Guest Post: Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bars by Blahnik Baker

By the end of today I will have sent my dissertation to my committee. Nothing like last minute edits! Then a week from today I get to stand in front of them, peers, friends, and family, and give a presentation after which my committee will grill me until my brain can no longer process rational thoughts. Since I am already a bit delusional after all that writing and now must prepare for whatever kinds of questions they will throw at me, I’ve got some more help lined up this week. I am sure none of you want to hear me blabber on and on about how freaked out I am every day.

Remember not too long ago when Zainab of Blahnik Baker shared a slab pie with you? Well she’s back for more. Would I turn down a guest post for another delicious dessert recipe? Heck no! Today she is even sharing a seasonally appropriate recipe with apples where a crumble apple pie and a cheesecake got together to make little bar-babies. Yes I just made reference to dessert inter-breeding and admit it, you liked it.

Two years ago: Baklava Mousse Cups

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apple bars

Hello again everyone! I am Zainab from Blahnik Baker and I’m very happy to be back celebrating Erin!

It’s a celebration because as you know it’s the start of her last week as a Ph.D. candidate. She has accomplished the hardest of all tasks and handed in her dissertation to her committee. Now she just needs to tell them all about it and brag about how smart she is in exactly a week from today. At the end of this session, we will be calling her Dr. Cookie. How cool is that?? Go Erin!!

The last time I was here, I was all about harnessing the last of fresh summer berries and made this mixed berry slab pie. But since then my friends the weather has turned in my part of the world, the days are cooler and the leaves are slowly falling off the trees. And happily, the orchards are blooming with apples and I am in full fall mode.

Today, I am sharing with you a new favorite fall dessert. These apple crumble cheesecake bars are an easy way to dress up the traditional apple crumble by adding a cheesecake layer underneath all that entire apple pie filling. The bars are a sweet combination of the warm spices of the fall and the delectable creaminess of cheesecake.

apple streusel bars

Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Filling:

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

Apple:

3 cups apple pie filling

Crumble:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil and grease.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients for the crust and mix on low speed until coarse crumbs form.
  3. Press the crumb in the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  4. To make the cream cheese filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth on medium speed, about 3 minutes.
  5. Spread cream cheese filling over cooled crust and smooth evenly. Spoon apple pie filling evenly over cream cheese layer.
  6. Make the crumb coating by combining all the ingredients, except cold butter in a medium bowl. Mix in butter with your fingers until crumbly.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb coat evenly over the filling.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pan from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes on a wire rack. Chill for at least 2 hours to set.
  9. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhangs. Cut into bars.
  10. Store leftovers refrigerated.

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker the Big Book of Cookies

Notes:

* Here is my apple pie filling I made on the fly. You will need 2-3 apples (cored and chopped), 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon apple cider, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Cook all the ingredients above (except apples and vanilla) until thickened and then remove from heat. Stir in apples and vanilla. Cool to room temperature or refrigerate.

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