Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Apple season is here and this recipe will surely please! There are over 2,500 different varieties of apples to choose from, each having their own flavor, texture, and versatile use. The recipes for using apples are endless. You can do just about anything with them from making apple brandy, applesauce, apple cider, apple butter, pies, cookies, bars, and children’s after school treats. Add to baked beans or just eat plain or dried.

When you think of the apple and its uses, you may be reminded that we are, as the quote says, “American as apple pie!”

apple deliciousness

Here are just a few true interesting facts about apples that you may not know.

  • An apple’s size ranges from that of a cherry to a grapefruit.
  • Once an apple tree is planted, it takes the tree 4-5 years to produce its delicious fruit.
  • It takes 36 apples to make one gallon of apple cider.
  • The apple is a member of the rose family.

Did you know there really was a Johnny Appleseed! His name was John Chapman. John was born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774. His dream and goal in life was to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. He was not the wandering carefree soul as many stories portray him, but instead an organized businessman, who over a period of almost fifty years, bought and sold land which helped to develop thousands of productive apple trees.

Sweet, tart, soft or crisp, it doesn’t matter which apple is your favorite; they still taste the best and are the healthiest for you when we pick them straight off the tree!

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened- not melted
  • Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup of sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract

Apples:

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of butter, softened- not melted

Drizzled Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of caramel topping for drizzling after baked

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in your butter with a pastry blender (or use 2 forks) until mixture is a crumbly texture.

Press evenly into a 9×13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned, not dark.

In a large bowl, beat your cream cheese with the 3/4 cup of sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed, just until smooth. Next add the eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Pour this over the warm crust.

In a small bowl, stir together the chopped apples, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, the cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon this mixture evenly over cream cheese mixture already in the 13×9 pan.

For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Go ahead and use your clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture, it truly is the best way to mix this up.

Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set.

Drizzle with caramel topping and allow this to cool. For serving later add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to the side and drizzle on a little extra caramel…delish!

This recipe makes 16 servings.

sheryl

ENJOY! From: “In the Kitchen with Sheryl

Gabe Arnold
Author: Gabe Arnold