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I have made all of these recipes myself. I always try to show the original source of the recipe, but am constantly editing them to suit our tastes (so technically they should all say "Adapted from..."). The portions are generally small since my family doesn't consume much food in one sitting.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars (melskitchencafe.com)

These cheesecake bars were divine! I have decreased the cream cheese layer in my recipe below. Mel's original recipe for that layer is double what I listed here.










Apples:

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped

2 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:

1 c firmly packed light brown sugar

1 c all-purpose flour

½ tsp cinnamon

½ c quick cooking oats

½ c butter, softened

Base:

2 c all-purpose flour

½ c firmly packed brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

1 c butter, softened

Cream Cheese Layer: (½ of original recipe)

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened

¼ c sugar

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 c caramel sauce (homemade recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9x13” baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 min or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with ½ cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.

Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set. Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).

Caramel Sauce:

4 Tbsp butter

1 c firmly packed light brown sugar

½ c half-and-half, cream, or evaporated milk

Pinch of salt

1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, dairy, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5-7 min, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

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