What a lovely weekend it was here in New York! It was extremely windy and what seemed like unseasonably cold, so Kramer and I made sure to get outside and enjoy the breeze. We couldn’t seem to get enough sleep this weekend, as we fell asleep around 10:30 PM on Friday night. I think we both slept for about 10 hours straight. I guess we’ve been pretty exhausted! On Saturday, we went to brunch with a friend from work, Lindsey, and her boyfriend, Stephen, at Landmarc in Tribeca, which was honestly really delicious. Kramer and I usually go to pretty low-key places for brunch (when we go), so it was fun to go somewhere a little fancier. They were doing a special where for $25 each, you get two courses and two Stella Artois beers, so that didn’t hurt, either. After brunch, we saw Red, which was a fun, shoot-em-up type movie that I absolutely adore. John Malkovich was phenomenal, as usual. Every time I hear him yell at someone, I can’t help but smile. He just plays a lunatic so very well. After the movie, we stopped by the Amish Market to pick up a few things and look around. I love specialty grocery stores, even if I can’t afford to buy everything in them. It’s just fun to see all of the interesting products that they carry. We slept in on Sunday morning, and I spent the whole day in the kitchen while we watched some cheesy, but classic movies, such as Hackers. When “The Plague” skateboards by and grabs that floppy disk, I die laughing every time. It’s amazing. What are your favorite cheesy movies? Kramer and I usually watch one every weekend; they’re just so comforting and easy to have as background noise while we do chores or cook or anything else.
These Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche are perfect for the chilly weather we’ve been experiencing lately. They’re great with a cup of tea at breakfast or as a seasonal dessert while at home or to share at a party. They are really loaded with apples, so you definitely get a big mouthful with every bite. I think if it has apples in it, you should be able to tell, right? I added in some cinnamon, because I think that apples and cinnamon are practically begging to be paired together, especially when you’ve got dulce de leche in there already. The dulce de leche acts as a glue, keeping the bars together, but at the same time, bringing them up to a whole new level. When looking at the bars, you’d really have no idea that the dulce de leche is in there, but believe me, it’s a welcome surprise. The oat crust cuts through the sweetness, but not too much. Each nibble of these bars will certainly put you into the spirit of the season.
Cream together the brown sugar and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Combine 1 3/4 cup flour, oats, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Add in the flour mixture to the brown sugar and butter and mix until combined and just moistened.
Reserve 2 cups of the dough and set aside. Press the rest of the dough into a greased and/or lined 9×13 dish.
Peel, core, and dice your apples. I used this handy tool to do all three.
You want your apples to be thin and no more than an inch wide. Toss them with lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of flour.
Spread the apples over the dough pressed into the dish.
Warm up your dulce de leche in the microwave for 30 second intervals until smooth and easy to drizzle. You can buy dulce de leche in most grocery stores, or you can make your own, which I’ve shown you how to do here.
Pour the dulce de leche over the apples.
Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of oat mixture over the apples and dulce de leche. Press down slightly, to make sure the oat mixture sticks to the dulce de leche.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until golden and set.
Allow to cool completely before cutting in bars.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups old fashioned oats (NOT instant oats)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- juice of half a lemon
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dulce de leche (you can buy this in the store or you can make your own, recipe can be found here)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cream together the butter and brown sugar, until fluffy, about 3 minutes. In another bowl, combine 1¾ cup all-purpose flour, the oats, the cinnamon, the salt, and the baking soda. Set 2 cups of this mixture aside and press the remainder into a greased and/or lined 9x13 baking dish.
- Core, peel, and dice your apples into thin, bite-sized pieces. Toss them with lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Spread the apples over the dough pressed into the dish. Warm up your dulce de leche in the microwave in 30 second intervals, then drizzle it evenly over the apples (it doesn't have to be perfect). Sprinkle the 2 cups of flour mixture that was previously set aside over the apples and dulce de leche, then press down to be sure that everything sticks together. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into small bars and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 32-36 bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.