Friday, October 15, 2010

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

My mom gave me the tip on this blog called, The Girl Who Ate Everything, because she told me a lot of this lady's fav. blogs were my favorite blogs so she figured we liked the same stuff. So, I checked it out, and she had a lot of recipes I have been wanting to try but have not got around to making yet. Among the list were these cheesecake bars. It is a Paula Deen recipe, oh how I love Paula Deen, and let me just say these were perfect for a festive fall treat! I will admit I am not a huge caramel apple fan, but having the flavors of a caramel apple combined with cheesecake, now I am a fan of that! We invited our neighbors over to try it with us and everyone was in agreement that these were wonderful! It made a huge pan so I am going to have to share some with my friends before I end up eating the whole thing myself! Make these now!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel topping, recipe follows
1/2 cup caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy!

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.

Source: adapted from Paula Deen

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