Monday, October 29, 2018

CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS WITH STREUSEL TOPPING



CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS WITH STREUSEL TOPPING




The perfect marriage of cheesecake + caramel apples, these caramel apple cheesecake bars with that buttery, delightful streusel topping are one of my favorite fall desserts!




INGREDIENTS:

APPLES:

·         3 medium 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 (7.5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
·         1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
·         1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
·         1/2 cup (1.75 ounces) quick cooking oats
·         1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, softened

SHORTBREAD BASE:

·         2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
·         1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) packed brown sugar
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
·         1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter, softened

CREAM CHEESE LAYER:

·         2 (8 ounces each) packages cream cheese, softened
·         1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) sugar
·         2 large eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CARAMEL SAUCE:

·         4 tablespoons butter
·         1 cup (7.5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
·         1/2 cup heavy cream cream
·         Pinch of salt
·         1 tablespoon vanilla (can cut down to 1 teaspoon for less vanilla flavor)





DIRECTIONS:

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch pan with foil (helps with cleanup but isn’t necessary). Lightly grease the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2.      FOR THE APPLES, in a small bowl, stir together the chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3.      FOR THE STREUSEL, in a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix with a pastry blender or two forks (or your fingers) until crumbly. Set aside.
4.      FOR THE SHORTBREAD BASE, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but evenly and well combined. Press the crust evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges.
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