I have a giant bag of apples and a bunch of cream cheese, if that’s not a recipe for something amazing I don’t know what is? Pinterest to the rescue! After only a few happy moments of pinning bliss I found a recipe for Apple Cheesecake Bars at Crazy for Crust. These little beauties combined a thick crunchy crust with an apple topped cheesecake and a streusel topping. Need I say more?
The crust itself is made from a combination of graham cracker crumbs and ‘nilla wafers. I have a soft spot in my heart (stomach?) for ‘nilla wafers so I was pretty much all in from that point on. You add a pinch of cinnamon and bind the crackers together with butter before pressing them into your pan. I think that next time I may cut the crust back by about 1/3 in all directions, I just felt like it was a little too much. Also, I’d add a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness a little.
As you can see from the photo above, I lined my pan with foil before I put the crust in. I’m not sure how important that REALLY is, but the bars did come out very nicely after they were baked. While this is baking at 350°F for about 8 minutes you’re going to want to mix up the cheesecake filling. Two packages of cream cheese, two eggs, about 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of sugar and a splash of vanilla all go into your mixer for a quick whip.
Just let that sit for a minute or two while you toss the apples with about 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. The recipe calls for two apples, but I think that I have made it clear that, in my opinion, more apples is better! I used five, but some of them were small.
Finally, you’re going to want to mix up the streusel topping. One cup of brown sugar, one cup of flour, 1/2 cup of oats (I think of oats a little like I think of apples, a little more is a lot better, I went with almost a while cup here.) and 1/2 cup softened butter go right into that mixing bowl that you used for the cheesecake (why wash more dishes that you REALLY need to?) and swirl it all around until it looks like .. well like streusel. Pour it on top and get it all into the over for about 45 minutes.
Now, laugh along with me when I tell you that you are supposed to let this cool to room temp and then chill it for 3 hours before you cut it……wah hahahahahahahah!!!! Seriously, let it cool for about an hour and then you can carefully slice it and have a bar, chill the rest!
12 Graham Cracker Sheets
50 Nilla Wafer Cookies
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter, melted
pinch of salt
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
at least 2 apples, pealed and sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
1. Line your 9X13 with foil and spray with baking spray of your choice.
2. Process the crackers and Nilla wafers until they are the texture of sand, add the melted butter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Mix it together until all of the crumbs are moistened and then press into your 9X13. Bake it for about 8 minutes.
3. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and sugar in your mixer until it’s all nice an creamy. And sprinkle the remaining sugar and the cinnamon over the slice apples.
4. Pour the cheesecake filling over the warm crust and then lay the apples over top.
5. Mix all of the ingredients for the streusel topping in your mixer.
6. Sprinkle the topping over the apples and bake for about 40 – 45 minutes. Cool to room temp and then chill for 3 hour before cutting (yeah right!)
Have a happy Monday!