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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Apple Cheesecake Squares

It's that time of year when I start buying tons of apples, thinking I am going to make all kinds of goodies.... apple pie, apple crumble, apple dumplings... and I almost never do. But then I was watching Paula Deen on the Food Network ("Hey y'all") and I saw her make this recipe. I had everything in the house, so I literally jumped up from the couch and started baking.

Wow. Was this good. I decided to serve it with a maple cream sauce that I saw over on The Pioneerwoman Cooks. The sauce is wicked! I have a ton of sauce leftover, and I am planning on serving it on the weekend with French Toast. I think that will be heavenly.

The kids aren't huge fans of cheesecake, they find it "sour". So, after Mario and I sampled our piece, or two (or four) I brought the rest into work. I cut them smaller like cheesecake bars for work.

Apple Cheesecake Squares with Maple Cream Sauce

2 cups flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp sugar

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup butter, softened

Maple Cream Sauce:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp light corn syrup

1. Make Maple Cream Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and reduced by about 1/3. (about 15 minutes). Chill.

2. For Cheesecake squares: In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 13x9-inch baking pan.

3. Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Pour over warm crust.

5. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.

6. To make Streusel Topping, cut together the flour, brown sugar and butter, stir in oats until all crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over apples. Bake 30 minutes at 350F or until filling is set.

5. Drizzle with Maple Cream Sauce.