These pecan-topped bars are yummy any time of year, but they’re especially good during cooler months when you’re craving something rich and satisfying. —Katy Roche, Batavia, Illinois
- 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- APPLE LAYER:
- 4 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- CARAMEL LAYER:
- 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
- 1/3 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, butter and brown sugar. Press onto the bottom of a well-greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, combine the apples, flour and sugar; spoon over crust. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over apples.
- In a small saucepan, combine caramels and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until smooth; pour over cream cheese layer. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over caramel.
- Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Caramel-Apple Cheesecake Bars in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2011, p53
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