make the streusel, which is the base and the topping of the bars, and then between that, you have apples, and on top of those, you pour the dulce de leche.If you want to be extra naughty, you can pipe on even more on top, but really, you don’t need it. They’re decadent enough!
Looking for grain-free version? Check out these apple pie bars I made a few weeks ago!
Be sure to check out what the others have made! And a big thanks to Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts for organizing everything!
- Erin from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts made Pumpkin Pie
- Caroline from Chocolate & Carrots made Sweet Potato Biscuits with Cranberry Jam
- Katrina from In Katrina’s Kitchen made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
- Christina from Dessert for Two made Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction made Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes
- Tracey from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures made Butternut Squash, Apple and Potato Gratin with Cheddar Crumb Topping
- Georgia from The Comfort of Cooking made Spiced Caramel-Apple Crumb Bars
- Rachel from Rachel Cooks made Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Cranberries
- Kate from Diethood made Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie
- Gina from Running to the Kitchen made Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon, & Goat Cheese
- Carla from Carla’s Confections made Spinach Mashed Potatoes
- Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food made Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
- Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
- Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic made Mini Apple Pies
- Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans
- Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver made Roasted Potatoes with Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrette
Dulce de Leche Apple Streusel Bars
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 24 bars
- 3/4 cup (88 grams) coconut or unrefined sugar
- 2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey
- 1 cup - 1 tablespoon (210 grams or 15 tablespoons) refined coconut oil, room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups (208 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups (140 grams) old fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 cups apples, cored and diced
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups (370 grams) dulce de leche, slightly warmed in the microwave
For the streusel:
For the apples:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a 9" x 13" pan with a piece of parchment paper (for easy removal of the bars). If you don't have parchment paper, spray the pan with baking spray.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend together the sugar, honey, and coconut oil until well combined.
- Add the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and continue blending until thoroughly combined.
- Pat about half of the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Set the remaining mixture aside while you prepare the filling.
- In another large bowl, mix the apples, vanilla, cinnamon and cornstarch until well combined.
- Pour the apple mixture over the crust that you just pat onto the bottom of the pan.
- Drizzle on the dulce de leche.
- Sprinkle the remaining topping mixture over the top of the dulce de leche and lightly pat it down.
- Bake the bars for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
- The bars might appear runny around the edges when you take them out of the oven, but don't worry, they will firm up in the fridge.
- Let the bars cool completely and then place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to firm up.
- Cut the bars into squares and place in an airtight container.
- Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.