Apple Crisp Cheesecake


1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
4 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup sliced peeled apple

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cold butter

In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, oats and brown sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a 6-in. springform pan coated with cooking spray; set aside.
For filling, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the sour cream, cinnamon and ginger. Pour over crust Arrange apple slices over filling. For topping, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple.
Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, remove sides of pan. Refrigerate leftovers. –


Join the Playground On Facebook


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Swirl

These decadent chocolate-crusted bars are topped with a homemade caramel that sinks into the pumpkin cheesecake batter during baking.






  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • Salt




  • 13 ounce(s) chocolate wafer cookies, crushed (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Salt
  • 1 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened




  • 1 1/2 pound(s) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 can(s) (28-ounce) pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup(s) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • Hot water





  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil over high heat until a deep amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream, butter, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafers with the sugar and a pinch of salt until fine crumbs form. Add the butter and process until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Using your fingers, press the crumbs into the prepared baking pan in an even layer. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until set. Let cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar at medium speed until blended. Beat in the pumpkin puree, sour cream and vanilla, then beat in the eggs until just incorporated. Transfer 1/3 cup of the cheesecake batter to a small bowl and stir in the caramel sauce.
  4. Set the pan with the crust in a large, deep roasting pan. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling over the cookie crust and carefully drizzle the caramel mixture over the top. Using a toothpick, decoratively swirl the caramel sauce. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the baking pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 55 minutes, until the filling is barely jiggly in the center. Transfer the roasting pan to a rack and let the cheesecake cool completely. Remove the baking pan from the water bath and refrigerate the cheesecake overnight. Cut into bars and serve.


Easy Homemade Recipes: Pumpkin Banana Bread

I may have mentioned once or twice that I am a huge fan of pumpkin.  What I don’t really tell people is that I start my cooking with pumpkin the beginning of August and don’t stop until at least January.  And the months that Im not baking, Im thinking of new recipes to try and more ways to add a little more orange to my life.  [True story.]  Like today’s easy homemade recipe, I think I made this in January.  Its one of my favorite recipes because it has all my favorite things in one place.  Pumpkin, bananas and chocolate chips.  Yes, please!


I was going to make the title of this post ‘Pumpkin banana bread.. with chocolate chips!’ but who doesn’t put chocolate chips in their banana bread?  Ok, I know.  Most people don’t add the chocolate chips, I just think that chocolate and banana go great together.  [Case in point – chocolate covered banana popsicles.]  And pumpkin and chocolate together isn’t too shabby either.  [Its pretty amazing actually.]


To make this easy homemade recipe you will need:

  • Butter cake mix
  • Two ripe bananas
  • 1 Can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of oil

Preheat the oven to 350.  Mash your bananas and add them to the cake mix.  Pour in the oil [I used canola], pumpkin and mix well.  Add the chocolate chips.  Spray your bread pan before adding the mixture.  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.


This bread came out so moist it was crazy.  I think the banana and the oil together make it just melt in your mouth delicious.  And there are no eggs since I used the mashed bananas.  If it weren’t for the chocolate chips and the cake mix, I’d even go so far as to say this is healthy.  I mean its got two fruits baked in, it has to be healthy.  Right?  [Just say yes.]


For more Breads CLICK

Join the Playground On Facebook

Homemade Soft Caramels



1 c light corn syrup
2 c packed light brown sugar
1 can(s) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 lb butter


1 Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, milk and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 20 Minutes stirring constantly. Pour into buttered oblong pan.
2 Cut into squares when cool.

For more Great Deserts CLICK

Join the Playground On Facebook