The easiest way to cheesecake are these bars topped with fall apples and spice.
For the Crust and Topping:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into large cubes
For the Filling:
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Apples:
- 2 Fuji, Cosmic Crisp, or Honeycrisp apples, peeled cored and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line and 8×8 or 9×9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat the parchment paper with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- To make the crust, in a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add the butter cubes and use a pastry blender to work the mixture together. Combine until dough is well blended but still shaggy. Scoop out 1 heaping cup of the mixture to a small bowl and press the rest of the shaggy dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes until just lightly golden around the edges.
- Make the cheesecake mixture while the crust bakes. In a medium bowl, use electric hand beaters to combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
- To make the apple mixture, toss together apple pieces, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- To combine the bars, pour the cream cheese mixture over the baked crust (it’s ok if it’s still warm). Top with an even layer of apples. Top with streusel topping. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cheesecake is set. Allow bars to cool to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature. Bars will last for up to 4 days stored in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped.
Keywords: cheesecake, apple, fall, baking, bars, easy dessert