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Decadent Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

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Indulge in the divine world of Decadent Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars, where a symphony of flavors and textures come together to create a sweet treat like no other. These bars boast a buttery crust, a velvety cheesecake filling, a layer of spiced apples, and a crumbly streusel topping. Optionally, you can elevate the experience with a drizzle of luscious caramel sauce. This delightful dessert is perfect for any occasion, from family gatherings to special celebrations.

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Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) cold butter, cubed

For the Cheesecake:

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the Apples:

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

For the Caramel Sauce (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Let’s create these heavenly bars step by step:

1. Preheat and Prepare

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.

2. Make the Crust

  • To create the crust, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cold cubed butter in a small bowl. Mix with a pastry cutter or your hands until it becomes crumbly.
  • Press the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until it turns lightly browned.

3. Prepare the Cheesecake Filling

  • While the crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake filling. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs until the mixture turns smooth.

4. Spice Up the Apples

  • In a separate bowl, combine the chopped apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Ensure the apples are well coated with the spices.

5. Assemble the Bars

  • Pour the prepared cheesecake filling over the baked crust and spread it evenly.
  • Sprinkle the spiced apples over the cheesecake filling.

6. Create the Streusel Topping

  • To make the streusel topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, cubed butter, and rolled oats in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to achieve a wet sand-like texture.
  • Spread the streusel topping evenly over the apples.

7. Bake to Perfection

  • Bake the cheesecake bars for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are slightly pulled, and the center is soft but slightly jiggly.

8. Cool and Serve

  • Allow the bars to cool for 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

9. Optional Caramel Drizzle

  • If desired, make the caramel sauce by heating the granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it melts and turns amber-colored.
  • Add the butter and stir until melted. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and stir until smooth.
  • Add the sea salt and stir to combine. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cheesecake bars before serving.

Conclusion

These Decadent Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars are a delightful combination of sweet, creamy, and spiced flavors, with a delightful texture that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Perfect for sharing with family and friends or savoring as a special treat, these bars are sure to become a favorite in your baking repertoire. Enjoy!

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