Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

This recipe might be one of the yummiest desserts I've ever made.  Seriously... it's so good!  Perfect for fall... meant for September.  I adapted this recipe from here.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. sugar

Streusel Topping:
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 c. caramel topping for drizzling after baked

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

CRUST: In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan (greased & floured OR lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil). Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

CHEESECAKE FILLING: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 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.

APPLES: In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cheesecake.

STREUSEL TOPPING: For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients with clean hands to thoroughly integrate the butter into the mixture. Sprinkle Streusel Topping over apples.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Turn off oven, and open door to let it begin to cool and firm up. Chill.

Serve cold, and drizzle each piece with caramel topping. Enjoy!
Makes 16 servings.

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