Caramel Apple Oatmeal Pecan Bars

Hi Everyone!! Happy Fall!! I just love this time of year, even if it is still in the 90’s here in Florida 🙂 When I lived up north, I used to love to see the leaves changing color and the feeling of the crisp, autumn air…especially knowing it wouldn’t be long until the holidays arrive! Living in Florida, Fall can be hot and humid, much like the rest of the year, so I pretend it’s chilly, turn the air conditioning way down,  and start baking my favorite Fall treats. 🙂

Recently, I found one of my food journals from about 30 years ago!! I was so excited to see so many old recipes I used to make when I was younger. I had an enormous cookbook collection too, that I have since pared down..(one of my big regrets)… I used to cut out magazine articles, newspaper posts, and jot down my own creations. How much fun it was to see all of the ways I used to come up with recipes before the internet was available. Wow, I feel old 🙂

This amazing recipe was something I created when I lived in Pennsylvania. My Mom used to make us caramel apples when we were little, so I created something that tasted just like them…but even better, if that’s possible. I have to say that I am not a fan of canned  pie filling, but back then I was a young Mom with two small babies, so it made sense at the time.  I was going to create my own for this post, then I discovered Lucky Leaf Organic Apple Pie Filling, and it is fantastic!!! So, it’s a great time saver to use canned pie filling. If you can’t find the organic kind, you can certainly use another brand.

These fabulous bars are so gooey and decadent!! You’ll definitely need a fork and a plate in order to devour these 🙂 Making sure they are chilled well before serving will ensure they have the best taste.  You can use any kind of nuts you like, but pecans give it a wonderful flavor and go well with the caramel. I hope you love them as much as I do 🙂

Gather all of your ingredients before you begin baking. I am not a fan of pie fillings, but found this organic one from Lucky Leaf!

You can make the crust by hand with a good pastry cutter, or use your food processor. Just be careful not to pulse too much.

Make the crumb topping and set aside.

Pat the crust firmly into your pan. Make sure to line the bottom with parchment paper.

Spread the apple pie filling over the partially baked crust.

Look at this luscious caramel!!

Pour the caramel over the apple pie filling.

Put the crumb topping over the caramel, then bake!

Check out these babies!! Chilled and ready to devour !!

They really do taste as good as they look!

Aren’t these beautiful? I love the subtle colors in apples of all varieties 🙂

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Pecan Bars

Makes: 30 bars Prep time: 40 minutes Bake time: 22 to 25 minutes


1 cup quick cooking oats

1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped pecans

1, 21 ounce can apple pie filling, ( I used Lucky Leaf Organic)

1, 14 ounce can of condensed milk

24 Kraft caramels

1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 13″x9″ pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter until it is crumbly. Reserve 1 and 1/2 cups of the topping and set aside.  Add the pecans to the reserved topping mixture.

Press the base crust into your prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Place your pan on top of another pan to make sure it doesn’t get too brown in the oven.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the condensed milk and caramels for one minute.  Take out and stir, then microwave for another minute.  Whisk together the caramels and condensed milk until they are all combined.  Add the 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.

Spread the apple pie filling over the partially baked crust.

Pour the caramel mixture over the pie filling.

Sprinkle the reserved pecan and crust crumble over the caramel.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown and not too jiggly 🙂

Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then put in the fridge for several hours before cutting it. The bars need to be very cold so they hold their shape.  Store them in the fridge for up to a week, or wrapped in wax paper and foil in the freezer for up to a  month.


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