Buttery shortbread crust gets topped with a creamy cheesecake mixture, sweet apples, and bits of caramel. These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are easier than baking a cheesecake and just as satisfying.
I won’t allow pumpkin to hog the spotlight any longer.
These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are sinfully delicious. They may be a mess to eat, but they’re well worth a few crumbs on the shirt.
I recently came across Kraft Caramel Bits. They’re just as delicious as their classic caramel squares, only there’s no tedious unwrapping involved and they melt to gooey perfection, creating a layer of caramel goodness so irresistible you’ll be going back for seconds.
This recipe is a reinvention of these Butterscotch Apple Crumb Bars. I used the same shortbread-like crust for this recipe, only I swapped out the pecan flour for toasted walnut flour. Don’t let the walnut flour scare you off. It’s extremely easy to make. All you have to do is toast the walnuts, let them cool completely, and pulse them in a food processor or blender until they resemble fine crumbs. Making your own is far more cost effective than buying a bag from a specialty store.
After the bars come out of the oven, I allow them to cool completely before slicing. If you try to slice them warm, they’re going to fall apart. If you’re in a hurry, throw the pan in the refrigerator to speed along the process. I also recommend lining your pan with parchment paper. It’s something I usually do when I make brownies, but I decided to skip that step and wish I hadn’t.
I recently took these bars to a party and everyone fell in love with them. I hope you do too!
Buttery shortbread crust gets topped with a creamy cheesecake mixture, sweet apples, and bits of caramel.
Yield:1 (8-by-8-inch) pan
Total Time: 50 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup walnut flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup caramel bits
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room-temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8-inch-by-8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, walnut flour, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Stir to combine. Stir in melted butter and vanilla extract until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press a little more than half of the mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan.
To make the cheesecake: Add cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
Evenly spread the cheesecake mixture over the shortbread mixture. Top evenly with the apples and caramel bits. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the apples.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and apples are tender.
Cool completely in the pan. Remove and cut into squares. Store the cooled squares in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.