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Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars!

Sharing my Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars with you today! They are perfect for Fall and Winter baking. So simple to prepare and packed with goodness!

cookie bars

Cookie bars are so much fun to make. Your options are endless! These bars are packed with sweet tart apples, cream cheese and caramel that make for the perfect sweet treat.

This simple little Fall dessert is gooey and “appley” delicious with warm soft caramel oozing off the sides. Hope you all enjoy!

For other delicious Picky Palate bar recipes try Fruity Pebbles Cookie Bars and Kitchen Sink Cookie Bars.

Be sure to follow Picky Palate on Instagram for sneak peeks on what’s coming next to the blog!

cookie bars

I used a refrigerated sugar cookie crust for this recipe, however you are free to use a homemade sugar cookie recipe if you’d like.

cookie bars

Tips For Softening Cream Cheese

There are many times I find that I don’t have a few hours to set out my cream cheese to soften at room temperature on it’s own. Here are some simple tips to speed up the process when you need softened cream cheese pronto 🙂

Did you know you can soften cream cheese in about 15 seconds? Unwrap your cream cheese and place it onto a microwavable plate. Microwave on high for 15 seconds. If it is not soft, you can microwave it for an additional intervals of 15-20 seconds. Mix it through; it may be a little cooler in the middle but the warmer sides may help it soften evenly and completely in just a minute or so.

You can also chop the cold cream cheese bloc into a few chunks, and then microwave it. This speeds up the process a bit.

cookie bars

cookie bars

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, bars, cake mix cookies, caramel, dessert
Servings: 9
Calories: 408 kcal
Author: Jenny
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 Cups Golden Graham Cereal ground in food processor
  • 1 Roll Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough or 2 pkgs Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough Mix prepared and divided into 2 equal parts
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21 oz can apple pie filling
  • 1.5 oz package Nature Valley Oats N' Honey Crunchy Granola Bars 2 count, crushed (I use a rolling pin to crush them right in the bag before opening)
  • 9.5 oz Kraft Caramels
  • 1/2 Cup half and half
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine melted butter and ground cereal into a large bowl; press into an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil that's been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.  Crumble half of the cookie dough over partially baked crust.
  2. Place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into a mixer; beat until smooth.  Pour over crumbled cookie dough layer.  Bake for 25 minutes then remove from over.  Top with 3/4 of the apple pie filling (I chose to just add part, but you can add the whole can if desired).  Next top with remaining cookie dough, breaking off into little pieces evenly over top.  Sprinkle with crushed granola bars and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center.   Let cool completely then cut into squares.  Melt caramels and half and half according to package directions.  Drizzle over each bar.  Refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrition Facts
Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 408 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 44mg15%
Sodium 293mg13%
Potassium 197mg6%
Carbohydrates 60g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 40g44%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 755IU15%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 132mg13%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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cookie bars

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116 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1
    amy says:

    this looks absolutely amazing!!!

  2. 2

    These sound amazing, omg! I am making these without a doubt! I love the Golden Grahams crust, great idea!!

  3. 3
    Molly says:

    These look great, Jenny! I love anything apple cinnamon. I’m the same way about Fall decorating and cooking. I’ve been stocking up on Fall decorations and candles all summer long! Can’t wait to bust them out.

  4. 4
    VeggieGirl says:

    SOOO luscious-looking!

  5. 5

    Perfect for Fall… these look SO good!!

    Your boys are precious Jenny!

  6. 6
    dawn says:

    Oh man oh man girl these look to die for. I would love one or four with my boring morning coffee right now.

  7. 7
    Jessica says:

    YUM!!! You make the most delicious-looking, ooey gooey desserts. I’m not really a fan of apple desserts, but I have to try this. It looks too good! And your boys are adorable!

  8. 8
    Katrina says:

    These look great! Love the caramel.
    Cute boys!

