Saturday, March 23, 2013

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars {Baking with Sisters, Part 6}

When planning our "baking together" menu, the girls and I knew we needed one special treat that would be over the top. As we scrolled through the yummies on our Pinterest boards, the one recipe that kept calling "pick me!" (okay to be honest there were about 20 calling that, but we only had so much time you know!) was the one for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars.

Do you see why? With such a promising name, along with a scrumptious, caramel-drizzled photo from The Girl Who Ate Everything, how could we resist?

We decided not to.

It may sound like a fall dessert, but you can typically get Granny Smith apples and Hershey's caramel sauce anytime of year in America.

And Starbucks Iced Coffee, apparently...

We've provided chilly weather, dismal outdoor scenes, a cozy indoor environment and four (no make that five with Hubby...or maybe he counts as two...) healthy appetites...who really needs leaves floating down from trees?

Anyway, we decided it sounded perfect, fall or no.

The recipe was perfectly divided into four parts for us- Crust, Cheesecake Filling, Apples, and Streusel Topping. Oh and for the record, my computer is trying to tell me that streusel is not a word. How about substituting "stressful"? Thanks for the help, but no. No Stressful Topping for me, thank you. The thought of the calories is stressful enough. A little more stress sprinkled on top? No. Streusel will be just fine.

See? Streusel. Not Stressful.

But I'm getting off topic.

Working beautifully as a team, of course, we assigned ourselves each a role.

I made the crust...

Jessica manned the KitchenAid (a new experience for her!) to make the cheesecake filling...

Jewelissa chopped the apples and added spices (the girls had a blast with my "amazing" apple peeler!!)...

Armed and apples, of course.

...and Janell ground out a beautiful streusel topping!

Four hands (oh wait, that's eight hands) sure made the load lighter and the time in the kitchen immensely more fun and the bars were assembled in no time! We played cards while it was baking and lovely smells were wafting out of the kitchen before long.

A game of "Nerds", anyone?

Now the recipe advises chilling the bars and serving them cold, and surely you should store them cold, but don't pass up an opportunity to sneak few bites while they are warm! We certainly couldn't wait and practically before the lid was on the caramel jar little (okay, large) warm forkfuls were disappearing.

Conclusion? The layers of buttery crust, creamy, sweet cheesecake, bursts of tart apple and cinnamon and crumbly topping, all finished off with a drizzle of delectable caramel are simply irresistible. Add the fun of goofing off in the kitchen with your three sweet, adorable and silly sisters, and you're in heaven!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
makes about 16 bars

2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp vanilla

3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 TB sugar

Streusel Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350.
Crust: In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 pan lined with foil and lightly greased. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cheesecake Filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust, spreading evenly.
Apples: In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, sugar and spices. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
Streusel Topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, using a pastry blender or your hands to get everything very well incorporated. Sprinkle over top of apples.
Bake bars 40-45 min. or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve room temperature or cold. Store in refrigerator.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...