… or more specifically - Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
Last week was the Fourth of July (did you see the fun star shaped sugar cookies my sister made?) and I had planned on having a BBQ this past Saturday (was cancelled due to un-predictable weather) to celebrate.
I wanted to make an “American” dessert. My first thoughts went straight to s’mores. More specifically s’more bars; however graham flour (not gram flour, I made that mistake) isn’t readily available to make my own graham crackers. Nor are store bought graham crackers. I do have a local sweet shop that carries American products, but I didn’t have time to check out if she had any in stock. Yes, I could have used digestive biscuits, but it’s not what I wanted.
So, then my thoughts strayed to apple pie. Too messy was my first thought. Then I remember reading about a cherry pie bar; which lead to an online search of apple pie bars and this is the one I choose.
This recipe comes from foodnetwork.com a recipe by Paula Dean. No surprise then that these are absolutely delicious. I had to try them before family came over (even though cancelled we still had family and my fellow American friend round.) Everyone said about how tasty it was and how they either wanted to make it themselves or pass it along to someone who loves apples. I promise you will not be disappointed with these bars! They are so addicting, I might have to make them again real soon! ;0)
I did convert ounces to grams where needed, but you will need cups to measure out flour etc… as it is an American recipe!!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (about 230g)
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (about 450g)
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Streusel topping, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup caramel topping: I bought mine, but there are tons of recipes to make your own!!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan (I used my 9x9in silicone square pan) lined with heavy-duty aluminium foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Because I used a smaller pan (9x9in square) I baked mine for an extra 10 minutes as the cheesecake part was a lot thicker and wanted to insure it was cooked all the way through. Drizzle with caramel topping.
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (I used rolled oats)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (120g)
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Yield: approximately 3 cups
Note: when I say about so many grams it’s because I tend to round up. 160z is 448g so I used 450g. For the butter one stick is 114g so two sticks is 228g, but I usually weigh out 230g. You can be exact if you like, but I found it didn’t make a big difference. Some books even state that a stick of butter is 120g, but I like erring on the side of less is more.