Is it just me, or did the holidays really creep up on you this year?! Shizzzz man, I'm not ready for all this celebrating. I am, however, almost done with my Holiday Shopping, Yup, you heard me right, I took advantage of that thing called Cyber Monday and got ALLLLLLLL of it done. BOOM, nailed it.
What I didn't finish is all the holiday baking! Last year, I was on my GAME. I'm not going to even try to lie about it, I NAILED IT last year. Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies. Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing. Gingerbread Cupcakes with a Gingerbread Cookie Topper. Triple Oreo Chunk Cookies. AND as much as I hate to play favorites, these Coconut Christmas Cupcakes dressed up as Santa and his Elves kicked some booty.
I am exhausted just thinking about how much baking I did last year. Wellllll, ain't nobody got time for ALL that this year, so we have to really impress with what we ARE going to do. Enter Bourbon Spiced Apple Pie Cheesecakes IN INDIVIDUAL JARS. Go ahead, take a minute to take that all in.
Don't be scared, it's WAY easier than it looks and sounds! I have faith in you, YOU CAN DO IT.
Individual Bourbon Spiced Apple Pie Cheesecakes
Yield Depends on Jar Size / a dozen .15 L Mason Jars
Layer 1 / Crust
8 Graham Crackers
10 tbsp butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
Layer 2 / Cheesecake
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2- 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
Layer 3 / Apples
5 Granny Smith Apples (or whichever type of apple you prefer!)
2 tbsp sugar
½ tbsp nutmeg
¼ tbsp cloves
½ cup bourbon
Layer 4 / Crumb Topping
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter
To make the crust /
Break up your graham crackers, very finely, either by using a food processor or smashing by hand.
In a bowl, mix together melted butter, graham crackers and sugar. Set aside.
To make the apples /
Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
Clean and cut your apples into small pieces.
Toss apples in a large bowl with sugar, nutmeg, cloves and bourbon.
(You can use cinnamon instead of those spices if you want, I was out! haha)
Spread out evenly on a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes or until they just start to break down.
WHILE THE APPLES ARE COOKING...
To make the cheesecake /
Having your ingredients at room temperature if very important when making cheesecake. Make sure they are and then begin!
In a large bowl, place your cream cheese and beat on low-medium until light and fluffy.
On low speed, mix in the sugar, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla and beat until all ingredients are incorporated, scraping down the sides as necessary. Set aside.
To make the crumb topping /
In a bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, and butter (cut into cubes). Break down the butter to mix with the other ingredients (you can use a pastry blender or your hands- I use my hands!) - you're looking to get it to a wet sand texture. Set aside.
ASSEMBLY TIME! Get your jars out!
GUYS, don't get intimidated. I know, it sounds like a lot, but its all so simple and quick, you can really do this!
In each jar, spoon in 2 tbsp of the graham cracker crust mixture you prepared. Press into the bottom of each jar. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet, with raised edges so that they don't slide off when you pull them out.
Bake for only about 5-7 minutes, until they just start to set, they will cook more when we fully assemble and cook these lovies!
Remove from the oven and allow to cool just for 5 minutes, so you don't scorch yourself when you are finishing the assembly, you don't need them to cool completely!
Bring the temperature of the oven to 325˚F.
Using a ⅓ cup measure, scoop the cheesecake layer in next.
You have a ton of apples cooked, scoop about ⅓ cup into each jar, but you will likely have a bit more, so finish it off.
Top the apples off with 1 tbsp of the brown sugar crumb topping.
Voilà, all in, lets get them in the oven.
We are going to use a water bath here. I know, people talk some serious garbage about water baths, but Martha said to do it on her cheesecakes in a jar, and I trust the master, so i went ahead and did it. I am not going to claim to be a cheesecake master, so try it out without a water bath if you're confident, but these were REAL good, so just be careful with the water, ok?
Get out a deep baking dish, the same one you used with walls to bake the crust layer is probably good.
If you don't have a pan that will allow you to bake all 12 at the same time, split it into two pans, side by side in the oven on a rack in the center of the oven.
Place the jars in the pan and fill around them with hot water. Now, Martha says BOILING water, so if you want to give some water a quick boil, go for it. I'm lazy, and my faucet gets pretty hot and it was ace.
Cover the pans with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
At 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let them come to room temperature THEN cover and refrigerate.
AND YOU'RE DONE. Give yourself a pat on the back, it was a of of steps, and you got through them all. I promise, you will IMPRESS the people that have the pleasure of eating them. I brought them to a holiday pot luck at work, and they were a hit. I work with some SERIOUS critics, and if we can impress them, we can impress anyone.
These are a perfect treat for any occasion, but I think the holidays are the best days for bourbon spiced apples. It would be super sweet to give these with a nice note to your doorman or coworkers. Serve them on the dessert table at home on Christmas and everyone has their own treat to eat, or take home!
I'll admit it, I'm a bit lazy on the baking front this holiday season, especially compared to last year, but making these will give the appearance that I baked for AS LONG as I did last year, but I most certainly did not. Shhhhh don't tell anyone.
As you can tell, I love baking in jars, have you given it a go? Give me some more ideas to try out! I promise, I'll report back with how it turns out!