Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples

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Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples
Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples

We love apple desserts in the fall when apples are in season and in abundance! And these Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples are packed with autumn flavors and make the perfect dessert for gatherings during the holiday season!

Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecakes are beautiful and delicious, but sometimes are difficult to get right. For baking ease, we often turn to cheesecake bars instead! These cheesecake bars have all the tasty cheesecake flavors and texture that we love without the hassle. We bake these in a 9×9 inch baking dish, which most people have on hand. No need to buy a special springform pan for these bars!

Apple Cider Reduction Syrup

To give these cheesecake bars that spiced apple cider fall flavor, we use a homemade Apple Cider Reduction Syrup. This syrup does take a bit of time to make, and can be made in advance and stored in your fridge until ready to use. Additionally, it can be incorporated into cocktails if desired! It last for up to 1 month in the fridge as well.

Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples
Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples

Graham Cracker Crust

The graham cracker crumb crust in this recipe is a simple and classic cheesecake crust. We wanted to flavors of the apple cider and caramelized apples to shine here so the crust is as classic as you can get.

The graham crackers can be smashed by placing them in a plastic bag using a rolling pin until completely ground. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to achieve the ground texture. The goal is to grind them until you have graham cracker crumbs.

Caramelized Apple Topping

This cheesecake is not complete without the caramelized apple topping! The caramelized apples are so flavorful and are necessary on this cheesecake, so do not skip them. The cheesecake itself is subtle when it comes to apple cider flavor, so the topping is what really brings the whole thing together!

Enjoy!

We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples! If you give this recipe a try, click the heart at the top of this post, leave us a comment and 5-star rating below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples
Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples

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Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars with Caramelized Apples

Recipe by Vanessa Wilson-Watson, Mark, and Angela Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

9

servings
Prep time

3

hours 
Cooking time

1

hour 
Total time

0

minutes

Ingredients

  • Apple Cider Reduction Syrup**
  • 4 4 -5 large apples (we used honey crisp)

  • 3 3 tangerines

  • 3 3 cinnamon sticks

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 brown sugar

  • ¾ tsp allspice

  • 1 1 star anise

  • 1 1 whole nutmeg or 1 ½ tsp of ground nutmeg

  • 8 cups 8 water

  • Cheesecake Bar Crust**
  • 2 cups 2 Graham crackers, ground

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 light brown sugar

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • Apple Cider Cheesecake
  • 24 oz 24 (3 packs) cream cheese

  • ¾ cup sour cream

  • ½ cup light brown sugar

  • 3 3 eggs, room temperature

  • ½ tsp fresh vanilla bean, or ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ cup Apple Cider Reduction Syrup (see above)

  • Caramelized Diced Apple
  • 1 1 apple (we used honeycrisp)

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 light brown sugar

  • 1 cup 1 water

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp 2 lemon juice

Directions

  • Apple Cider Reduction Syrup
  • Cut the tangerines in half and quarter the apples, removing seeds.
  • In a large pot add all ingredients making sure everything is covered with water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours remove the tangerines, using a wooden spoon lightly mash the mixture and simmer for another 40 minutes (uncovered).
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool fully. Strain the reduction through a fine sieve strainer and discard the solids.
  • Place the smooth apple cider reduction into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week or until ready to use.
  • Apple Cider Cheesecake Bar Crust
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray (we like Baker’s Joy) for easy removal of the finished bars. Set aside.
  • Next, make the cheesecake bar crust. In a large bowl, combine the Graham cracker crumbs, light brown sugar, and melted butter and stir until combined thoroughly. The mixture should stick together when squeezed firmly in your hand.
  • Transfer the Graham cracker mixture to the prepared 9×9 inch baking dish and press the mixture firmly onto the bottom of the pan. We like to press them down with a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup to press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, transfer the crust to the oven to bake until golden brown for about 10-12 minutes. Once golden, remove from the oven and let it cool completely while you prepared your cheesecake filling.
  • Apple Cider Cheesecake Bar Filling
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 250° F.
  • Add the cream cheese into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. On high speed, whisk the cream cheese for 1-2 minutes to remove any lumps. Next, add the light brown sugar and vanilla and whisk until combined. Then add the sour cream, cinnamon, and Apple Cider Reduction syrup. Finally add the eggs to the mixer and whisk until combined.
  • Pour into the cooled crust. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the centre is set and no longer wobbly. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Once cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Caramelized Diced Apple Topping
  • Peel, core and dice the apple into small squares. In a small saucepan add the diced apples, brown sugar, water, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
  • Bring to a boil on high heat then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool completely before topping your cheesecake bars. These can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • For serving, lift the cheesecake bars out of the baking dish, then cut into 9 individual bars. Top with the caramelized apples and serve!

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