Friday, November 13, 2009
I'm now in my 38th week of pregnancy - which means I'm in the home stretch. It's that very exciting last couple of weeks where all you can think is, "when will I go into labor and have this baby?!?" But it's also the most uncomfortable time period - it's hard to be on your feet for long, your back hurts, and you just can't put much effort into anything. Which is why my baking and posting has been very few and far between. And I fear that it won't get much better once I have a newborn to handle and a 2-year-old running around the house.
BUT, the good news is that I always seem to get that itch for baking after it's been a while. So I'm sure the mood will continue to strike me after the baby's born (though my baking may be a bit on the healthy side, as I will surely have some weight to lose!).
Lately I've been dying for something homemade that would celebrate the season. I bookmarked this apple streusel cheesecake bar recipe quite a while back, and it was calling to me. It's really delicious, and was completely worth the time on my feet in the kitchen.
The bars start with a cookie mix and also use an apple pie filling, though no one would ever guess it was only semi-homemade. They came together easily and tasted great. I particularly enjoyed eating these with vanilla ice cream, though they were completely addictive all by themselves too!
Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars
(adapted from Betty Crocker)
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix (I used oatmeal chocolate chip - the chocolate chips were a nice addition!)
½ cup firm butter or margarine
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2. Place cookie mix in a large bowl. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. Reserve 1 ½ cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
4. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked crust. In medium bowl, mix pie filling and cinnamon. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top.
5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes. Refrigerate to chill, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
Makes about 24 bars.