In a large mixing bowl, stir apples and 1/2 cup sugar. Let it sit for 20 minutes to get soft and juicy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 13x9 baking pan with foil and then overlay with parchment paper. Leave extra parchment paper hanging over the sides so you can remove the bars easily.
Drain the apples and discard liquid. Stir in 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, vanilla, cardamon and nutmeg into the apples and combine well.
In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine oats, soft butter, baking soda, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, remaining 3 cups flour, remaining 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Mix on medium until combined and crumbly.
Press 4 cups (save the rest for later) of the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Stir pecans into the remaining crumb mixture you saved. You will add this to the top and also store some for ice cream topping, yum!
Spread apple mixture over the baked, warm crust. Sprinkle with some of the reserved oat crumbs.
Bake for 40 minutes, them remove and let it cool and then refrigerate it until it's firm, about 1-3 hours.
Using the excess parchment paper, pull to remove from the pan and then cut into bars.
Melt the caramels as advised on the package. You can use the microwave in 15-second intervals until melted.
Drizzle the caramel over the cut bars and serve. You can refrigerate for 3 days.
This is best served with vanilla ice cream, extra crumb topping and more caramel sauce. You can also add butterscotch morsels to the top as well. Literally heaven in a bowl!