Caramel. Apples. Cheesecake. That’s pretty much a trifecta of awesomeness, wouldn’t you say? These bars are also awesome because they’re so darned easy to make! A classic graham cracker crust, a simple cheesecake batter, and a can of apple pie filling are the base for this dessert. Then it’s topped with a luxurious caramel sauce and topped with flecks of sea salt.
Which let me just say that the salt really made it. I used fleur-de-sel…the creme de la creme of sea salt. It’s best when used as a finishing touch, and it really was perfect here. But any finely milled sea salt would be just fine. The slight salty crunch on top of the bars was absolutely delicious! I also used my homemade caramel sauce that I always have tucked in the fridge. If you’ve never made it, or been intimidated by making caramel – don’t be! I used to be that way, but after seeing how easy it is and how delicious the results are – you’ll kick yourself for not trying it sooner. And, the sauce is much less temperamental than the soft candies that you eat, so it’s a great place to start!
The husband still talks about these bars, so I know I’ll have to be making them again soon. I was so happy with how they turned out and how beautiful they looked – how the apples are suspended perfectly in the cheesecake? I was worried they’d sink – but they didn’t. I used Lucky Leaf pie filling, which is always my go-to choice when using a pie filling – just because I know it’s always high quality ingredients. The apple filling wasn’t too wet, which I think really helped to get the consistency that made these bars turn out so perfect!
What are you guys up to this weekend? After two more snow days earlier this week, I’m ready for some warmer weather. We’re looking forward to a trip to the Ocean City to check out the Spring Trade Expo put on by the Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association – aka “the food show”. It’s a chance to sample all kinds of different goodies. I know Jon is looking forward to checking out some of the new breweries in the region, and sampling their products. I think some Thrasher;s and lunch at The Shark are also going to have to be on the menu. Should be a good time! I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 package)
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the filling:
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
3/4 cup caramel sauce
2 tsp sea salt
Heat oven to 350 F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl mix the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs,sugar, and cinnamon until crumbly. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, press evenly and firmly into the bottom of the baking pan.
In large bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and salt. Beat at medium high speed, until mixture is smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully fold the apple pie filling into the cheesecake mixture. Spoon mixture evenly on top of crust.
Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until filling is set. Let cool completely.
Once cooled slice the cheesecake into 2-inch squares. Drizzle caramel sauce on top of cheesecake pieces and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes about 16 bars.
Source: adapted from Lucky Leaf