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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Apple Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

This rich and creamy cheesecake bars is beyond words.
Crunchy spiced apples, flaky topping, they are hard to resist!

apple peanut butter cheesecake bars (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I've been in full on Fall mode over here lately.  I'm currently sitting underneath a heavy blanket all tucked in, shivering mind you, working on this post as I still refuse to turn on the heat because it's October.

I just walked on our back deck that is flooded with sunshine and I'm fairly certain it is a lot warmer OUT THERE than it is in my own house.  For a nanosecond I considered working outside, but that would involved sunglasses, power cords and the elements.

So here I sit slightly frozen busting my way through this post about these delicious Apple Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars.

Oh, they are so delicious.

apple peanut butter cheesecake bars (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The one crisper drawer in our fridge is always full of apples.  Anytime of the year really.  I've currently been buying Honey Crisp apples at ALDI.  I'm a slight bit addicted to them.  Our littlest has one each day, snacking on it throughout the day, usually leaving it in a very random places {bathroom counter, living room floor, diaper changing table, etc.} when she gets bored with it.  I'm simply rinse it off and place it back in the fridge for when the mood strikes her again.  Because, you know, third child.

What I'm getting at is...we eat a lot of apples.  The kids were begging for apple crisp this past weekend, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I mean, I love my Caramel Apple Crumble, but I wanted something different.

I opened the fridge pulling out some apples and three packages of cream cheese were starring back at me.  I have no idea what the purpose of those three packages of cream cheese were initially, but I instantly knew their new purpose was cheesecake.

Any form of cheesecake my friends is good.  Plain, covered in cherries or this version chalk full of diced, spiced apples and peanut butter.  It's all delightful.  And add the streusel topping people.  It's essential.

apple peanut butter cheesecake bars (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This recipes makes a 9x13 pan.  It's a LOT.  The bars are thick and rich, so plan on making this for a gathering.

I didn't take my own advice.  I made this on a Sunday, each of us devouring a piece.  We repeated this step on Monday.  By Tuesday, the husband said, "this dessert is seriously award-winning, but you need to get rid of it".  So on Wednesday, I cut out a WHOLE ROW {painful} and gave it to a friend.

So take my advice and make this for a big group or halve the recipe or else you'll be in a cheesecake coma for approximately 4 days.

Which I loved.

But others didn't.

Apple Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3-8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla extract
3 apples, finely diced
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 c. oats
1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 high sided baking pan with foil.  Spray the foil generously with cooking spray.
2.  Combine the crust ingredients and with your fingers press it down flat in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
3.  In a stand mixer or using a hand held mixer combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until smooth.  Add in the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla.  Pour this mixture over the warm crust, spreading evenly.
4.  In a bowl combine the chopped apples {no need to peel them} with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Place the apples onto the cheesecake filling.
5.  In another bowl combine the streusel ingredients; brown sugar, flour oats and softened butter. Using your hands mix it all together and sprinkle over the filling.
6.  Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the center is set.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least an hour.  Then keep in the fridge for storage.  Cut into squares once cold and serve.

apple peanut butter cheesecake bars (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you know me, you also know my love of cheesecake.  Here are some more of my favorites!

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