So let’s pretend that no one cares about fat, cholesterol, sugar, or cellulite. Pretending? Ok, now you can make these cheesecake bars.
Paula Deen’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar recipe is here. It’s pretty good as is, but it has three sticks of butter and a completely unnecessary caramel sauce. I changed the crust to a graham cracker one and took out the sauce. It’s better (and less fattening).
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (store-bought or homemade)
1/3 cup of butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Apple Mixture Ingredients
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (Paula calls for more but I don’t like too much)
Streusel Crumb Topping Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (I used old-fashioned and they were fine)
1 stick of butter melted
I know it looks like a lot, but it’s not difficult, it’s just a matter of assembling all the parts.
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the crust ingredients and mix together with a fork. Gently press it into a 13×9 pan.
To soften the cream cheese, microwave it for 15-second increments until it’s a little soft. You DON’T want to cook/melt it. Combine the cream cheese with 1/2 sugar and mix on medium speed until they are smooth and combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and the teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until it’s a smooth batter consistency. Carefully pour over the crust. Smooth it out with a large spoon but be careful not to scoop up the crumb bottom with it.
Eeek! We’re naked!
Peel and chop the apples and stir them in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle them over the cheesecake.
Combine the melted butter, flour, brown sugar, and oats and make crumbs with your hands (or a fork if you’re feeling prissy). Sprinkle the crumbs over the apples.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick comes out (mostly) clean. Let cool for 30 minutes or so and refrigerate for several hours before serving.