Getting tired of the plethora of pumpkin? Time to show fall’s other bounty, the apple, a little love—especially during National Apple Month!
Cook’s Note: Make this recipe match the season by replacing the apples with an in-season fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or cranberries. Add your own special blend of spices to complement, or leave the spices out altogether.
While spritzing your apples with lemon juice keeps them from browning, avoid it in this recipe! Any extra acid may keep your cream cheese from setting (yuck!). Don’t worry, the baking process will help keep your apples looking great!
- For the Streusel Topping:
- 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
- For the Apple Cheesecake Bars:
- 3 apples (Granny Smith; peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/4" pieces)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar (divided)
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
- 16 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (for topping)
To prepare the streusel topping, place all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Gently, with your fingers, mix the dough until it's crumbly with medium-size pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
To prepare the apple cheesecake bars, first place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 13" baker with cooking spray. Set aside.
Toss the chopped apples, 2 Tbsp sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl.
Set aside. Combine the flour and brown sugar a large bowl. Gently, with your fingers, add the butter and mix the dough until crumbly. Evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake 25–30 minutes, or until light golden brown.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla at medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter over the warm crust. Evenly spoon the apples (without the liquid it produced) over the cream cheese mixture, and sprinkle the streusel topping on top. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the filling is set.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Cut into desired-size bars and drizzle with caramel sauce before serving.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|