These caramel apple magic bars take the classic layered bars up a step with chunks of apple and a caramel drizzle. These tasty treats are easy to make and perfect for a crowd!
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I know for many in the US, you know exactly what I mean when I talk about magic bars or seven layer bars. But I remember when I first saw them in a local cafe not long after I moved to the US and having no idea what they were.
But, as ever, I was keen to explore new things so decided to give one a try. I spent a good few bites trying to identify everything in them, in between enjoying the flavors. I certainly couldn't have them too often, as they are pretty sweet for my taste, but now and then they make a tasty treat.
These caramel apple layered bars are a twist on the classic, with some tasty chunks of apple added into the layers and a drizzle of dulce de leche caramel over the top. Because caramel and apple are perfect partners (and it looks pretty too, even if a little sticky).
I like to think the apple makes them a tiny bit healthier. Way too hopeful, I know, but they're delicious either way.
Given the caramel on top, and my general taste, I've reduced the sweetened condensed milk compared to a lot of magic bar recipes. The condensed milk kind of acts like the "glue" so you still need some, but you can get away with what I used here and it still works well.
Tips for making these bars
- Don't forget to line your baking dish/baking sheet. This makes it so much easier to get them out!
- Don't skip on roasting the apple chunks before adding them to the bars. This helps to dry them out a little as otherwise, they can add a bit too much moisture.
- Make sure you add the coconut before you add the chocolate chips and condensed milk - if it is on the top, it can burn. It's OK if some still shows through, but hopefully it at least has some condensed milk over it to protect it a little.
- Drizzle all of the ingredients evenly to make sure you have some of everything in each bite.
- Keep an eye on the bars as they bake so that the top layer doesn't get over-cooked. The white chocolate chips may color a little, but you don't want too much.
After the bars have baked, let them cool before you drizzle on the caramel. I'd recommend you use a piping bag (or squeezy bottle) to help you drizzle it over evenly. It doesn't need to be perfect, but in diagonal lines is probably best.
Then, lift the block out by the foil all as one piece and cut the block up into pieces. You can cut them as large or small as suits, really. I've suggested around 18 pieces but this is just a guide.
These caramel apple magic bars are easy to make and a delicious mix of flavors. They're sweet, a little decadent, but oh so good. And most definitely party-ready.
Try these other tasty treats:
- Lemon slice (Australian lemon coconut no-bake cookie bars)
- No bake pumpkin cookies
- I also love the sound of these apple cinnamon blondies from Bakerita for another fall treat.
- Plus get more snack recipes, both sweet and savory, in the archives.
Caramel apple magic bars
For base -
- ½ cup unsalted butter 115g/1 stick
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 190g
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For toppings -
- 1 ½ cups apple small dice 150g, approx 1 apple
- 1 cup coconut flakes 57g
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 180g
- ½ cup white chocolate chips 80g
- 7 oz sweetened condensed milk 210ml, ½ can
- ⅓ cup dulce de leche 60g
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Line an approximately 9 x 13 in (23 x 33cm) baking dish or roughly 1in/3cm deep baking sheet/tray lined with foil.
- Melt the butter for the base then mix it with the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Press the mixture in to the bottom of the lined dish/baking sheet in an even layer.
- Peel, core and finely dice the apple and spread the pieces out on a baking sheet/tray lined with parchment.
- Bake the crumb base and apples for approximately 8 minutes, until the base has firmed slightly and the apple pieces a softened and seem relatively dry. Leave the oven on.
- Spread the apple pieces over the base then sprinkle the coconut evenly on top. Dot the dark and white chocolate chips evenly over the top then drizzle over the condensed milk.
- Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes until the top is just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Gently warm the dulce de leche slightly, if it feels very thick, then put it in a piping bag and drizzle it in lines over the top of the bars.
- Lift the block from the dish/baking sheet carefully by the foil then cut into pieces. (if it doesn't feel like it will come out of the dish as one without breaking, then cut in the dish/on baking sheet.)
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