Friday, December 30, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

As soon as I saw "CARAMEL", "APPLE", and "CHEESECAKE" in one title I was SOLD! What a PERFECT winter dessert! The tart apples and warm caramel will warm ya right up!

I did not feel very confident about this dessert in the beginning because I thought that the crust was going to be too bland, but it is such a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Combined they equal the perfect dessert! This dessert serves about 20, and it was all gone the following day at my house! It always makes me so happy when my desserts go fast. I know I'm doing something right!

This dessert could be served warm or cold! Either way, they are going to love it!

And of course we have my idol, Paula Deen, to thank for this amazing recipe. You're going to love it y'all!

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter softened
2 (8 oz.) packs of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp (Separated)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 granny smith apples peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup caramel topping

Streusel Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup butter softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine flour and brown sugar

3. Cut the butter in with a blender until the mixture is crumbly

4. Press into a 13x9 inch pan lined with heavy aluminum foil (I did not line my pan with foil. I just sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray)

5. Bake 15 minutes or until light brown

6. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth

7. Beat in eggs one at a time

8. Add vanilla

9. Pour over warm crust

10. In a small bowl, mix together apples, 2 tbsp of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg

11. Spoon over cream cheese mixture evenly

12. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over apples

13. Bake for 30 minutes or until set

14. Pour caramel topping over the cheesecake (I waited until it cooled so that the caramel did not melt into the bars and could be seen. Try heating the caramel over a cooled cheesecake bar for a real treat! )

14. Cut into bars

15. ENJOY!!!!

**I turned the broiler on high for about 3 minutes to brown the streusel because my cheesecake was set but I was not happy with the color of the topping. Worked out perfectly!)

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