Whenever I make a new recipe at my house I ask my husband to rate it.
Like on a star scale.
One star being, “never make this horrible food again!” (Although he’s knows better than to say that), and Four stars being, “I want this every night for the rest of my life”.
Here’s the problem.
We never actually GET to the recipe rating.
Because we always end up arguing over the rating system.
The husband thinks there needs to be more than 4 stars on the scale…at least 5 stars, he says.
But I already made the 4 star system and have actually RATED the recipes in cookbooks…SOO, the rating system is here to stay.
I mean, you can’t change a system that’s already in effect…What if the Olympics decided to start giving Platinum medals? All those former gold medals wouldn’t be so important anymore.
We’d have to start using *asterisks* next to the ratings, to show whether they were pre-change or post-change.
And then what if one day you learn that this will be your final meal and you scroll through the cookbook and pick a four star recipe, only to learn that it was marked BEFORE the swtich, and now you’ve just wasted your final meal on a “pretty good” lasagna.
That sounds like possibly the worst scenario ever.
So alls I am saying, is that whether or not the 4 star system is the best…which hello, it totally is…we can’t change it mid-adulthood.
I’d basically have to throw all my cookbooks out and start over.
I am pretty sure the husband wouldn’t agree to that.
So short-story -long, I want to share with you my final recipe for Caramel Apple Week. Which is totally a 4 star-that-should be 5-star-but-is-staying-a-4-star recipe.
In other words, it’s final-meal-good.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars.
Layer the apples and then the streusel. Now it’s ready to make the journey into the oven.
When it’s baked and almost perfect, you need to pour some caramel on top. You neeeed to.
And then you have to let it sit for a while to cool.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup granulated sugar + 1 Tbsp, divided
- 1 egg
- 2 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and small diced
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line a 9x9 baking pan with foil.
- In a medium sized bowl combine crust ingredients, flour, brown sugar and butter. Using a pastry cutter, or fork combine the ingredients until they make a coarse crumb.
- Press mixture firmly in the bottom of the pan and bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bow, combine cream cheese, vanilla, egg and ¼ cup granulated sugar. Beat until combined and smooth. Set aside.
- Dice apples and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp sugar and ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice. Stir until coated evenly. Set aside.
- Make streusel by combining all ingredients, light brown sugar, flour, oats and butter and stir with your pastry cutter or fork until evenly mixed. Set aside.
- When crust is done baking, spread the cream cheese mixture on top of warm crust, top with diced apples and finally with streusel.
- But back in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until center is set.
- When done drizzle caramel sauce all over the top.
- Let the pan cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes and then place in refrigerator to chill for approximately 2 hours, or overnight.
- Cut into squares when ready to serve.
recipe adapted from Paula Deen