4–1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled tart apples (about 3 medium)
1 14 ounce bag of vanilla caramels
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine 1-3/4 cups flour, the oatmeal salt and baking soda.
In a medium-large bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are absorbed. Set aside two cups of the dough and reserve. Press the remaining dough into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
Sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour over the apples and toss until well-blended, then spread over the dough in the baking pan.
Heat caramels over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Pour evenly over apples. Top with reserved 2 cups of mixture. Press lightly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and apples are tender.
Set baked caramel bars on a cooling rack and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm.
Yields about 3 dozen bars.
Note: For those of you who enjoy tree nuts, add 3/4 cup coarsely chopped and lightly toasted walnuts or pecans to the 3 tablespoons of flour that is blended with the apples.