Happy Halloween! I have yet to master the spooky and festive type posts without the element of cheese that typically accompanies them! So, following the seasonal bounty, this post is all about apples.
It’s that time of the year where I realize that my family and I have picked too many apples. We were a little too enthusiastic at the orchard and have been unable to eat them all before they have started to soften. I have yet to find a way to store apples in order to preserve their lifespan. For most varieties, the refrigerator doesn’t prevent softening and they tend to get bruised after being in the drawer too long. At least, this is what happens in my house.
Apples that have started to soften are excellent in baking. The comforting and heartwarming, apple crisp is a favourite in my home. But, I can’t always bake for my family. This is one of the cruxes of having a baking blog (read: too many baked goods in the house). Since I cannot stand to waste, I have set out to make baked goods that can be shared outside of the home.
These apple cheesecake bars are my answer to an office treat. They are decadent and delicious. They go far. I cut them into 24 squares so that people have the option of having one and then possibly going back for another one.
Apple Cheesecake Bars
Makes: a 13x9 inch (33x23 cm) pan or 24 small squares
Time: Prep time (30 minutes) + Baking time (60 minutes)
Oat crust and topping
2 ¼ cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 6 tbsp (225 g) brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 g) fine sea salt
¾ cup plus 6 tbsp (255 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ (135 g) cups rolled oats
2 packages cream cheese (454 g), room temperature
1/2 cup (105 g) sour cream
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 small apples (about 270 g), peeled, cored, and finely chopped (I used Empire but any apple would work
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Oat crust and topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the butter using a hand mixer. Add the rolled oats and mix with a wooden spoon.
3. Set aside 2 cups (about 260 g) of the mixture in a small bowl. Pour the remaining mixture into the prepared pan. Press down evenly with your hands and bake for 10 minutes. While this is baking, prepare the filling.
Filling and Assembly
1. Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in bowl. Add the eggs on at a time then mix in the vanilla. Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust (it is okay that it is warm from the oven but be careful not to burn your hands).
2. Mix together apples, sugar and spices. Evenly place on top of the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle the reserve mixture on top. Using your hands, gently press the mixture down.
3. Bake for 40- 50 minutes (mine was done baking at 45 minutes).
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 3 hours before cutting.
5. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Bring into your office for an autumnal treat for your coworkers.
Adapted from Paula Dean.