Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

AHHH! It’s the last day of August! Time to prepare for fall, even though this week is to be very hot and humid here.  We’ve been enjoying some very fall-like weather, which has been great (except for my garden deciding to pretty much be done for the season) and I was recently given a bag of apples from my friend’s tree.  I wasn’t really anticipating anything apple-related for another couple of weeks but whatcha gonna do? I was actually kinda sad because my counter wasn’t full of some kind of produce so I welcomed the apples and got busy.

And boy am I glad.  These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are wonderful!!! When it really is fall, I think I’ll make these every day.  Well, maybe not every day….but I sure would like to eat one every day.  These bars scream fall goodness.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Yup, see those layers? A wonderful crust, topped with cheesecake, topped with spiced apples, topped with streusel, topped with caramel? It doesn’t get much better than this! I just made a half recipe but next time I’m making the whole thing!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
from Our Best Bites (the bars) and the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (the caramel)

Ingredients
Bars – Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter (12 tablespoons), cubed

Bars – Filling
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bars – Streusel
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tablespoons), cubed

1/3 c caramel sauce

Caramel Sauce
You can buy caramel sauce to drizzle on top but I chose to make some.  There are several recipes out there, but I chose to make one from my King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.  In fact, it’s the same as the Caramel Frosting recipe I posted a while back – just don’t do the last step of adding powdered sugar.

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350ºF.  In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly.  Press into a well-greased 13×9 baking pan.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.  Spread over crust.

In a small bowl, toss apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer.  In another bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apple layer.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set.  Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour.  (OR reserve caramel for later.  They can be served without caramel sauce, or sauce can be drizzled on before serving. ) Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Cut into bars.

My Comments
I lined my pan with foil and sprayed the foil with non-stick cooking spray.  That way it’s so easy to just lift out of the pan and makes it super easy to cut into bars.

In the streusel, I used old-fashioned oats.

I made half the caramel recipe and chose to reserve it to drizzle on as needed.  It does thicken up after cooling so just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and it will be drizzle-ready.

Some Photos Along the Way
Crust Ingredients
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Dicing the Apples
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Adding the Cheesecake Layer
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

The Apple Layer
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

The Streusel Layer
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Sauce
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Drizzle Time
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

 

I am always sad to see summer go but I do enjoy fall produce like apples.  My counter won’t be empty for long.  More apples and pears and squash are all coming soon.  I think I’ll sit back and enjoy this time between summer and fall produce with another Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar and a good book.

Have a great week!

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3 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

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