Cooking Classy has all the good stuff in these cupcakes – apples, caramel sauce, streusel topping and cheesecake.  YUM!  Sort of reminds me of a breakfast cake only it’s a cheesecake in the size of a cupcake.  Perfect.

Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes

Makes about 18 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients

Crust
    • 10 graham crackers sheets, finely crushed (1 1/3 cups)
    • 2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Streusel
    • 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
Filling
    • 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
    • 2/3 cup granulated 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
Topping
  • Salted caramel sauce, homemade (see recipe below) or store bought

Directions

  • For the crust:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in butter and using a fork, stir until evenly moistened. Divide mixture among 18 paper lined muffin cups, adding a rounded tablespoon to each cup. Press into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • For the streusel:
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, quick oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add cold butter and using fingertips, rub butter into dry mixture until it comes together it small crumbles and pieces of butter are no longer visible. Transfer to refrigerator while preparing apples and filling.
  • For the filling:
  • In a bowl, toss chopped apples with lemon juice, set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium-low speed, cream together cream cheese with sugar just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in sour cream and vanilla.
  • To assemble cheesecakes:
  • Divide cheesecake batter evenly among 18 muffin cups pouring filing over crust (I used a 1/4 cup and filled it about 3/4 full). Divide apples evenly over cheesecake layer, then finish by sprinkling a heaping tablespoon of the streusel over tops. Bake in preheated oven 23 – 25 minutes. Cool at room temperature 30 minutes, then transfer to fridge and chill 3 hours. Serve with caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt or 3/4 tsp Maldon, more to taste if desired

Directions

  • Gather all of your ingredients and have them nearby ready to add to the mixture as needed. In a heavy-bottomed 2 – 3 quart saucepan (something that isn’t dark on bottom so you can see the shade of caramel), heat sugar and water over medium-high heat whisking constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally (this will take time, so be patient. It will first bubble vigorously and steam and it will be a clear shade, then bubbling will continue but the bubbles will become smaller and slower and it will slowly tint yellowish, then orangish, then a deep reddish orange and that is what you are looking for). Once mixture reaches a dark amber color, immediately add butter and whisk until butter has melted then immediately remove from heat. Carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in sea salt. Pour caramel into a glass jar to cool. Once cool, store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
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