  9. 9

    First of all, your boys are so cute! Secondly, that caramel is making me drool!!!
    Happy Baking 🙂
    -Mini Baker

  10. 10
    Joycee says:

    I am in Fall mode too. These are on the list for the weekend! The boys look so cute…

  11. 11
    Ramona says:

    Wow those sure a decadent looking. Awesome.

  12. 12
    HoneyB says:

    Looks delish! Love the pics of your boys! 🙂

  13. 13

    Killer combination! So mouthwatering! Already stumbled.
    Btw I guess you need to check and clean your inbox at StumbleUpon. It gives an error message of “inbox full” when we leave a message on your stumble note.


  14. 14
    Maria says:

    I need to bust out some fall treats. These look wonderful!

  15. 15
    Bridgett says:

    Oh my…I need to go work out just after looking at these. How delicious! My husband would adore these with the apple.

  16. 16
    patsyk says:

    Jenny – these look amazing! Looks like your boys had a great 1st day of school!

  17. 17
    Crystal says:

    Looks absolutely amazing, but I know these would not be good for my waistline. I’m tempted to make them this fall for a great treat. Maybe around Halloween.

  18. 18

    So mouthwatering! Really they’re gorgeous 🙂



  19. 19

    These photos are fabulous! I personally prefer to make my own sugar cookie dough. But, when there is a time crunch, this recipe would hit the spot!

    • 19.1
      Jeff Blackwell says:

      Dear Zen:

      I’ll try your “summer breeze”. I’m a sucker for citrus. I’m also interested in the guitar behind you, in your picture. I’m a beginning cook and starting guitar lessons. Can you give me any info? Thanks.

  20. 20
    Yen says:

    its official. i need to make these stat!

  21. 21
    Valerie M. says:

    How creative—as always! I have some apples here that aren’t looking so good to eat fresh now when I could use them in these.

  22. 22

    […] Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars! from Picky Palate by Jenny […]

  23. 23

    Ha! We both posted ooey gooey things today! these look awesome!!

  24. 24
    Steph says:

    Oh, these look ridiculously delicious! And Kraft sells caramel bits in a bag by the chocolate chips. That way you don’t have to unwrap anything.

  25. 25
    CaSaundra says:

    These look like they require a bit of effort–but totally worth it! I’ve always been curious as to how you get your recipes? Do you create them all yourself?!

  26. 26
    SARAH! says:

    wow those look so good!

    What font did you use for the header of the caramel apple cookie bar?! It’s so cute and festive!

    mmmmmmmm send those my way.

  27. 27
    Meghan says:

    Wow! You had me at the title, but your pictures are amazing! That caramel looks incredible – love everything about these! I’m soooo excited for fall. We are going apple picking next weekend – I know what I’m making! 🙂

  28. 28
    Lynda says:

    These look amazing-very drool worthy cheesecake! And it’s bookmarked!

  29. 29

    There is a local food warehouse that sells something like this, and they are sooo good. Can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  30. 30

    This is my kind of ooey gooey dessert!

  31. 31
    Anne says:

    Arrrrrggghhhhhhh – I want some, they look divine, I neeeed some and I live in France. I can’t get the ingredients and don’t even know what most of them are. What am I going to do???????

  32. 32

    This looks awesome. Allrecipes has an Autumn Cheesecake recipe that rocks. I always make it around this time a yr.

    This recipe remind me off that. Flavorful and screaming Fall.

  33. 33
    Carol says:

    Oh my…………….those scream fall…….and these 4 words…….
    There goes the diet!!!!!

    That’s OK…there’s always next week.
    I can’t wait to try these, Jenny.

  34. 34
    leslie says:

    making these this weekend, thanks for the recipe!

  35. 35
    CookiePie says:

    Those look amazing – and I love that they have Golden Grahams in them!!

  36. 36
    Monica H says:

    I don’t love caramel on it’s own, but with apples, that’s a whole other story.

    These look fantastic!

  37. 37
    peabody says:

    Wow! Those look incredible. They have so many things I love going on at once.

