Monday, November 26, 2012

caramel apple cheesecake bars

Want some insight into my life at this very moment? I am sitting at my desk in leggings, thick socks, a thermal, and a beanie. It is cold.

You know it's cold when your husband runs the trash out in the morning and comes back in and nonchalantly mentions it's snowing outside. 

This Californian has no idea what's coming at her in the next few months of Chicago winter.

I should have something warm to give you. Perhaps a bread pudding or even a warm chocolate cake. 

But, no, I have chilled cheesecake bars. Hold on, hold on. These bars are insane. Soul-warming good. Josh fixed them up for Thanksgiving dinner, and we could not get enough. I think I caught all members of our house picking at the leftovers directly from the fridge this weekend. I'm not even embarrassed.

Make them this Holiday season. It's a refreshing break from sugar cookies. 

The apple topping is tossed in cinnamon and nutmeg and makes your house smell lovely and Holiday-ish. You will thank me. 

The recipe calls for caramel topping. You can totally buy it from the store. I whipped up a quick batch of Smitten Kitchen's homemade salted caramel sauce. I think it added a little somethin' somethin' to the bars. Just a tip.

caramel apple cheesecake bars
recipe from Miss Paula Dean

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup butter, softened.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bow, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or a fork) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Combine all streusel ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixture until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.

Stir together apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Let cool approximately 30 minutes. Drizzle with caramel topping. Let bars set for an hour in the fridge. Cut and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Yum, these look delicious!! I'm so glad you are posting again :) I wish you the best with the cold in Chicago!! Us spoiled Californians...