Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

These easy cheesecake bars come together super quickly. With a no-bake cheesecake filling, loads of sweet caramel apples on top, and a salty pretzel crust that doubles asa topping, you’ll love every bite of these sweet, salty, lusciously creamy dessert bars!

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Serves: 16

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

For the Pretzel Crust:

  • 3 cups mini salted twist pretzels
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the No-Bake Cheesecake Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

For the Caramel Apple Topping:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 medium tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Make the Pretzel Crust: To the bowl of a food processor, add the pretzels and pulse to make fine crumbs. (Alternatively, place pretzels in a sealed ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.) Measure out 1½ cups. Combine pretzel crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.Set aside ¼ cup of the crust. Press remaining crust evenly into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until very lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling

3. Prepare the No-Bake Cheesecake Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment affixed, add the softened cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and add the heavy whipping cream and sugar. Beat until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Spread the cheesecake filling evenly on top of the slightly cooled pretzel crust. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the topping

4. Prepare the Caramel Apple Topping: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple slices and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-7 minutes or until apples are tender. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook 2-3 minutes longer or until brown sugar is fully dissolved. Allow the apple mixture to cool slightly in the pan before topping the cheesecake bars with the apples. Carefully transfer the pan to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours until set and firm. Cut into 16 squares and serve with pretzel crumb sprinkled on top.

NOTES: To store, cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to three days.

For more recipes, visit kickassbaker.com or @kickassbaker on Instagram and Pinterest

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