Apple Crisp Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes. Cook time: 40 minutes. Chill time: 2 hours. Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes.

Yields: 9x13 pan; 18-24 bars


Ingredients:


Crust:

2 cups old-fashioned/rolled oats

*1/3 cup whole wheat flour

*2/3 cup white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted


Cheesecake:

2 - 8 oz. packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, room temperature


**3 medium or 4 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4" thick

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Streusel:

1/2 cup old-fashioned/rolled oats

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil (not melted)



Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray. Set aside.


2. In a medium bowl, combine crust ingredients. Using your hands, firmly press mixture into prepared pan and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.



3. Prepare cheesecake while crust is baking. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, until just combined and smooth. Do not overmix. Pour cheesecake over crust. Set aside.


4. In a small bowl, combine sliced apples and cinnamon. Evenly layer apple mixture over cheesecake layer.


5. For streusel, combine oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use your hands to incorporate coconut oil until mixture is combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over and gently press into apple layer.


6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is no longer jiggly and apples are soft. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before cutting and serving. Cover and store leftovers in the fridge.



Enjoy!



*Flour can be all white whole wheat; all all-purpose; half all-purpose/half white whole wheat; or half all-purpose/half whole wheat. It is pretty lenient in this recipe!


**I used four small Gala apples, but Granny Smith can also be used, or whatever you have on hand.


***Make sure oats are whole grain to ensure full whole wheat recipe.


****To simplify the process, I mixed the crust ingredients in a bowl, then transferred it to the pan. I tossed the apples and cinnamon in the same bowl, then sprinkled them on the cheesecake layer. I then mixed the streusel ingredients in the same bowl and topped the bars with that layer. Basically, there is no need to clean the bowl or use more than one bowl for those three layers. I did use a separate bowl for the cheesecake layer.