Apple Cheesecake Bars
Dessert options for Thanksgiving.
I found this recipe years ago in a publication whose name I do not remember. I had torn the recipe out and zipped it into my briefcase and I said to myself: “I’ve gotta make this.” Finally, this past Thanksgiving, I kept my promise. Normally our Thanksgiving gatherings are fairly small affairs, but Thanksgiving 2015 was special because our entire family got together.
This recipe makes a huge yield. The bars are rich, rich rich, and one bar will definitely satisfy, especially after a big meal and a sampling of a few pies. I followed the recipe as written but I omitted the caramel sauce because I felt that was overkill. Here it is. I measured the flour by spooning it into the measuring cups and leveling off. I cut 24 portions from the completely cooled dessert. Leftovers keep well, refrigerated, for up to 4 days. The bars may also be frozen for up to 1 month.
Apple Cheesecake Bars
For the crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, divided
- 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
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
For the Crust:
- 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 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time.
- Add vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Pour over warm crust.
For the Streusel Topping:
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, and butter.
- Use your hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.
- Set aside
For the Apples:
- In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Spoon apples evenly over cream cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle apples evenly with Streusel topping.
- Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set.
- Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. (optional)
- Serve cold and enjoy!