  38. 38

    Oh Jenny these bars couldnt scream Fall anymore! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!! They look amazing, i am saving this recipe to try soon! Yours boys are just too cute, they look super excited about school.

  39. 39

    OMG! I am already a fan of caramel apple pecan cheese cake! I love your idea for the crust. LOL Refrigerate the leftovers???!!!! In my house? You are kidding right? leftovers? What leftovers?

  40. 40
    Xiaolu says:

    Okay – I’m seriously wiping the drool off my desk. So perfect for fall, too!

  41. 41
    Laura says:

    Oh my! Those look so tasty. I wish I could grab one right now and eat it!

  42. 42
    Sues says:

    These are what I imagine heaven to look like 🙂 Seriously… they look so delicious!!

  43. 43
    katzes says:

    i think those cheezecake cookies look just delish .

  44. 44
    Christine says:

    I’m making these NOW. They look amazing and combine all of my favorite things — cream cheese, apples, caramel — Awesome!

  45. 45
    Trillonario says:

    wow, that looks very tasty! 🙂

  46. 46
    Dale Bertrand says:

    Web browsing never looked so tasty. Thanks for posting this.

  47. 47
    Polly says:

    These. Were. Amazing. I made them yesterday for our bible study group. You should’ve seen their eyes bulge when I told them to drizzle the caramel on top. I doubled everything, and put it in a 9×13 pan. Seriously, heaven on a plate. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  48. 48
    Jessica says:

    Totally gonna make these!

  49. 49
    Kami Jensen says:

    Wow that recipe looks fab-u-lous!!

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Jen Kelly says:

    Oh this was sooo good! My husband loved it and so did I! I’ve made 3 or 4 of your recipes so far, just found the blog a couple months ago. I am a huge fan of your blog, keep sharing it with all my girlfriends!

  52. 52
    Cleo says:

    That looks so good, great pictures.

  53. 53
    Rachel says:

    uhhh….. half and half?

  54. 54

    […] 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm (dessert) Made by FIA and LOJ on the same exact weekend after seeing them on Picky Palate. Recipe from Picky Palate with FIA and LOJ’s adaptations. (Dani, I hope you don’t mind I […]

  55. 55
    Dani says:

    I made these last weekend after spotting them in my Google Reader and they were INCREDIBLE! I made a few minor changes so that I didn’t buy things I wouldn’t have a use for after the recipe, but they were so, SO tasty. I took them to a dinner party and my husband and I were thrilled to bring the leftovers home with us. Thanks so much for sharing!

  56. 56
    Cooking Dad says:

    These look very delicious, I’m definitely going to give them a try!

  57. 57
    Stephanie says:

    Absolutely LOVED this yummy dessert…better than apple pie in my book! Leftover carmel is great for the homemade morning lattes, too! Thanks for posting!

  58. 58
    eaProtection says:

    Wow, sounds great.. and perfect time for apple season! I bet one could modify it to take fresh apples too.

  59. 59
    Shug says:

    These look delicious…thanks for the inspiration. Your boys look happy and healthy. Cheers!

  60. 60
    Michelle says:

    Oh my gosh, these look amazing. I cannot wait to make them this weekend!!

  61. 61
    Tanya says:

    Wow, these look amazing and best of all, they seem so easy to make! Can’t wait to try them.

  62. 62
    coco says:

    so i tried to make these and i was really sad they didn’t work out. i followed the directions to a tee, yet it was all in vain. as a matter of fact, the pan with the caramel on it is still on the stove just sitting there! even after i let them cool completely they wouldn’t cut–it was just a big gooey mess 🙁

  63. 63
    Krista says:

    WOW….these look absolutely amazing!!! I found your website off of Bakerella’s blog. I LOVE all your recipes and your website is so cute! I will definitely be checking back to see what I can find! 🙂

  64. 64
    samanth says:

    that looks really yUmmyyyy!
    im going home and making it today!

  65. 65
    tamara8 says:

    this is the best and was a hit with my family which there are alot of us.

