Caramel apple cheesecake bars with streusel topping
Does it seem to you that Winter has just dragged on and on and on? We woke up again today to 20 degree weather, everybody keeps getting sick, and I just about can’t take much more. Where is Spring?? It’s April, for crying out loud, and we’re still wearing winter coats! If that’s typical where you live, I don’t know how you do it.
Okay, enough whining.
Well, actually, there might be just a little more but on a totally different topic. Once again, I have conceded defeat in our family’s Iron Chef Throwdown to my mom. The secret ingredient for our annual kitchen competition was cream cheese and my mom and Paula Deen teamed up with these caramel apple cheesecake bars with streusel topping. I have to admit, they were delicious! I can’t even begrudge her the win (and the coveted trophy) like I did last year, because this dessert definitely deserved the top spot.
Congratulations, Mom! (and I really do mean it this year!)
Recipe: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
(from Paula Deen)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
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
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 lined with heavy-duty aluminum 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. Drizzle with caramel topping.
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.