Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Makes 9 bars

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, at room temperature

For the cheesecake layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the apples:
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the caramel sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 pan with foil.

To make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly, but combined. Press the mix evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, beat in the egg, and finally the vanilla

Mix all of the apple ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Mix the streusel ingredients, until combined, but crumbly.

Pour the cheesecake filling over the warm crust and make sure the filling is spread evenly.

Spoon the apples evenly over the cheesecake then top with the streusel. Bake until the streusel is lightly browned and the cheesecake layer has set, 25-30 minutes.

While the bars are baking, make the caramel sauce by whisking together the butter, brown sugar, cream, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to to a simmer. Cook gently, while whisking, until the mixture thickens. Transfer to a glass bowl or jar and refrigerate until cool.

Transfer the cooked bars to a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature. Slice the bars. Serve each bar drizzled with caramel sauce.