  66. 66
    Jenn says:

    Just had one. Very delicious. You are amazing and uber creative! 🙂

    (They are so delicious I am giving away the rest of the pan before I sit down to gobble them up!)

  67. 67
    Shaina says:

    I’m making the carmel apple cookie and am a bit confused if you cook the cookie dough prior to use or not. Let me know, and thanks so much for your wonderful recipe!

  68. 68

    These food pictures are so clear that it feels like you can eat this cookie treat right off the computer screen! This is a wonderful gourmet cookie without all the fuss. Thanks for sharing.

  69. 69

    […] Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod Caramel Apple Cookies from Good Life Eats Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars from Picky Palate Applesauce Spice Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod Bookmark […]

  70. 70
    Dottie Hussey says:

    This looks scrumptious! I am going to make it today. Is the 8 x 8 pan correct?

  71. 71
    Dottie Hussey says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. I just bought the ingredients. I bought the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough.The recipe calls for two of these packages. I bought 2 of the 17.5 oz(1lb 1.5 oz) size. Is that right?

  72. 72
    EdaBy says:

    Beautiful and delicious. Thank you.

  73. 73
    toni says:

    looks great can i do it the toaster oven

  74. 74
    Dottie says:

    Just wanted to let you know I made two batches and this recipe rocks!! Thanks for sharing it.

  75. 75
    Jerome says:

    That’s one sweet tasting dessert you’ve made there. Glorious pictures by the way 🙂

  76. 76
    Ben says:

    Those were AMAZING.

    Does your arm hurt?

  77. 77

    […] 13, 2009 in bars, dessert I spotted this recipe two days ago and made it today – the fastest turnaround yet, I think! As per usual, I did […]

  78. 78
    Jessie says:

    I just swore aloud when I saw this recipe… totally in a good way. Like a jaw dropping, drooling on my desk kind of way.

  79. 79

    […] the meantime, check out these recipes! caramel apple cream cheese cookie bars (from jenny @ picky palate. good lord, this woman can bake!) and some french toast muffins that […]

  80. 80

    […] Itt a recept, de ezt kivételesen nehéz elkészíteni. Lényegében csak azért mutatom, hogy […]

  81. 81

    Wow, my mouth is watering! Sooooo good!
    Thanks for sharing something for my thighs 😉

  82. 82
    Ted Sahler says:

    Finally, I found the information I was searching for. I have been doing research on this subject, and for three days I keep entering sites that are supposed to have what I am searching for, only to be disappointed with the lack of what I wanted. I wish I could have located your web-site quicker! I had about 30% of what I was looking for and your site has that, and the rest of what I need to finish my research. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  83. 83
    Remember, says:

    It’s love that makes the world go round

  84. 84
    Sugar Mama says:

    I have had these on my “to make” list since posted a year ago. Finally I am making them today! I just realized the recipe only makes a few, and with a family of 5 and two teenage boys these will be gone in probably a fraction of the time it takes to make them. Maybe I’ll hide them! ;o)

  85. 85
    brenda says:

    Sounds so yummy, and perfect for this time of year! I only have one question, do you have any suggestions on a replacement for the golden grahams crust? I want to make these gluten free, and that is the only part I’m unsure of how to substitute. Thanks.

  86. 86
    Jim says:

    Look gorgeous. Do they come with a gym membership?

  87. 87
    Lisa says:

    These were delicious! Although I made my own apples. 🙂

  88. 88
    Kayla says:

    OMGosh, these sound ahhmazing!!! I love anything apple, caramel, and cream cheese! Totally pinning this for later, thanks for sharing!

  89. 89

    […] spotted this recipe two days ago and made it today – the fastest turnaround yet, I think! As per usual, I did […]

  90. 90
    Jennifer says:

    This just came out of the oven… smells and looks tasty! I did the 2 packages of cookie dough mix and mixed them according to directions and ran into a problem. Once I got to the second package, I couldn’t fit it all in. It was practically running over the top so I left some out. I didn’t want it to expand and crumble off the edges. Could it be that I should have only made one package and split that one up? Or should I have used a 9×13 instead of an 8×8? Also, made homemade caramel for the first time ever without the help of someone showing me how to do it. Turned out perfect! Can’t wait to eat in on Thanksgiving!!!

