Shortbread crust. Cheesecake. Spiced apples. Crumb topping.
Fall baking doesn’t get too much better than that combination. I can’t ever turn down cheesecake, and that combined with apples (my fall obsession, especially in morning oatmeal), and a crumb topping is totally irresistible. These bars aren’t too sweet, aren’t too spicy, and a perfect blend of creamy cheesecake and thick crumb topping.
While there are multiple components to this recipe, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly these can be thrown together and baked. There is definitely no need to be intimidated by these bars; forge ahead and bake them up.
I guarantee they’ll be one of your favorite fall treats as soon as you take a bite!
One year ago: How To Make Oven-Fried Bacon
Two years ago: Apple-Pecan Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Filling & Praline Frosting
Three years ago: Honey Cake
Four years ago: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling
Six years ago: Cream of Mushroom Soup
Seven years ago: Cinnamon Rolls
Apple Cheesecake Crumb Bars
Yield: 9 to 16 squares (depending on how large you cut them)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Shortbread crust with a cheesecake filling, cinnamon-spiced apples and a crumb topping.
For the Crumb Topping:
½ all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ quick-cooking oats
¼ unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 small apples (any variety), peeled, cored and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Make the Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and oats. Using a fork, your fingers or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture becomes crumbly. Refrigerate the topping while you prepare the bars.
3. Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand. Turn the mixture into the pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light brown and set. Remove the pan to a wire rack.
4. Make the Filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese with ¼ cup of the sugar until it’s well-combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla and salt, and beat just until the mixture is uniform. Pour over the crust and smooth into an even layer.
5. In a small bowl, toss the apples with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg, ensuring that the apples are evenly coated. Distribute the apples evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the apples.
6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set and the center does not jiggle. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the bars cool completely, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. The bars can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
(Recipe adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)