Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Fall is officially in full swing here, and it is the best.

Even here in Georgia, we're getting some seriously gorgeous weather, the first of the Honeycrips have arrived, and I am so ready.

I decorated the house for Halloween today (even thought I'm a couple days shy of October 1st, which is generally when I deem it acceptable, but oh well) and I'm getting ready to really pumpkin it out this season, but before we do all that, it's time to appreciate apples.

As a celebration of fall finally getting good down here, I baked these.  They are rich, sweet, indulgent little apple pie/cheesecake combo treats.  I'm pretty sure they're a hit.

These take a little work, but not as much as you'd think just reading the recipe.  And I cheated and used store-bought caramel sauce because ain't nobody got time for that.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

(from the girl who ate everything, makes 15 servings)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzling after baked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl,whisk together flour and brown sugar. With a pastry cutter, cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a 9x13 baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes at 350, or until lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

While your crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. After the crust is finished and out of the oven, pour cheesecake mixture over warm crust.

In a medium bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.

For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Use the pastry cutter or your hands, whatever works until you have a crumbly topping.

Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Serve cold.

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