  91. 91
    Lucy says:

    I made these for thanksgiving and they were a hit! Can’t wait to put my leftover caramel to use. A tip: Even after cooling for an hour, they were still way too gooey to cut. I would recommend sticking them in the fridge for a while – it helped them harden up.

  92. 92

    Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write once more soon!

  93. 93
    kefkin says:

    Yummy, and definitely apples contain many benefits for our bodies.

  94. 94

    […] The recipe called for a lot of pre-made things, so they turned out to be pretty expensive since it wasn’t the staple items I already had in my pantry. Other than costing a pretty penny, when I finally got to making them they were incredibly simple. Personally, I think I would have preferred more apple and cream cheese and less cookie, but regardless, they were delicious. Check it out! I got the recipe from Picky Palate.  […]

  95. 95

    […] Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Bars […]

  96. 96
    Missy says:

    Although I too admit these look amazing, why does it seem all the best recipes seem to be from a can? I mean pre-made caramels (can’t get them here), pre-made pie filling (why?? fresh home-made is so much better!), pre-made cookie dough (again, why?? fresh is 100x’s better). I know people’s lives, especially with kids, are very time restricted but a lot of the above can be made before at spare times and frozen. It’s so much better for one then the pre-processed foods that are being called for in a *lot* of recipes now a days 🙁 Besides, we don’t all live in the USA *POUT* I can’t get most of the things!

  97. 97
    Jealith says:

    These look yummy! I don’t buy processed foods like cereal or packaged cookie dough but I think I can sub a graham cracker crust and a few home made cookies along with my own home made cookie dough. I do cheat and sometimes buy filling in a can but the caramel sauce I can do home made also. I can’t wait to try and make a from scratch version of the combinations you have, apple, cream cheese and caramel. Thank you! I love getting new ideas from sites like this!

  98. 98
  99. 99

    […] Carmel Apple Cream Cheese Cookies Bars from Picky Palate […]

  100. 100
    Dana says:

    These look SO delicious. I tried the printer option to print the recipe, but it won’t print! Any suggestions?

  101. 101

    this looks so yummy! thanks for sharing! more power <3

  102. 102
    Renee says:

    Think I could substitute golden grahams cereal for a graham cracker crust?

  103. 103

    […] match (kind of like Chocolate and Peanut Butter). So when making this recipe you should follow Picky Palate’s instructions to the “T” and you too can enjoy the special treat depicted on the image […]

  104. 104

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  105. 105

    […] Ice Cream and Pepita Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches…umm, yum. From SPCookieQueen ~ ~ ~  Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars from Picky Palate ~ ~ ~  Pumpkin Poppers from Domestically Speaking  ~ ~ ~  Get your […]

  106. 106
    Ruth says:

    Making them now

  107. 107
    susan says:


  108. 108

    […] Ice Cream and Pepita Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches…umm, yum. From SPCookieQueen ~ ~ ~  Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars from Picky Palate ~ ~ ~  Pumpkin Poppers from Domestically Speaking  ~ ~ ~  Get your […]

  109. 109
    Alex says:

    I googled for a caramel apple desert to make for my husband on Fathers Day. This is the one I made. It is really delicious and my husband said it was one of the best deserts of all time and that means a lot coming from him! Even my 3 year old son devoured it!

  110. 110
    Isabell says:

    Jen HansonC.P is a world trainer, healer and group process facilitator.

  111. 111
    Eartha says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that
    I’ve truly loved browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Nakkase says:

    Ammazing wooow 🙂

  114. 114
    Natalie says:

    These cookie bars look and sound so delicious! I love caramel, apple and cream cheese together!

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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!