It all happened a few weeks ago when we were invited over to my parents for dinner. I was instructed that I was in charge of bringing a salad so I did what any normal human would do - I made a taco dip for chips and dessert. Basically the same thing as a salad so whatever. After scouring Pinterest I found the dessert that I knew I had to make. I'm not sure if it was the word apple, or caramel, or perhaps streusel that made me excited [heck after reading those words it could have ended with "pile of bricks" and I'd be sold] but whatever it was, I knew I had to make it. Baking and sweets usually aren't my thing, I prefer wine and beer and things of that nature, but this dessert was a success and one I'm excited to make again. While the list of ingredients looks long and daunting, I promise it's not as hard as it looks. If I can do it, your two year old can do it. This is a perfect fall [or psssst - Thanksgiving treat for all of you last minute planners!] that all age ranges will enjoy. Lets get down to the real reason we're here today - the recipe.
Mini Apple Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Streusel Topping
10 graham cracker sheets, finely crushed
1 2/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb granny smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
Salted Caramel Sauce (store bought)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the crushed graham crackers, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and using a fork, stir until evenly moistened. Divide the mixture between 18 cupcake liners. Press into an even layer and then bake in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool while making the streusel.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add in the diced cold butter and using your fingertips rub the butter into the mixture until it starts to crumble and the butter is no longer visible. Place in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
In a bowl, toss the chopped apples with lemon juice and set aside. Just a quick note on the apples - I used about 3 granny smith apples and you want to make sure to have the apples in very small pieces to ensure they cook thoroughly. I used a chopper to get mine small and even.
In a mixing bowl use an electric mixer on medium-low speed to cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time then blend in the sour cream and vanilla.
Divide the cheesecake batter evenly among the 18 cups and pour over the crust. Divide the apples evenly over the cheesecake layer then finish by sprinkling the streusel over the tops. Bake in over for around 25 minutes and cool at room temp for around 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours.
Before serving, drizzle all cheesecakes with salted caramel topping. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Recipe Inspired By: Cooking Classy
Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving stuffing your face with all sorts of goodness while having awkward conversations with those you love the most :)