Thursday, November 4, 2010
Oh, Paula Deen, we meet again in sugary, delicious heaven.
If you're looking for a fall recipe to top fall recipes, this is it. You can't go wrong with Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars - PLUS Streusel Topping. You can have the cheesecake component without worrying about cracks and water baths and presentation. You can have the caramel apple without the mess. And you can have the buttery, yummy crust because, well, who doesn't want that?!
I pretty much followed her recipe exactly, cutting back on the sugar in the streusel (you know Paula) and GRATING the apples instead of chopping. I'm a huge fan of using grated apples these days, I think the end product is much easier to cut and munch on - a great thing to remember in cakes, quick breads, and muffins.
Here's Paula's recipe - you can also find it on the Food Network:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened (but not melted)
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/grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup 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
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.