Sunday, December 29, 2013

Caramel Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

These were my treat for my work's Christmas party potluck table. I made two so I could also bring some to family. They all loved it and I wish I made one gluten free so I could have a piece. I have added in gluten free adaptions if you're eating GF. These would be a great dessert for your New Years Eve party!

Caramel Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

2 cups finely ground graham crackers (could use gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 TBL granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) cream cheese blocks, softened
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pint (16oz) sour cream
1 lemon, zested
2 tsp. vanilla extract 

1 can apple pie filling 
1/4 cup caramel sauce/topping
Streusel Topping, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13 with non-stick cooking spray (I also add parchment so that I can pick it up out of the pan for easier cutting).

For the crust:
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened (I just used my food processor).
Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set a large roasting pan with 1" water on bottom oven rack, place cheesecake on middle rack. Bake for 30 minutes. 
In a bowl combine the apple pie filling and caramel.
Carefully add apple topping to the cheesecake then add the streusel topping* and bake for another 30 minutes.

The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Turn off the oven, crack the door open with a wooden spoon handle and let the cheesecake sit for 30 minutes. 
Remove from oven to cooling rack, let cool in pan for 30 more minutes. Cover with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator, for at least 4 hours. Cut into bars.

Streusel Topping: 
adapted from Paula Deen
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (could use gluten free blend)
1/4 cup quick cooking oats (could use gluten free)
4 TBL butter, softened 

 In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Eating Our Christmas 2013

Every Christmas I go all out for delicious treats, as a blog follower you probably already know! This year will be no different except for a couple of new treats. Check out the links to the recipes below and I hope you discover a new one to have for your treat! I have many many more Holiday recipes to share just check here and here!

I'll also be making up some Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow to take on Christmas dinner for munchies and Caramel Apple Cheesecake ( a combination of recipes) for my work's Christmas potluck and of course my Mom's (secret recipe) Rocky Road. Watch my Instagram for these goodies to show up (and for a more current photo lol).

Do you have favorite foods for your Holidays? I'd love to know, please share (recipe links encouraged!) in a comment below. 

Merry Christmas,
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