Almond Cheesecake Apple Bars Recipe

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The cheesecake ribbons through this tasty dessert giving it a smooth textured center that offsets the crunchy topping.
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  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • zest from one lemon
  • 3/4 cup slivered almond, coarsly chopped
  • Filling
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound or 2-3 medium apples - braeburn, gala or rome, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
Container:9x9 square baking pan
20 mins
1.5 hrs
1.5 hrs
  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Cut a piece of parchment paper into a 9x14 rectangle and line a 9x9 baking pan with it, allowing the ends to extend over the edge.
  • Butter the parchment paper and the sides of the pan that are exposed.
  • Set aside 2 tablespoons of flour in a small bowl.
  • Whisk together the remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add the cream cheese and almond extract, beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add 1/4 cup each of sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until blended.
  • Add the flour/salt mixture and 1/3 cup of almonds.
  • Grate the zest one lemon. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the zest, add the rest to the mixture and beat on low just until the four is absorbed and the mixture starts to clump.
  • Set aside 2/3 cup of dough in another bowl and press the remaining dough into the bottom of the 9x9 lined pan.
  • Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  • Bake until the crust is golden, especially around the edges, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven but leave the oven on.
  • While the crust bakes, add 2 tablespoons of the reserved flour and 2 tablespoons each of sugar and brown sugar to the reserved dough.
  • Mix with fingertips until combined and somewhat clumpy.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer.
  • Add egg, beat until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Beat in 2 teaspoons lemon zest, lemon juice and salt.
  • Spread apple slices over the bottom crust and pour the cream cheese mixture on top.
  • Spread gently to cover apples.
  • Crumble the remaining dough on top.
  • Sprinkle with remaining almonds.
  • Bake until topping and almonds are lightly browned, approximately 40 minutes.
  • Allow the bars to cool in the pan on a wire rack until just warm.
  • Remove from pan using the extra parchment as handles and set on the wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Transfer, still on parchment, to a cutting board.
  • Slide a long metal spatula between the bars and parchment to separate them.
  • Slide the parchment from the bottom of the dessert.
  • Cut into 16 equal sized squares and serve.
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