For the past few weeks, I've had this overwhelming desire to bake something that involved two of my favorite things: apples & cheesecake. Last fall I made an incredible apple cheesecake, but it was labor intensive and... huge.
When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I was instantly smitten. Cheesecake bars, studded with apples, topped with oatmeal, butter & brown sugar, then covered in caramel sauce? Yes, please.
These turned out absolutely PERFECT. I made a couple of changes to the recipe and just used a packaged snickerdoodle cookie mix for the crust, and added a little lemon zest to the cheesecake batter. FYI; adding lemon to cheesecake is the best possible thing you can do to it.
Anyways. On to the recipe!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
(Adapted from Zoom Yummy)
Ingredients for the Base
- A package of Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle cookie mix
- 1 stick of melted butter
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper, with overhand over the longer sides.
- Prepare the cookie dough according the directions on the package, only adding the packet the of cinnamon-sugar mixture to the dough.
- Press the dough down into the baking pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough has started to set. Remove from oven & set aside.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350.
Ingredients for the Filling
- Two 8 ounce packages of softened cream cheese.
- 1/2 C. of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Beat the cream cheese & sugar together until smooth
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix until just incorporated after each addition.
- Add the vanilla.
- Scrape down the sides of your mixer and mix until you have a smooth filling.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the (warm) crust.
Ingredients for the Topping
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of oats
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of softened butter, but into cubes
- Toss the apple chunks in the cinnamon and granulated sugar, and spread them out over the cheesecake mixture in an even layer (there will be some empty spaces).
- Put the oats, flour, brown sugar and butter in the food processor and pulse until you have a coarse texture. Spread this in an even layer over the top.
Let cool in the fridge for about 4 hours, before slicing into squares and drizzling with caramel sauce. If you're feeling motivated, and don't already have an overflowing pile of dirty dishes, you can make your own. I'm lazy and had a jar of Smuckers caramel sauce in the fridge already, so I went with that.