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.

Connor's Baked "Skabetti"

Connor had one request for his Back to School Dinner this year: "SKABETTI".  Personally, I find regular spaghetti and sauce to be a little boring, so I scoured the internets for a different version, and ended up making this.  It was delicious!  Below is how I modified the recipe to suit our family:

Connor’s Baked “Skabetti”

2/3 of 1 package (16 oz.) spaghetti noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jar (32 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
2 eggs
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
5 Tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 container (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
In a large skillet, brown beef, onion, & garlic over medium heat; drain.
Stir in spaghetti sauce, seasoned salt, & Italian seasonings.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese & butter.
Drain spaghetti; add spaghetti to the egg mixture and toss to coat.

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 9x13 glass baking dish.
Top with half of the ricotta cheese, meat sauce & mozzarella cheese… and repeat.

Cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
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