Hello all! It is finally fall time! Or at least, it says so on the calendar and that’s good enough for now I guess.
Here in sunny California it still is getting up into the 80’s every day and I’m starting to become embittered towards the South Bay Area weather. Where are my crisp leaves and blustery winds? When will I be able to drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte without breaking into a sweat? Am I ever going to stop having to use my air conditioning when I’m driving?
These are the questions I ask, but there are never really any satisfactory answers. Lucky for me, it does get pretty cool at night so the mornings feel chilly and autumn-like. Last week we even had a day where it rained! It was pretty exciting. I almost cried with happiness and then ran to the store to buy mini pumpkins and candles that smell like cinnamon.
And then I made these delicious Caramel Apple Cheesecakes to complete the beautiful almost-fall day. I’m hoping that by Halloween I’ll be able to wear my sweaters and boots. For some reason, despite the fact that I live in California, I have four pairs of boots, but only two pairs of sandals. As for sweaters, there are too many to count. I love sweaters.
I honestly should be in Maine walking through apple orchards with a giant fluffy Golden Retriever- scarf wrapped around my neck, fuzzy socks on my feet. *sigh* Doesn’t that sound like heaven?
So I make these adorable little caramel apple cheesecakes and dream of days when I will someday own fruit trees and big dogs. It’s a good life after all. Caramel apple is the calmer and older brother of Pumpkin when it comes to fall flavors. It’s perfect for an autumn dinner party when you don’t want to be too obnoxious. Sometimes I think that pumpkin can be a bit overwhelming. It barges in as soon as we welcome September and takes over everything. I love pumpkin spice, but caramel apple might be my favorite child. 😉
These cheesecakes are enhanced by two things. First, they are just too cute! This recipe will make one eight inch large cheesecake, or four small two inch cheesecakes. The little individual (or sharing) portions make dessert extra special. Secondly: Amaretto! a touch of amaretto in the caramel and almond in the batter give the cheesecake a rich sweet undertone that will remind you of crackling leaves and scarves. Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I crank up my AC and pretend it’s cold enough to enjoy a walk through an apple orchard with fleece lined boots.
Happy Fall, everyone!
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup apple pie filling, homemade or canned
- 2 8 ox packages cream cheese
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup soft caramel candies
- 2 tablespoons amaretto
- 1 granny smith apple, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl mix two tablespoons of sugar, melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and apple pie spice until well combined. Using your fingers and the back of a spoon press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a spring form pan.
- Spread the apple pie filling in the bottom of the spring form pan on top of the crust.
- In a stand mixer combine the cream cheese and ¾ cup of sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs, one at a time along with the almond extract. Mix well until smooth. Pour over the pie filling into the spring form pan.
- Bake 30 minutes in preheated oven until set.
- Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Before serving, place the soft caramels and amaretto in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each one, until melted. arrange the granny smith apple slices on top of the chilled cheesecake and drizzle the amaretto caramel sauce over the top. Serve immediately and let happiness ensue!