These Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bars are basically two of the greatest desserts EVER smashed into one delicious gluten- and refined-sugar–free treat.
OK, so technically, it is still fall for another few hours, but you guys, I completely recognize that it’s winter, right?! I mean, it’s almost Christmas for those who celebrate, so duh. It’s snowing here, I’ve been playing Christmas music nonstop, and I’ve decorated every nook and cranny of our house with string lights. It feels like winter, and John Snow wasn’t lying: it’s coming, and oh yeah, it’s here.
Which is why, if you stop by this little dusty corner of the internet, I’m sending you my sincerest apology for this long pause in posting. No excuses, just a big fat apology.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own (kids, earmuffs) bullshit, I become creatively paralyzed. The ideas, and the words, and the overwhelming need to share are all there. And they are there (here?) so desperately strong, but it’s like I just can’t seem to get them out. And then, of course, there’s the never-ceasing fear, loathing, and self-doubt (Hunter S. Thompson, WI style).
Do you ever have the dream where you are trying to urgently call someone, and you know their number, but every time you dial it, once you get to the last number, your finger always mistakenly hits the wrong one? (5-1-8-3-9-6–1-2-0……8…..NOOOOOO I meant 7!!!!!) And then you have to keep starting over and over and over but you keep making the same mistake and get nowhere? No? Just me? Well, that’s what it feels like. Which is probably why I have such an odd recurring dream . . . also, who dials anyone’s number anymore? OK, this is all starting to sound like a weird, rambling excuse . . . .
Where I was really going with this apology was an apology, but I also want to tell you how thankful I am for YOU. Truly, if you’re reading this, you mean more to me than I could ever express here. Thank you times infinity for taking time out of your busy day to read and/or scroll through pictures and hopefully feel even the slightest connection. I love hearing from you and always take time to respond to each and every email or comment. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever want to connect! It truly makes my day. And maybe you could tell me about your strange dreams so I don’t feel like such a weirdo, k? Thanks 🙂
If you follow along, you likely know this is Part 3 of a 3-part series. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them. Also, I do still know that 3 comes after 2, so finally, here it is. Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bars.
My coworker (and dear friend) Chelsie brought Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars to work, and they were so freaking unbelievable, I knew I needed to make and share them with everyone I know. Now, why did I change the name? Because what makes these cheesecake bars so unbelievably delicious is that we’re basically putting an apple crumble on top of a cheesecake. Um, helloooo delicious! Since we’re basically combining two of my favorite desserts, I thought it only appropriate to include both in the name. You really don’t even need caramel sauce (but you totally should put some on top).
And inevitably, let’s talk about what I changed. Because I had guests who are sensitive to gluten and kids + sugar = apocalypse, I decided to take the the base recipe and make it gluten- and refined-sugar–free. I also decided to reduce the sugar a wee bit, so we were only at a mini-apocalyptic level.
If you want all the gluten and are like stop depriving me of my sugar, woman, definitely use the original recipe (ahem, it’s delicious). However, if these substitutions seem right up your alley, I can assure that you won’t be disappointed as I’ve had both, mmmkay? Alright, you go make yourself some apple crumble cheesecake bars . . . or caramel apple cheesecake bars . . . tomayto, tomahto.
That’s all lovelies, until we meet again.
Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bars (GF)
- 2 cups gluten-free flour I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup 2 sticks butter, softened
- 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tart baking apples peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- Crumble topping recipe follows
- Caramel sauce optional
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup gluten free flour I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats gluten-free if preferred
- 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and coconut sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup coconut sugar and honey in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional minute. Pour over slightly-cooled crust.
- In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
- For the crumble topping, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Sprinkle crumble topping over apples. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool completely. Serve with caramel sauce for drizzling.