Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
"The rich flavor combination of caramel apple and cheesecake makes these decadent bars a quintessential autumn dessert."
Tip: Make this recipe to match the season by replacing the apples with an in-season fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or pumpkin. Add your own special blend of spices to complement, or leave out the spices altogether.
- Streusel Topping:
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- Apple Cheesecake Bars:
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp white sugar, divided
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce, for topping
Adapted from qvc.co
To prepare the streusel topping, place all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Gently, with your fingers, mix the dough until it's crumbly with medium-size pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
To prepare the apple cheesecake bars, first place an oven rack in the lower-third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 13" baker with cooking spray. Set aside.
Toss the chopped apples, 2 Tbsp sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl. Set aside. Combine the flour and brown sugar a large bowl. Gently, with your fingers, add the butter and mix the dough until crumbly. Evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake 25–30 minutes, or until light golden brown.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla at medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter over the warm crust. Evenly spoon the apples (without the liquid it produced) over the cream cheese mixture, and sprinkle the streusel topping on top. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the filling is set.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Cut into desired-size bars and drizzle with caramel sauce before serving.