Are you enjoying the Fall? I was just in Utah for our Fall Break and the Autumn colors were breathtaking! I am anxiously awaiting their arrival here in Chattanooga. So far, it is rather drab…but with the amout of trees we have, I think it will hopefully be beautiful soon! Last year was a disappointment with a lot of the leaves falling off before they started turnigng colors. I don’t know why some years are like that, but I am crossing my fingers this year wont be one of them. Whether or not we get a good Fall color wise, I still LOVE this time of year! I love the cool temperatures and the crisp apples and bright orange pumpkins everywhere!
I bought a bag of freshly picked apples from a local orchard and used a few for this wonderful dessert. I had my book club meeting and brought a plate to share. They were a big hit! The shortbread crust, with the cream cheese and apple layer and then the buttery sweet crumb topping is a combination made in heaven! These will definitely get you in the mood for Fall! I put the leftovers in the fridge and they were fantastic over the next of days! My family gave them 2 thumbs up! I hope you enjoy them too!
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup quick-cooking oats
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 2 small apples (any variety), peeled, cored and finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. but no need to spray the parchment paper, if you are using that.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and oats. Using a fork, your fingers or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture becomes crumbly. Refrigerate the topping while you prepare the bars.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand. Turn the mixture into the pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light brown and set. Remove the pan to a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, toss the apples with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg, ensuring that the apples are evenly coated. Distribute the apples evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the apples.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set and the center does not jiggle. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the bars cool completely before serving or if desired, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours..I think they are best chilled. The bars can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- *If you want to take them up a notch, you could drizzle them with caramel sauce before serving.