I have been enjoying working on my baking segment the past week and a half. Really, it’s so much fun that I can’t believe I get to do it! It is a lot of hard work, I have to admit. For each of those three and a half minute segments, there have been hours spent researching recipes, buying the groceries, experimenting in the kitchen, getting feedback, figuring out how to make my set look pretty, packing baskets (I usually take three baskets full of food, dishes, utensils, etc. with me each day), and then getting up e.a.r.l.y. Oh, so early. 3:30 a.m. early. ;) It’s worth it, though, and I hope you who are watching are enjoying what I’m sharing with you there on KLTV7.
Now, to my point. In the research I’ve been doing for next week’s segments, I came across a recipe from the sweet Ms. Paula Deen and thought I’d try it out. Ultimately I decided not to use it on the show, not because it wasn’t absolutely delicious (it was), but because when my son tried it he said it “tastes like fall.” Well, I love fall, but that’s not what I want for the show this week, so I won’t use that recipe on tv. However, I thought I’d share it here in case you don’t care if you eat something that tastes like fall right now, or perhaps you might like to save the recipe and pull it out in October. Whatever you like, dear friends. :) It’s very good, tastes like a cross between apple pie and cheesecake, and has a crust that tastes like a delicious cookie. Nothing bad about that, is there?
Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars
by Paula Deen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Streusel topping, recipe follows
1/2 cup caramel topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping (recipe follows). Bake 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping (optional).
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
This is quite a delicious recipe; I made it with light cream cheese, and it worked well. I’m not sure I’d try fat free cream cheese, but I’ll leave that up to you to experiment with. Let me know if you do; I can add a note here based on your results if you share them with me.
Now, go enjoy these creamy, cinnamon-y-sweet cheesecake bars, or save them for autumn, if you’d rather. Either way, I do believe you’ll be happy I shared the recipe with you. Enjoy!