Caramel apples are one of my favorite “fair foods”, and cheesecake is one of my favorite foods, well, ever. (Especially for breakfast.) Apple might not be one of the traditional cheesecake flavors, but after making this I’m starting to think it definitely should be. The cream cheese and caramel go perfectly with the soft apples and the crunchy walnuts. Rich, creamy goodness that tastes like it should have been paired together all along.
I didn’t make a traditional graham cracker crust for this- mainly because I had a bag of Dulce De Leche Italian Waffle Cookies that I needed to use, but also to add more of the caramel flavor to this dessert. (Pizzelle Cookies found at World Market) I decided to cut the bars while warm set to allow the caramel sauce to drizzle down the sides. You could also chill them in the fridge for a “cleaner” cut bar.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- 1 can Lucky Leaf Premium Apple Pie Filling
- 15 Pizzelle Cookies crushed
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 (8) oz packages cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while preparing the crust.
- Crush cookies, or graham crackers, with a food processor and place in a medium bowl.
- Melt 3 tbsp butter and use a fork to incorporate into the crushed cookies.
- Firmly press the cookie mixture into a 9x13 pan.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, combine the cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Spread the apple pie filling over the baked crust.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the apples.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the center is set. (Don't wait for it to brown, watch for the center to be set and the edges to be golden.)
- Prepare the caramel topping only after the cheesecake is out of the oven.
- Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir constantly until the butter is melted and the mixture is slightly boiling.
- Allow to boil for one minute without stirring.
- Turn off the heat and immediately whisk in the salt and baking soda. (Be careful this will be hot!)
- Carefully pour the caramel topping over the cheesecake.
- Top with chopped walnuts.
- Cut into bars as desired.
I’m linking this recipe up to Something Swanky’s #LuckyBakes Contest.
What’s your favorite flavor of cheesecake? I asked fans on my Facebook page, and was surprised to see not one repeating answer!