Thursday, November 21, 2013

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Every so often I'll get emails from friends and family members sharing recipes they love, whether it's something new they tried or an old family favorite. This happened to have come from my own dad. I'm not sure exactly where it came from, but I imagine it's a new one the girls in his office were passing around.

I kept spacing it off until this past weekend. Remember that box of apples I still have sitting in my garage? Yeah it's still there and pretty full. I think Saturday is going to be devoted to making pies for the freezer. I did at least put a couple of them to use in this amazing dessert.

I'm not usually a big fan of cheesecake, unless it's made the way mom makes it. With a little bit of cream cheese and whipped cream folded into the mixture. It's light, airy and fluffy; just the way I like it. But these I like, I love the depth of layers. The shortbread crust, cheesecake layer with apples on top and the crumbly topping. Oh and the caramel sauce on top is divine!

These would be perfect to take with you to Thanksgiving next week. Double the recipe to make a large 9x13-inch pan, plenty for everyone to enjoy. You won't be sorry.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars


For the crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 stick butter, cubed

For the cheesecake layer:
12 oz. (1-1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

For the apples:
2 apples- peeled, cored and diced
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

For the crumble layer:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 stick of butter, cubed

For caramel drizzle:
12 caramels, unwrapped
splash of milk


In a bowl combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in one stick of cubed butter with a pastry blender, until crumbly. Press evenly into an 8x8-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

In another bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla together until smooth. Pour over the warm crust.

Combine diced apples with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, sprinkle evenly over cream cheese mixture.

For the crumble topping, combine brown sugar, flour and quick-cooking oats in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apple and cheesecake mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes until filling is set.  Before serving, make caramel drizzle. Add unwrapped caramels and milk to a double boiler, cook until caramels have melted and are smooth. Drizzle warm caramel sauce over cheesecake bars.

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