Fluffy Friends

Monday, September 3, 2012

Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake!!!

Wow, can you believe it is September and today is the last official holiday of summer? In a way it makes me sad as I never look forward to winter. I love warm weather and have actually really enjoyed the one we have had. Of course this summer has been very unusual in Missouri because normally our summers are extremely hot and humid, but this year, due to almost no rain for months and months, the humidity has been somewhere from 0-35%. I can imagine this is the type of hot, dry heat that those living in the desert areas enjoy. Another bonus to this weather, at least for me, is very few sinus or migraine headaches!
So back to baking now....................I mean really, if it contains fruit, nuts and dairy, that means cheesecake is a health food, right? Aww, come on, if enough people agree then that makes it a law, right? So I hear by declare that cheesecake is one of the best all around health foods known to man :D
Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
Caramel Apple Topping (recipe follows)
Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
1) Preheat over to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8-10 min or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Reduce oven temp. to 325 degrees. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of a greased and shiny 9-in.springform pan.
2) Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until blended and smooth. I have found this to be the absolute most important part of making cheesecakes, make sure that cream cheese and sugar is as smooth as can be! Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
3) Whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, and remaining egg in a large bowl until blended.
4) Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to brown sugar mixture and stir until blended. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture over batter.
5) Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan) Cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Transfer to your serving plate.
6) While cake is cooling, prepare Caramel Apple Topping and Caramel Sauce. Reserve 1 cup caramel sauce for another use. Spoon topping over cheesecake: drizzle with 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce.
* Recipe was taken from the September 2012 issue of Southern Living.
Step 1) Toast pecan pieces, this step can be skipped if you don't care if your pecans are toasted or not.
Step 2) Cream cheese mixture, try not to eat all this right out of the bowl, yummy!
Step 3) Apple Brownie mixture, mixture will be super thick
Caramel Apple Topping
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp.fresh lemon juice, and cook, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon 5-6 minutes or until mixture turns a light golden brown. Add 5 Large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges. Cook, stirring often, 15-18 minutes more or until after apples are tender and caramelized. Remove from heat; cool 20 minutes. Be sure not to overcook or you will sacrifice appearance. Not saying I had to do this step again.....well okay, I did as I'm not good at following directions but I kept the first batch to spread underneath the pretty ones. I actually skimped on the apples to begin with so this worked out okay in the end. My Granny Smith's were on the smallish side and I only used 2.5 apples in the pic above. I had bought 3 Jonathan's so I peeled and sliced these for the "pretty" apples on top :)

Caramel Sauce
Bring 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup whipping cream, and 1/4 cup honey to a boil in a med.saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave at high 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth. 

Then because I am me..........I love cinnamon strusel topping so I made the executive decision to add that on top of the apples and caramel. What's a few more calories? After all, this is health food right?

Feel like a slice????  Here you go!

Till next time, happy baking!

Fluffybutt Cookie Emporium ;)

P.S   A friend and I just taste tested this little baby. It is good, BUT, we decided that it really shouldn't be called a cheesecake but a dessert. I think if I made it again, and I probably will, I think I would either double the cheesecake mixture or cut the brownie portion in half. It really just depends on what you want the end result to be. But it is really good, just not what I think of when I think cheesecake :)

No comments:

Post a Comment