Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake Bars

I originally made these bars using a recipe called Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars from the Betty Crocker website. Dan wasn't personally a huge fan, but a few of the fellas in the locker room enjoyed them anyway. I think he was freaked out by the texture of the cheesecake layer as he is used to homemade cheesecake. I wasn't entirely impressed but they were pretty good.

Well......"pretty good" in this house usually doesn't get a second chance considering I have a stack of recipes a mile high that I can't wait to try. Lucky for me I have a sister who can tweak things to perfection! Whether it be a broken sipper, a weedy flower bed, an ugly wall, or even a so-so recipe, she can usually whip it into shape and make it irresistible.

Big sister came through once again and here is a recipe worth trying! D-E-Licious! She made these for her weekend guests and they gobbled them right up! The biggest change made was the substitution of sour cream replacing half of the cream cheese. This allowed both an appropriate thickness for the cheesecake layer, and an improved homemade taste and texture. These cinnamon-y bars are a perfect introduction into fall baking. My favorite time to enjoy these are mid-morning with a steamy cup of coffee:)

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake Bars
Originally adapted from Betty Crocker by Crystal Maus

1- oatmeal cookie mix (1 lb. 1.5 oz)
1/2 cup of firm real butter
1- (80z) package of cream cheese
3/4 to 1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 TB of flour
2 tsp of vanilla
1 egg
1 can of apple pie filling (Get the one with most fruit and a touch of cinnamon)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 chopped small pecans or walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan on both bottoms and sides.

In a large bowl cut the cold butter into the cookie mix with a pastry cutter or by using two butter knifes. (like making pie crust) Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly and course, then press all but 1 and 1/2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the greased 9x13. When the cookie/butter mixture is pressed evenly into the bottom of the pan, bake it for 10 minutes.

While the cookie part is baking, beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, egg, and sour cream on medium speed until smooth.

When the cookie part has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over it. You have to be careful with this step so you don't break the cookie layer. I glob the cream cheese mixture onto the cookie layer in 4-6 different piles and spread it in all directions from there.

In a bowl, mix the apple pie filling and cinnamon. If the apple pie filling has whole apples in it like mine did, run two knives through it to slice them up a bit into smaller pieces. Spoon the apple/cinnamon mixture evenly over the cream cheese layer. Sprinkle the 1 1/2 cups of cookie crumbs over the top. Sprinkle with nuts if you choose to do so.

Pop it in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cookie crumbles turn to a light golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes or more.

Refrigerate to chill for at least 2 hours. Also store the bars in the fridge.

Cut and serve.

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