This recipe is from The Kitchen McCabe. The making of the caramel apples took a very long time but the recipe was delicious with the shortbread bottom. A little scoop of ice cream or a squirt of whipped cream would be perfect on these.
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 very large apples, cored, peeled, and sliced 1/8" thick
1-1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" x 13" pan with a large sheet of parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides of the pan for easy lift out. In a stand mixer mix together the flour and powdered sugar. Add butter to mixer in large cubes. Mix until ingredients just form a dough. Do not over mix. Pat 2/3rds of the dough into the parchment paper, smoothing out the top until it is evenly spread throughout the whole pan. Reserve the rest of the dough for the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
While the crust is baking make the caramel apples by mixing together the water and sugar in a saucepan and heating on medium heat mixing occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the sugar to a boil by turning the heat up.
When the sugar has caramelized to an amber brown color, add the apples and stir constantly. The apples will release liquid when they hit the caramel and cause it to harden in places. Continue stirring as the caramel will melt back down in a minute or two. Continue to cook on high until the liquid released has been cooked out and the caramel is thick again. Add the cream and butter stirring constantly. The mixture may froth but continue cooking until it settles back. Once the mixture is glossy and smooth remove from heat.
Pour the caramel apple mixture over the cooked shortbread. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top of the caramel apples. Bake for 15 minutes or until caramel is bubbling and the crumble is lightly golden brown. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting or overnight if possible. The longer they sit the easier they are to cut into squares.