Monday, October 22, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares


These tasty bars are awesome!

I rarely repeat many recipes, but I made this one twice within a couple weeks of each other. 

SOOOO yummy! 

As you know, I am cuckoo for cream cheese. And caramel too. 
(while we're at it...I'm crazy about cookies, chocolate, candy, 
coconut, coffee..did I say chocolate?..OK, you get the idea ;-) 

Most of the recipes I make are simple and quick.  This one has 4 layers, but trust me on this one...IT'S WELL WORTH YOUR TIME!  You can get all the ingredients ready and then just layer it into the pan.  It works great!

I'm so thankful I saw it at Cookies & Cups. I would love for you to stop by and check out her gorgeous photos of this amazing dessert.  
Absolutely MOUTH-WATERING!!!!!! 

This makes a 9" X 9" panfull, and you cut them into little squares. 
About 25 little ones or 18 bigger ones. 

I took this to a ladies meeting at church and received some great comments about how good it was. 

Don't cheat yourself...be sure to use real butter. 

Trust me, you won't be sorry you made this.  And maybe...just maybe...you'll be repeating this recipe again soon too. 


CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE SQUARES

CRUST:
1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, room temperature 

CREAM CHEESE FILLING: 
1 - 8 ozs. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. white sugar & 1 TB., divided
1 egg
2 small (Granny Smith) apples, peeled & diced 
(we prefer galas)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
(or apple pie spice)

STREUSEL TOPPING:
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. caramel sauce
(I used ice cream topping)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" X 9" baking pan with foil. (I love nonstick!) 

In a medium size bowl, combine crust ingredients: flour, brown sugar and butter. Using a pastry cutter combine the ingredients until they make coarse crumbs. Press mixture firmly in bottom of pan and bake 12 - 14 minutes until lightly browned. 

In another mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, vanilla, egg and 1/4 c. granulated sugar. Beat until combined and smooth; set aside. 

Dice apples and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tb. sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until coated evenly. Set aside. 

Make streusel by combining all ingredients; light brown sugar, flour, oats and butter; stir with pastry cutter until evenly mixed; set aside.

When crust has baked, spread the cream cheese mixture on top; sprinkle with diced apples and then the streusel. 

Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until center is set.

When baked, drizzle caramel sauce over the top. Let the pan cool on wire rack for atleast 30 minutes (The waiting is a killer, but it will be worth the wait). Place in refrigerator to chill for approximately 2 hours, or overnight. Cut into squares when ready to serve. 

NOTE:  The first time I made these, I did use Splenda Brown sugar (you use half the amount called for), and they were great.  You just have to remember to decrease baking time when using splenda. 

Linked to Totally Tasty Tuesday
               Crazy Sweet Tuesday
              Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday
             Thursdays Treasures
          Weekend Potluck
       Farm Girl Friday
          Scrumptious Sunday