*Post from 10/08/14. Images updated 09/15/16.
So, I have a slight problem. My oven doesn’t hold a consistent temperature. Do you know how hard it is to develop recipes when you don’t have an oven that works properly?! It’s impossible. Well, not quite. But, if I want to be accurate in my directions, it’s impossible. The part that makes it the hardest is that we’re renting. I can’t just go out and get a new oven. Instead, I just go to my parents and spend an entire day baking up as many recipes as possible!
This past weekend we made another trip to Minnesota, and while we were there, I took over the oven (and the entire kitchen!). My mom, being the amazing person that she is, not only let me take over her kitchen, she also washed all of my dirty dishes! As you can imagine, a full day of baking produces a lot of dirty dishes and she did all of them! (Thanks mom!) One of the desserts I was able to finally try was for these caramel apple snickerdoodle cheesecake bars. Tart, fall apples pair with sweet, gooey caramel and creamy cheesecake to create the perfect filling to these snickerdoodle cookie bars!
The ingredient list is a little long, but don’t let that scare you away! All you have to do is mix up some cookie dough, press half of it in a pan and reserve the other half for a buttery, cookie crumble topping. Next, mix up all of the ingredients for the filling and pour it over some chopped caramels and the cookie dough. Drop the remaining cookie dough on top and bake! See? Simple! The hardest part is waiting for the bars to cool. You’ll want to eat them right away, but trust me, the waiting is worth it for all of the flavors to blend!
- ¾ C butter, room temperature
- 1¼ C sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3¾ C all-purpose flour
- 2¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 16 oz ⅓ of the fat cream cheese
- ½ C sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- 1½ C chopped apples
- ¾ C chopped soft caramels or caramel bits
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and beat until creamy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until combined. Dough will appear dry but will hold together when pressed. Set aside.
- Prepare cheesecake layer by beating together cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together until creamy. Stir in chopped apples.
- Press half of cookie dough into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Top with chopped caramels. Pour cheesecake mixture over the top. Drop remaining cookie dough over the top.
- Stir together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges turn light golden brown and center is set.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.