Friday, November 11, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

These bars are a-maz-ing!  I wish that I was responsible for this most fabulous recipe but I cannot take any of the credit.  I was introduced to these bites of heaven via my fab friend (and cook) Stacie, and they hail from Melanie over at MelsKitchenCafe, she has a dynamite food blog, definitely worth taking the time to browse her site!  These babies are 5 layers of bliss, the bottom is a buttery cookie crust, topped with a creamy layer of cheesecake, then comes the tart and sweet cinnamon apples, topped with an oat streusel (my favorite part) and then finally, a drizzle of caramel sauce.  Really, need I say more.  I have made these for a couple of showers (baby and bridal) and there has never been one bar leftover.  I have emailed this recipe to most people who have tasted.  Honestly, I am drooling just thinking about them!  My one bit of advice is that they are kind of messy and fragile, so be careful as you cut them and place them on your serving platter. 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
Caramel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9X13-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.
Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set.
Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).
For the caramel sauce, mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

Recipe Source: MelsKitchenCafe


Anonymous said...

I made these last week for a party- amazing! They are a tad messy but so so good. I will make again!

joanna wilde said...

These are yummy! Whenever I look at this blog, I wish we lived closer so I could come over for dinner to eat some of your delicious dishes!