Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
I was delighted to be invited to participate in the first Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain. And I was also excited to learn our October theme would be apples and caramel. I had already baked Pastry Wrapped Caramel Apples and my brain was buzzing with ideas of what to make next. I finally decided on Paula Deen’s Cheesecake Bars. I’d satisfy my apple, cheesecake, caramel and streusel cravings in one yummy bar dessert.
A Couple Tweaks to Paula’s Cheesecake Bars Recipe
I modified Paula’s recipe by making only a half pan of these caramel apple cheesecake bars (this is so I can REMAIN a skinny chick!), leaving out the oatmeal in the topping (picky hubby again), and microwaving my own caramel sauce instead of using a jarred version. The super-easy microwave caramel sauce recipe takes less time and effort to make than driving to the grocery store. My first batch scorched at the minimum cooking time of 5 minutes, so be sure to monitor carefully between minute 4 and 5. Here is a link to my Microwave Caramel Recipe.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick butter), at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar plus 1 heaping tablespoon, divided
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 small to medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup Quick Oats (optional)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick), butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup caramel topping (jarred or see link below for microwave caramel sauce)
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line 8 x 8-inch pan with non-stick foil or foil sprayed with Pam.
- Combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives till mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into prepared pan. Bake 12 minutes or till lightly browned.
- With a mixer, beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar till smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend. Pour over crust and smooth top.
- Combine apples with the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture.
- Prepare streusel by combining all ingredients. Crumble evenly over apples. Bake for 30 minutes or till filling is set. Drizzle with caramel sauce.
Adapted from Paula Deen
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g